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How to Prepare Your House to Sell!

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

5 Things every homeowner should do before listing their house for sale.

When a homeowner looks at their home, they tend to see a mansion and want to price it accordingly. When a buyer looks at the same house, they will either see confusion, problems or needed repairs. In other words, they see a shack and want to make an offer accordingly. Your real estate professionals, for the buyer and for the seller, have the task of helping everyone with a reality check.

As a homeowner preparing to sell your house, consider these 5 tips in order to help everyone get on the same page.

Tip #1 - First Things First - Curb Appeal!

Everyone knows the online photos don't paint a full picture, and you need to show up to see the real deal. I can't tell you how many times I've taken my buyers to see a property and they would not even get out of the car because the house looked awful on the outside. The buyer is thinking, if they didn't keep up the outside, the inside is just as bad or worse. Click here to find out how to get curb appeal on a budget!

Tip #2 - Create Space for Vision

Yes, we know your family photos are cute and they tell a story that you adore sharing. However, the buyers need to be able to envision the stories they will create in the home. All of the personal items around the house that give a glimpse into your life, is not helpful to a buyer who is trying to image themselves living there. Create as much space as possible. Remove family photos from the walls, desks and nightstands. Remove the deer heads from over the fireplace. Clear any clutter. Start packing. Boxes show buyers you are ready to move! Pack away kitchen appliances you don't use often. Clean off countertops in the kitchen and bathroom. Hide all medications, firearms and anything else that could be dangerous or stolen. Do whatever you can to brighten up the house. A brighter house feels light, easy and inviting.

"Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they’re interested in buying it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes and see what they see within the first eight seconds." – Barbara Corcoran

Tip #3 - Make it Good, then Make it Better

So now you've turned your "home" into a "house" a product ready to be put on the market and sold. It looks good, inside and out. Now it's time to look under the hood. Sellers use to get away with skipping this step because of the high demand for housing and low inventory. The market is getting back to normal, so if you skip this step, your house may sit on the market longer than you want. What are the obvious repairs that a buyer would notice when walking through your house? Do your own walk-through and look up! Pay close attention to cracks in the walls and ceilings. Buyers are looking for water stains. Check the garage and basement foundation for cracks and leaks. If you're not handy, get someone to help you take care of any minor repairs, this small thing could make or break a buyer's interest. Make it look good under the hood. Then, if you want to really stand out, make it better by having an inspection done and making the inspection report available to potential buyers. This shows full disclosure and a seller who has gone the extra mile.

Tip #4 - Make it Easy to Show

Now that you've done all this work and know EXACTLY what's up with your house, you may be eager to share the details with potential buyers. Stop right there! Even though buyers want to walk through a property without being followed around by the sellers, they do want information from the seller, hoping you will share something that will help their negotiating position. And, most of the time, a seller will unknowingly disclose information that should be kept private. The best thing a seller can do is make the house easy to show. We have two rules, (1) leave it clean, and (2) leave. We want the sellers to leave the property during showings to make the buyers feel comfortable walking through, and to avoid any conversations that could possibly hurt the deal.

Tip #5 - Let Go!

Selling a house is easier than selling your home. There are times when a husband is ready to sell and move on, but the wife is still emotionally attached. She has seen the good and the bad, raised their children there, planted a tree, you get the idea. But, she's willing to go along with listing the house because it just makes sense. They have an empty nest, the house is too big and requires too much maintenance at their age. This is a common story among seniors selling homes. The wife must let go. Emotions run high and there is an energy to everything. If she is holding on, that energetic can make it difficult for the house to sell. Now this may sound like mumbo jumbo to you, but we've seen this happen over and over, and until we can get everyone living in the house, excited about their next home, the current home tends to remain on the market. The best thing to do is to MOVE OUT before you list it, and any emotional hold and attachment you have to the "house" will begin to dissipate and make it easier for you to let go.

Are You Ready?

Are you ready to turn your home into a house and get it sold quickly, for the best price? Get in touch so we can help you price it right.

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