If you want to sell your home during this year’s spring selling season, now is the time to get moving. Sellers can rest assured that if there’s no snow on the ground, homebuyers are already looking.
Today’s buyers, particularly younger ones, have high expectations. They are looking for a home in excellent condition, with all its best features showcased.
Here are 10 things you can do to prepare your home for the spring selling season:
1) Fix all the small stuff. You may or may not want to have your home inspected before you list it, but know that the buyer will have an inspection before the sale is finalized. If they find small problems, they will worry that there are larger maintenance issues that they can’t yet detect.
2) Get rid of oversized and excess furniture. The less furniture you have in your house, the larger it will appear when buyers are touring it. Sell or donate pieces you don’t plan to move to your new home, and store large or run down pieces.
3) Clear out all the clutter. That can be everything from magazines on a side table to the kids’ boots in the hall to your blender on the kitchen counter. The home needs to look sleek and minimalist. Put everything you can away, but don’t overfill closets because prospective buyers will look there, too.
4) Depersonalize. Your home may reflect your life, but you want new people to visualize it as their home. That means removing all the family photos, trophies and any political or personal décor items. Strive for a clean slate.
5) Deep clean your home. Everything needs to be cleaned thoroughly, inside and out. You’ll want to clean out closets, wash all the windows and have the carpets cleaned. Moving your out-of-season clothing elsewhere will make your closet look twice as big.
6) Update and freshen your décor. Many of today’s home sellers are baby boomers, while the buyers are millennials, making them essentially a generation younger. Wallpaper, salmon-colored décor and heavy drapes all appear dated to the younger generation, which prefers minimalist and modern. An easy fix is putting brighter light bulbs in all your fixtures to create more light.
7) Focus on curb appeal. Most buyers drive by before they ever ask to come inside. It’s time to trim trees, clean gutters, clear out dead landscaping and add new sod and flowers. Consider resurfacing your driveway, getting a new mailbox and numbers and painting your front door. And make sure your home is lighted at night in case prospective buyers drive by after work.
8) Repaint in neutral colors. White and beige look dated, while warm neutrals such as soft gray or pale taupe are more preferred. Everybody likes their red dining room, but the buyers may have a hard time picturing themselves there. If your home is already painted in neutral colors, consider a fresh coat of paint.
9) Get professional photographs. If your home doesn’t show well in the photos, people won’t bother to visit. Some real estate agents provide professional photos as part of their marketing package. Photos taken with a phone or tablet aren’t acceptable, and you may want your stager at your photo shoot.
10) Create a story. Write a paragraph about why you love your home and post it with the listing. Put together information about improvements you’ve made. Happy homes bring more money. The power of your home story could be really beneficial to your sale.
Information from RealEstate.USNews.com by Teresa Mears.