If you can invest some time and effort into prepping your house for sale, chances are you will receive better offers and also close the deal quicker. Houses that sit on the market for too long become harder to sell.
Therefore, things like staging, repairing, cleaning, and lighting can attract serious buyers and fetch better prices. However, sometimes these things can be time-consuming and rather expensive.
So, to help you, we have created a comprehensive guide that will tell you how to prepare your house for sale to get the maximum bang for your bucks.
The best-looking photos in any home listing generally tend to have little furniture in them. That's because the minimalist approach can go a long way in grabbing attention in all the right places. It avoids distractions.
And so, one thing you need to ensure before a potential buyer arrives is to get rid of clutter. This allows the onlooker to focus on the space rather than the contents occupying it.
Make sure there are no unnecessary everyday items like letters, paper, excess toiletries, junk in the bathroom, and sideboards. Don't forget the hallways too. The entryway is mega-important as it paints a nice first impression. Stack away coats and shoes in a closet. Keep things as minimal as possible.
Carry Out Minor Maintenance
Minor maintenance and repair work here and there can dramatically improve the appeal of your house. To that end, below are a few measures you can take -
- Wash windows on both sides
- Remove cobwebs
- Mow the lawn
- Clean the garden weed
- Fix broken gates/fences
- Clean the outdoor furniture
- Remove dirt from doors and windows
- Keep all the excess items in a storage unit like the basement or garage.
- Scrub away marks on floors, walls, and other prominent surfaces
- Clean the extractors
- Wipe down the bathrooms and kitchen cupboards
- Wash your cushions, curtains, blinds, and sheets
Cracks and Damp
Damp such as penetrating and rising can cause major structural issues. In the future, it could worsen the problem and also cause health issues. That’s why many buyers are very particular about getting the house inspected for damp and condensation.
Therefore, it’s always good to have a damp survey expert take a look. He can identify the underlying issues like problems with sub-floor ventilation, cracks in the walls, issues with DPC, risk of termite, plumbing issues, leaky roofs, and poor ventilation. Many damp issues are marked as “above and beyond repairs”.
This could bring down your house’s value. So, taking early action is always good. In case of major structural issues, be sure to get the problem fixed. You could also hire an independent building inspector and have another report generated for good measure.
Get a Pre-sale Home Inspection
Getting the house professionally inspected can help you foresee necessary repair work before the buyer walks in and a sale can happen. It’s not uncommon for inspection to sometimes unearth costly issues. It could be the house needing a new roof or redoing the plumbing, etc. Accordingly, you can decide to either go for the repair or reduce the sale price to account for the repair.
It could cost you around $200-$480 to get a pre-sale home inspection. Also, a lot of buyers like to include the inspection contingency in the final buying offer. So, if both parties don’t agree on a mutual agreement around inspection, many buyers could walk out without facing penalties.
Scrutinize The Curb Appeal
Believe it or not, first impressions do matter. Half the job is already done the moment a buyer has looked at the exterior of your house. If the outside of the house is unappealing, many won’t even bother to step outside their car. Others may feel turned off.
So, invest some time to up the curb appeal of your house. Make the outdoors welcoming and appealing. You can do this by painting the front door, placing a wreath on it, and lining the entryway with a rug. Also line the porch with flowerpots.
Work with a landscaper to add attractive shrubbery, plants, and clean up the lawn. Get a contractor to repair any cracks on the walkway and front steps. Make sure the house number is clearly visible to by passers.
Also consider your driveway and what vehicles you have in it. If you have an RV parked there for example, consider storing it somewhere else to make the home’s curb appeal as open and welcoming as possible.
Make Necessary Repairs
Look at the purchase contract and see the repairs listed in it. By law, the seller only has to carry out the repair work listed in the contract after an offer has been made. So, be prepared to fix any structural defects, safety issues, and building code violations. Ideally, you should have these things repaired before the buyer gets the home inspected.
Brighten It Up
Natural lighting can brighten things up. So, open up the curtains and blinds. If the sale is happening during wintertime or evening time, place table and floor lamps across darker rooms to add that extra brightness. It can highlight the more beautiful parts of the house. What’s more, bright rooms naturally appear more spacious than darker ones.
Set the Stage
Setting the stage essentially tells how the house will look at its finest. Focus on areas like the kitchen, master bedroom, living room, and bathrooms. These are the areas that buyers tend to scrutinize the most.
- Place a fruit bowl on the kitchen island.
- Set the table dining table with linens and beautiful chinaware
- Toss a fuzzy blanket on the sofa arm
- Add a vase to the coffee table
- Add fluffy towels in the bathroom and put decorative soaps
- Spray a fragrance around the house so it smells nice
- Hang artworks strategically across focal points like windows, fireplace, and architectural details
As you can see, little things can go a long way in elevating your property’s worth and fetching a higher sales price.