Planning to sell your old home this spring for something new? Start writing that TO DO List now. Prepping your home for sale is not something that can be knocked off in a DIY weekend or two. Instead, start thinking like a buyer and look honestly at your home – inside and out – for needed improvements. Remember what realtors advise: kitchens and baths sell a home; so does clean and neat.
Spring is historically the most popular time to sell homes generating the highest sales price for a buyer. What’s more, buyers may have more money to work with if they plan to apply their income tax refund toward the down payment. However, be prepared to face stiff competition in the marketplace – that’s why advance planning is key for a successful outcome.
FOR YOUR TO DO LIST
1. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Ask your contacts for a personal recommendation. Interview realtor candidates about their experience, marketing and pricing strategies, and request client references. You’ll want to work with someone who’s a good fit with you and brings along a team of experts — stagers, handymen, and lenders.
2. Hire a Home Inspection
Find out what’s lurking in those hard-to-get-at spaces like – roof, crawlspace, gutters, chimney, eaves basement, and attic. Make all necessary repairs.
3. De-clutter & De-Personalize
Buyers need to picture themselves living in your home easily. That means the elk head trophy above the fireplace has got to go. Bowling trophies, shot glass collections, and family photos – all need to be packed away. Clean out cabinets and closets so they look spacious. Pack away out-of-season clothing. Pair down your toiletry collection in the bathroom; organize and store remaining items neatly.
4. Pay a Professional Cleaning Service
Let the pros deep clean your home. From the blades on your ceiling fans to the window panes – everything should be shiny and appealing. Clear off all surfaces from kitchen and bathroom counters to the desk in your home office.
5. Update Décor
What can you change or update in key areas that will look immediately appealing, and won’t cost a fortune? Often a fresh coat of paint in popular neutral shades is a good choice. Consider changing hardware on bathroom and kitchen cabinets or even replacing your front door. Hang matching fresh towels in the bathroom. Make rooms look larger by removing over-sized furniture or large coffee tables.
You get the picture – this is not a project that can be completed overnight. However, the elbow grease you expend now is well worth it — propelling you faster into your next address and generating a better sale price.