Are you thinking of selling your home? Putting the effort into preparing it for sale improves your chances of success. Preparing your home can mean anything from necessary repairs to a thorough cleaning, and while it can be a lot of work, your efforts will be worth it if they result in more listings and a faster sale. Follow these tips as you prepare your home for sale to attract the most interest – and the best deals.
Identify necessary repairs
If you have lived in your house for several years, normal wear and tear can be expected. Minor problems, like a broken shower tile or a dripping kitchen faucet, may not have a major impact on your daily life – in fact, you may not even notice them. But visible problems are very noticeable for buyers. Home seekers might even see them as a signal that more important issues might exist beneath the surface.
Making a plan to figure out what home repairs are needed and getting them right is one of the best things you can do to get your home ready for sale. Go through your home and make a list of any noticeable defects, no matter how minor they may seem. Then contact your real estate agent, who can help you prioritize the list and identify which topics are important to potential buyers — and which aren’t.
You can also consider a pre-registration inspection, which can identify manageable issues, like a roof leak, before they become massive problems, such as: B. the need to replace the entire roof. Buyers often include a quota of inspections in their bids which, if the result is unfavorable, can lead to concessions or worse. So, pre-listing inspection will help you avoid future problems that could derail your business. The average cost of a home inspection is $341, according to HomeAdvisor. A few hundred dollars is money well spent when it can save you thousands later.
Clean up, depersonalize and clean up
Real estate agents often recommend making your home as clean, open, and neutral as possible. The goal is to help the buyer think of the home as their own—and not distract them with personal items that belong to someone else.
Start decluttering and organizing every room in your home. Pack away excess furniture and things you don’t need for daily living, including any items cluttering up your closets. Not only will this make your home appear cleaner, but it will also make it easier for you to start packing for your move after you sell your home.
Alyssa Morgan, a Miami Beach real estate agent and founder of the Inside Network, says that “a thorough cleaning, especially of the air vents and air conditioner filters,” is a task that many sellers underestimate and overlook. Hiring a professional to deep clean your home may be the best option to get the job done quickly and effectively. According to Fixr, the average cost to deep clean a home is $300.
Gather all the documents you need
One of the most important steps in preparing a home for sale is keeping track of important paperwork. Some of the documents you will need to sell your home include the following:
- Mortgage Statement: As the name suggests, this document contains the exact amount needed to pay off your mortgage loan in full, including interest and fees. Title companies often request the payout statement from your lender before completing the sale.
- Homeowners Insurance: Having homeowners insurance is likely a requirement for your mortgage loan, and this coverage is likely to continue until your home closes and the final sale is complete.
- HOA documents: If your home is part of a homeowners association, gather all of your information about their rules and financial standing. HOA disclosures can be complicated, so you should consult a real estate attorney if you are unsure of what to include and what not to.
- property tax documents: You may be required to provide receipts showing what taxes are due on your property. Before closing the deal, buyers need to be able to understand and estimate the cost of property taxes for their new home.
- State Disclosure Forms: Most states have standard disclosure forms that home sellers must fill out, detailing any knowledge they have of problems with the property or structure. Some are very detailed and lengthy – contact your agent to ensure your form is properly completed and filed.
- Records of repairs and maintenance: Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining and reporting proper household maintenance and repair accounts. You want to be able to prove that critical repairs were made and when.
Home staging, curb appeal and photography
When it comes to impressing home seekers, first impressions count. You want to make your home as appealing as possible for as many people as possible, which is why many sellers hire professional designers to make the space look perfect.
“Staging has the biggest impact when preparing a home for the market,” says Morgan. “It helps potential buyers think of the home as their own.” Staged properties typically sell for about 10 percent more than if they were unstaged, she says.
Your real estate agent can help you develop a strategy for staging your home. “Before our clients list their home, we compile a list of minor and major updates that we propose to achieve the top price,” advises Morgan. “Fresh color and staging are always at the top of the list.”
And don’t forget the exterior of your home, which is also crucial to making a good first impression. Improve the attractiveness of your home by mowing the lawn, trimming all bushes and trees, and pressure washing dirty sidewalks and driveways. Adding flowers to your porch or front yard never hurts either.
Ultimately, however, even the most beautiful home on the market could be overlooked if the listing doesn’t draw attention. More than 40 percent of buyers look online as a first step, according to the National Association of Realtors, and good photos make all the difference. Fortunately, most real estate agents understand this and work with professional photographers who can capture attractive images of your property. You might even want to look at aerial photos or video walkthroughs to help your listing stand out.
list your home
With your preparations complete, it’s finally time for your real estate agent to officially list your home. He or she adds it to the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and markets it to potential buyers as well as other brokers. Your agent will schedule viewings, negotiate with prospects, and help you get the best possible deal for your home.