The decision to sell your home is a big one and not something everyone knows how to tackle. It takes time, money, and preparation to get you, your family, and the house ready to sell.
The list of things to do before you sell your home is a mixed bag – it consists of both big things and small things – some that might be top of your mind and others that you might not have even considered.
So, let’s take a look at what you need to do before selling your home.
The Big Clear Out
One of the biggest and most time-consuming jobs is to begin clearing the house out. Not only is it going to make moving easier – but it will make it cheaper, too. The less you have to move, the fewer packing materials you’ll need – not to mention a smaller van.
Ideally, you’ll start decluttering when you first decide that you want to move, and that could give you at least six months to a year, depending on the housing market.
It is best to go on a room-by-room basis so that you can check off each place as you go. And it is a good idea to start with the rooms that have the most excess stuff that you don’t really want to take with you into a new place. Garages, kitchens, and living rooms tend to gather a lot more stuff than we need – and so these make great places to start on.
The housing market can change pretty quickly, so it is a good idea to always keep an eye on it – because if you don’t, you could be caught short. There are a couple of things to know, like what is your house sale price (and what is the value of your home). Start by researching sales on your street, going back a few years, and looking at houses in the local area too.
Take into consideration if there are going to be investments made into the area, such as improvements, better lighting, schools, shopping malls, or anything that will boost the price. Although those things could take years to complete, they can add a huge amount to the value of your home.
When looking at the prices of the other homes, look at the finer details. Things like the footage, how many bedrooms, and any extensions they have had. Try and find photos, too as these can easily show you if this is a good comparison or not.
A strange one, maybe, but when you start to show your house, or you have photos taken, you’re going to have all of the lights on all of the time. If a bulb goes, you will need to replace it – it is much easier to do if you have a stash of bulbs that you can quickly grab.
Another thing when it comes to the light bulbs is that you can create a different look and feel for each room based on the tone and brightness. Any rooms that you want to appear bigger and brighter are best with a bright daylight bulb, while those that you intend to be cozy and snug should have warmer bulbs. But your agent will help you decide on the right ones when it comes time to dress the house ready for viewings.
Speaking of listing agents – they are going to be your fountain of knowledge and support in the process, so it isn’t a decision that you should take lightly. Instead, you need to put a lot of research into getting the right one.
Speak to people you know who have recently sold their home, look online for reviews, and don’t be afraid to ‘interview’ them either. They are on your side, sure, and you both will want to get the absolute top price for the house, but it needs to be someone that you can ask questions when selling, turn to for advice, and have experience in the neighborhood that you are selling in.
The Big Clean
The big clean isn’t really something you can do until you have done the big clear out. Clearing out as much as possible will make the house look a lot larger – and it makes cleaning much easier, too. Hiring a professional company to come in and do a highly detailed cleaning will be a great start. All you need to do is stay on top of it throughout the process.
The problem with homeowners doing their own deep cleaning is that they typically forget the places that they skip, miss, or rarely go to. Cleaning is a task that, when done correctly, can take up a lot of time.
For houses that have carpet or wood floors, getting in a company that specializes in that will make it a lot easier to have done well.
Fix It Up
Everything that you can fix to a professional standard, you can take your time and do as you go – but for everything? Call in a handyman. Let the handyman inspect the whole house and make recommendations about what you need to repair or replace.
When people come to view the house, they will be looking for things that they can use to negotiate the price. And they will also be looking for areas that aren’t taken care of. Anything that is old, broken, dirty, or needs to be replaced could be cause for concern, and they might decide that the house is too much work. Or that if this is what they can see – imagine what they can’t see.
Taking the time to fix everything that needs to be fixed goes a long way in your favor.
Touch – Up
While we can cope with slightly peeled wallpaper or a once-white wall because it is our home and we like all of its personality – people viewing the house aren’t going to love it as much as you do. Although there is a lot to be said for personality, design, and unique features – sometimes it is better to have a fresh coat of paint added to the walls – and in many cases, as neutral as possible.
Neutrals are typically recommended because they let people viewing the property imagine their own stuff there – it can be harder to do that if there are colors and patterns on the wall – especially if it isn’t to their taste.
Not all house buyers will want to spend a lot of money on something that they will need to put a lot of time or money into getting right, and neutrals – while you may consider them boring – are a great canvas for the imagination.
This can be one of the most difficult things because it involves removing photos, pinboards, notes, and highly personal items. The reason it becomes difficult is because it is the start of saying goodbye to a home that might have many happy memories in it. And that can be tough to do.
When doing this, hiring a storage unit to box things away for a while is typically a good idea. There is a balance to be had here between a blank canvas and something that has no personality at all. Some photos can be nice, or frames and artwork – but anything too personal can feel overwhelming.
A small amount can help people visualize themselves living there, but too much can have the opposite impact.
This is a conversation to have with your family and the estate agent you choose. Many people can only book viewings for the evening because of work commitments – so there is a discussion to be had about how flexible you can be. It is a good idea to have a rough idea and even check your upcoming schedule as far in advance as possible.
Often, buyers are immediately impressed when they feel like someone has gone out of their way to allow them to see a home on their terms. But it’s not just that – when you are extra flexible, you are more likely to get more people more often and increase the chances of selling your house at a good price. More eyes mean more interest, more interest could mean more bids – and more bids could see substantially more cash coming your way!
From the moment you decide to move, avoid making any large renovations or costly improvements like the kitchen or extensions. In such a short time, those things are not going to give you a huge bump in value – and could ultimately see you paying cash out that you’re going to lose in the sale. Smaller things like new finishings, deep cleaning, and repainting are more likely to get your home in top condition without the massive spend attached.
As mentioned a little earlier, taking control of some of the DIY is a good idea; it is money and time-saving, and here is the best way to do it: The Most Effective Ways To Save Money On DIY Home Projects.