PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE
Whether you plan months in advance to put your home on the market for sale, or it's a fast decision being you've found another home to buy, there are definitely some low-cost improvements that you need to make in order to get the highest and best price. Oftentimes, when we've lived in our homes for many years, we start to "not see" or "overlook" some of the maintenance items that need to be done. The threshold at the front door that has become scuffed or scratched, the windows that may need cleaned, the weeds that have started popping up after the warm weather we've been experiencing. I know there are some sellers who feel, "well, we've lived with these things for several years and no one is going to notice a few scuffs here and there".......trust me, they will. AND, they'll make offering price adjustments relative to what they feel they'll need to do. So........
if your budget allows, take an honest look at items you've been "living with" and see if you can have them fixed or repaired before the home goes on the market. You will absolutely be glad you did! You'll be rewarded with more showings and better offers.
Take an "impartial" friend or relative, along with your notepad, and walk carefully through your home. Make notes of closets that need cleaning out, fingerprints on doors or cabinets, windows that need washing, thresholds that need painting......anything that could be fairly quick fixes first. If you know for sure that you're going to be moving when your home sells, start boxing up and packing all those items that you won't be needing within the next month or so. Like all the extra towels and sheets in the linen closet, the books on the bookshelf, the dishes and pots and pans that you only use for holidays or when you have lots of company. It's amazing when you start going through your stuff, how much "stuff" you have that you don't use regularly. Box it up to take with you, donate it, or give it away! It's a wonderful feeling to unload "stuff" you haven't used in months or years.....give it to someone who may actually use it! Or sell it on Craigslist....or donate it to a charity of your choice.
Free yourself from all the stuff that has accumulated over the years that you have no need for.
Once you've started de-cluttering, look impartially in your rooms and see if you have way too much furniture in there. Rooms look larger when there is less furniture in them. If you're moving into a larger home, of course you won't want to dispose of or sell that extra furniture, but definitely either store it in your garage or get a storage space while your home is on the market. Just make sure you don't store all the lamps.....be sure you have ample lighting in each room, especially if you don't get good sun exposure in that room. There's nothing worse than having a buyer walk into a room that's dark and gloomy......it almost sets the tone for the rest of the home. Lots of light....always good!
Another thing that often sets the "tone" of the buyers walk-thru is if there is an animal smell of any kind OR a stale cigarette smell. We don't see many "cigarette smell" houses any more, but they are definitely out there. When I've mentioned the cigarette smell to a seller before, they said "but we don't smoke in the house"! Guess what, they have no clue that cigarette smell permeates their clothing, their breath and the inside of the house. The dog bed, the cat box and the cigarette smell
probably kill a potential sale quicker than anything else I can think of. Oftentimes buyers won't even look at the rest of the house if those smells hit them when they walk in the door.
The good news is, every home is salable! You may have what, in real estate school, they call "functional obsolescence" by being next to a freeway, across from the train tracks, in the middle of a commercial district (there are lots of things that contribute)....BUT rarely does a home not sell if it's priced right and shows well. You can overcome many of the challenges. And you can do lots of little things to spruce it up without investing in a lot of money.
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression! Make your homes' first impression the best! You can do it and your reward will be higher price and more offers! Let's get crackin' and get you top dollar for your home!!
*Call, text or email me if you're thinking of putting your home or one of your investment properties on the market for sale....put my 37 years of real estate experience to work for you! I'd love to help you. (916) 768-3157 firstname.lastname@example.org