How to Prepare Your Home for Sale
The COVID-19 pandemic made the move from urban cities to open-wide spaces more attractive for many across the country, ushering in a robust seller’s market for homeowners living in the suburbs and off the grid. You may be one of the many who are considering leaving city-living, upgrading to a larger home or even downsizing to a condo or townhouse in a less-populated area. Before putting your house on the market, there is a lot to do to prepare your home for sale.
Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home
In a seller’s market, demand for homes outweighs the supply. However, even if the real estate inventory is low in your area, you’re nevertheless competing with other homeowners to attract buyers. Make sure your home is attractive to buyers and is in tip-top condition. First, look at the curb appeal of your home – what your house looks like from the street. Your home needs to be inviting so that buyers want to walk through the door. Real estate surveys show that 75% of agents say that improving curb appeal is the number-one step homeowners can take to boost their home’s marketability.
Look at the exterior paint of the house to make sure it doesn’t look shabby. One simple fix is putting a fresh paint of coat on the front door. Also, consider replacing the street numbers and exterior lighting elements to give your home an instant look of newness. Replace an old garage door.
In addition, take a look around at your landscaping. Is it well-maintained? If not, consider planting additional flowers, or installing a front walkway of pavers along with stone planters, shrubs and mulching. Repair any cracks in the driveway to prep your home for sale.
Have Your Home’s Entryway Say “Welcome”
The entry area of your home is critical in capturing a buyer’s attention. Remove coat racks, umbrellas, keys, and any shoes from this area. Replace personal belongings with a clutter-free entry point. If there is space, add an entry table adorned with a vase of fresh flowers.
Consider Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades Before Selling Your Home
The kitchen is the heart of the home where families and couples enjoy breakfast together and gather in the evening after a long day to catch up and share meals. If your kitchen is outdated, it could prevent you from getting the highest price for your property. According to Remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel recoups 81% of its cost in added value. The same holds true for bathrooms; a mid-range remodel — new flooring and a few updated fixtures — delivers a 70% return on investment. At the very minimum, remove all personal belongings and leave sink counters clear and free of clutter in each bathroom. Add some fluffy towels, an area rug, and a decorative basket with spa toiletries.
Make the Master Bedroom Cozy and Inviting
Potential buyers want to envision an oasis of relaxation in their master bedroom. Help make that vision come to life. If you have bulky furniture, remove some pieces so the room is more spacious. Look at your bed décor and create a mood with soft textures and quality bedding for potential buyers to feel they could easily fall asleep in the room.
Set a Clean, Well-Lit Space for Living Areas
Be sure your living area, den and/or family room is inviting and airy. Have the rooms look clean and bright so buyers can imagine how their furnishings will fit in. If you have dark walls, consider painting them a light gray or ivory. Edit the spaces by minimizing the number of pieces you have in each living area. Also, minimize the number of family photos and mementos you have displayed. Make your sofas and chairs inviting and comfortable so people want to sit and relax. Draw light into the room with a couple of strategically placed lamps.
Get Home-Smart Before Selling
Improve your home’s efficiency by installing a smart thermostat, which will allow homeowners to manage energy costs from wherever they are. In addition, consider double-paned windows, enhanced attic insulation, LED lighting and efficient appliances as a way to increase home value and entice energy-conscious buyers.
Enhance Your Home’s Outdoor Space
Increasingly more people are looking for the ideal outdoor space to hang with family and entertain friends, especially in the wake of COVID-19. Great outdoor space has become a premium and, if you can offer this to a potential buyer, your home’s value will rise. Take some simple steps, including ensuring the grounds are landscaped and manicured, just as with the front of the house. Remove any debris. Add some new cushions to chairs, pillows, cozy floor cushions, and specialty lighting like lanterns and string lights to create some magical ambience in the backyard. If you can, install a fire pit or fireplace, depending on your budget.
Give Your Home a Deep Cleaning, Declutter
Of course, part of getting your home prepared for sale is giving it a deep cleaning and decluttering. This means going through all the cabinets and closets and donating any excess. Clean out drawers and other storage areas of your home as well, making sure you’re not keeping anything you don’t need or want. This is great to do in preparation of your move to your new home, as well.
Make sure your home is in good condition before you put it on the market or show the property.
Even in a seller’s market, you want to get as much as value as you can and that takes making your home as attractive as possible.