I don't know about you, but I love a good checklist of "To Do" items. No, I'm not always crazy about the work associated with these lists, but I love the feeling of accomplishment when I've worked my way through them! Here is a short but important list of things for you to do before marketing your house:
- Go floral! (Important note: OUTSIDE not inside.) Curb appeal is the first chance you have to make a good impression on potential buyers. Make sure the lawn, bushes and trees are neatly manicured, weeds are eliminated, grass healthy, and some color is added with seasonal flowers.
- De-clutter! The way you live in your home and the way you sell it are two different things. You may like having your formal dining room house your exercise equipment but potential buyers will not. Purge your closets - put the off season attire in storage. Speaking of storage, you may need to consider renting an off site unit if you have quite a bit of "excess" that is taking up space and in turn, taking money off your sale price. Extra pots & pans, holiday entertaining items, TOYS, and so forth need to go.
- Use your rooms! If you have "re-purposed" any room in the house, be sure you transform it back to it's original use. This holds true for most dedicated exercise rooms, bedrooms that are now a home office, sunrooms used as storage, and so forth. The size of your home and neighborhood will dictate whether these suggestions are hard and fast so be sure you talk to your real estate agent early in the process.
- Clean! Once you've de-cluttered and you can see your baseboards again, make sure you clean them, the floors, shine your fixtures and hire a professional to clean your windows. Let your interior shine!
- Need replacements? If you have big ticket items that are old and worn out...or will be soon...get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them if you don't do it yourself. Of course, I suggest doing these projects prior to putting the house on the market so the potential buyers don't remember your house as the one with the really bad carpeting....
- Inspection. Hmmm...these are usually saved for the buyer to conduct during the option period, isn't it? Well why not be pro-active and eliminate any surprises that may arise and avoid the low-ball counter-offers that will come if there is anything that needs to be addressed? You'll rest easily knowing what the buyer's inspector will find and will be on your way to a smooth sale.
Now how difficult is that To Do list? And it certainly isn't expensive! Just a little effort will go a long way in making your home stand out from the rest. By taking the time to address just these six simple items, you'll maximize your selling price and minimize the time on the market. And hey, if you need help...call me, I love "To Do" Lists!