The housing market has finally been showing signs of life the last eight weeks. As buyers contemplate the decision to buy a home, excepting for first-time homebuyers, they are typically faced with one huge obstacle–selling their existing home. While getting your home sold can be a significant undertaking, there are some steps you can take that will greatly enhance the process.
Step 1: Even the most tidy sellers are in need of de-cluttering their homes. Some common areas of focus include the following: kitchen planning desk counters should be clean and sans bills and other papers, refrigerators should be picture, report card and magnet free, bathrooms should have toiletries, electric toothbrushes and razors out of site, medicine cabinets should not have prescription meds visible, etc.
Step 2: “Depersonalize” your home by removing family pictures and other family related keepsakes. The net effect should leave your home look like it is suffering from an “identity crisis”. This is actually a good thing. While those items are what make your house feel like a home, they also inhibit your potential buyer’s ability to imagine your house as his or her family’s home. Hobby displays, like plate collections commonly displayed are actually better off removed as well, They tend to distract the borrower and unfortunately have a cluttering effect.
Step 3: Cleanliness is next to godliness! Your entire home should be cleaned top to bottom with the intent of passing the “white glove” standard. Carpets and furniture upholstery should be professionally steam cleaned. Windows and window treatments should be cleaned. Wipe down all baseboards and trim. Kitchen and bathroom counters, sinks, tubs, etc. should all be scrubbed. Clean windows will also enhance your home by allowing in more natural light. Cleaning is particularly important when you have pets. Any odor problems should also be dealt with.
Step 4: Rent a storage unit to help you transition from your existing home to the home to which you will be relocating. Sometimes removing one chair in the great room, or oversized armoire from a bedroom will make that space appear less crowded and more roomy. Removing some of your stored items from closets, will leave them looking more spacious. You don’t have to permanently get rid of these items of value if you have a storage unit to house them in for the transition period.
Step 5: When selling a home, curb appeal can’t be underestimated. How many potential homebuyers drive through neighborhoods, see the outside of a home that they like, and then have their real estate agent schedule an appointment? If it appears that you’re decorating with overgrown weeds and peeling paint, not too many people are going to drive by your house and want to take a closer look. Instead, get your house ready to sell by cleaning up the outside. Paint if needed, or at least touch up the paint on the shutters and trim. Add some potted plants to your front porch. Create a look that is inviting to potential buyers.
A Bonus Task: The most ambitious home seller will order their own home inspection prior to listing the home. This will make them aware of any repairs the home is in need of. Having these items addressed prior to listing the home will make you less vulnerable after you home is under contract and being inspected by the buyer’s home inspector.
Having a strategy employed prior to putting the sign in the yard can ensure that your home sells more quickly and for a higher price. Consulting with a professional Realtor prior to placing your home on the market can be a valuable resource. To get information on financing for the home you buy after your existing home has sold, go to www.ruoff.com.