How Do I Get My House Ready to Sell?
Remove all the garbage and debris from the property. This includes the broken wheel barrel at the side of the house, the bags of old clothes stored in the garage and dried up piles of dog droppings in the backyard. This is the time to pack up the bulk of your knickknacks, clutter and family pictures. You will need to do it anyway, and the house will show better if these items are out of sight. If necessary, rent a storage area to store your boxes, rather than filling the garage, making it look crowded.
Try as best as you can to make obvious home repairs, such as fixing and buying broken appliances and windows, cracked tile or broken switch plates. During the inspection period, after you accept an offer, the buyer may request you make specific repairs; attempt to make all necessary repairs before listing the house.
While it may seem like a no-brainer, too many sellers forget to clean the house and yard, including the windows, floors, fireplace and appliances, and remove smudges from switch plates and doors. Also, be sure to improve the odor of your house by removing ashtrays and smelly trashcans. Air out the house and clean the upholstery to remove the stale or stinky odors. Stop smoking indoors and keep the litter box fresh. Unpleasant odors are a major turn off for potential buyers.
Scrub the front door or use touch-up paint, so that it gives a good first impression when a potential buyer enters your home. If you need any others repairs, be sure they are completed, whether you can DIY or if you need another helping hand or a professional. Be sure to hire a gardener to spruce up your yard and improve the house’s curb appeal. If you have a lawn, keep it mowed and greened up. Trim off dead tree branches and remove dying bushes.
Remove old vehicles or stored boats from the property. It’s not uncommon for potential buyers to assume you plan to leave those items for the buyers to remove, despite your actual intent, and don’t forget to re-paint or use touch-up paint when necessary. Instead of repainting an entire room, touching up the baseboard or worn areas may be sufficient to spruce up the home’s appearance. If the walls are in seriously poor condition, consider a fresh coat of paint.
It is of the utmost importance to address environmental and structural issues, such as mold or leaky roofs. Don’t attempt to hide the problem. Make necessary repairs to correct the issue, and be prepared to disclose the item and repair when listing the property, to avoid a potential lawsuit. Stage the house, which involves strategically arranging the furnishings and decor. Interior decorators sometimes provide this service for a fee.
If you do not hire a professional, enlist the help of a friend or family member with interior design skills. For staging ideas and inspiration, think about the interior design of model homes or resort condominiums. Carpets should be professionally cleaned. Lastly, be sure to resolve any home addition issues. If you did a home improvement that required a permit, yet failed to obtain a permit, bring the house into legal compliance. In some cases, this may involve removing the addition.
Click here for a helpful video on 9 Simple Things That Can Help You De-clutter