Preparing Your Home for the Market
Now it’s time to look as objectively at your own home as you did to other peoples’ homes.
Your prospective buyers will be scrutinizing your home; has it been taken care of or neglected? Will there be expensive repairs or are they hiding something? Taking the time to clean up and make repairs will repay you with confident buyers anxious to make an offer on a home that has been properly taken care of.
Look around for loose doors (buyers will open them), squeaky hinges and leaky taps. Clean out closets and garages and wash walls. You might decide that a fresh coat of paint would do well in improving the appearance – it often does. If you have dark or brightly colored walls, paint them a neutral tone. It will lighten the look and have a broader appeal to prospective buyers.
This is also not the time to start a large renovation. Many times buyers are looking to put their own stamp on a home. A quick reno may actually devalue your home in your prospects eyes. Freshening up your home does not require expensive materials either, but shoddy workmanship will cost you so keep the jobs simple.
You might also consider removing items that might be offensive or inappropriate (check the posters in your teenager’s room). Try to put away excessive amounts of books and knickknacks for a cleaner look.
Removing family photos is a good idea. Remember, this is only temporary, but you want as many prospects as possible to envision themselves living in the home. That means they need to SEE the home and not become too distracted by unusual or cluttered décor.
Unless you are very knowledgeable on the subject hire a home inspector to check out your home for any defects. Not only will this alert you to potential problems, but will be good to show prospects who are concerned about structural defects. They will still have their own inspector check the home, but at least you will be prepared for what they will find.
If there are problems such as roofing, electrical, foundation or other expensive projects, determine the cost of the repair compared to the value of your home without it being done. Will the problem put buyers off? Or can you adjust your asking price to reflect the work that needs to be done?
Have some estimates made for the cost of repair. Even if you decide not to do the repairs you will be able to offer these as proof for the purchasers. If the purchaser tries to bargain by claiming the job is an expensive and troublesome one you can show the quotes you’ve already obtained.
If you are selling and showing your home yourself you may receive a call (or knock on the door) at any time from interested buyers requesting to take a look.
You do not need to create a show home – your buyers know it is being lived in – but they do not need to see the laundry in a pile or wade through cluttered rooms. Try to maintain the home by keeping dishes washed and beds made as well as a clean bathroom and tidy living area...