The new year is here and along with it comes a slew of New Years Resolutions. If your resolution for 2016 is to finally get your home SOLD, here is what you can do now to prepare for hitting the market with a sparkling listing that screams “Move In Ready!” this spring.
De-clutter and Pack
When you’re thinking of selling your house the very first step is de-cluttering and packing. Even if you have months before listing, it is never too early to get rid of any items you do not plan to take with you on your move. Inventory your house room by room, and take it one weekend at a time. Sort items into four categories – donate, trash, storage, and keep.
Only keep out items that you truly need, your bare essentials: clothing, kitchen & bathroom items used regularly, knick·knacks you plan to use for staging, and large pieces of furniture that help define the room. You can use your garage or rent a storage unit to pack away winter gear, family photos, artwork, and sentimental belongings. This will make your home easier for buyers to see themselves in… AND it will lessen your work load when the time does come to move.
A fresh coat of interior white or neutral paint does wonders for a house! It can give buyers the impression that the home is clean, well maintained, and move in ready. It is a relativity inexpensive way to give your whole house a face lift. If you decide to paint yourself (making it even more affordable) do not skip the prep work! Remove the trim work, use primer, buy the nice brushes, and use extra blue tape. A fresh paint job will only be a great investment if you spend the time to do it right.
If the exterior of your home is in need of a fresh coat be aware of the following:
#1 Exterior Paint can only be done correctly when the night tempratures stay above freezing. If you paint the exterior in the winter months it will most likely dry a different color and may peel again come spring.
#2 Most lenders giving the buyer a mortgage will require peeling or chipping paint be re-painted prior to closing. If it can not be done because of the weather be prepared and have three bids from reputable painting contractors.
Clean the Carpet
Cleaning the carpet (even if it is newer carpet) will lift surface stains, make the home smell fresh, and make the carpet lift back up again in areas where it may have been matted. This will make the buyers feel again like the home is well cared for, clean, and ready for them to call home.
The only exception to this is if the carpet has heavy stains and traffic wear. In this case spend the extra money for a full blown replacement. Offering a carpet credit always sounds like a good idea, but most buyers are extremely visual and if they can not see the new carpet at the first showing you risk a bad first impression.
HVAC Cleaning and Servicing
Most manufactures of furnaces and boilers recommend an annual service of your heating system. This, however, can be a small task that falls to the weigh side during home ownership. We have an aging inventory of homes in Anchorage, Alaska and an older furnace or boiler could turn a potential buyer off from your house. The majority of buyers look for the sticker on the HVAC system at their first walk through. A system with a “clean bill of health” is a great selling point! Getting the servicing on your heating system completed may also alert you to any other repairs that need to be completed to your heating system, eliminating future surprise expenses in the middle of a sale.
We get great service from Moore Heating, and highly recommend them!
Call Your Local Realtor
To get the very best local expertise regarding selling your home, call your Real Estate Professional. Have your Real Estate Licensee walk through your home early in the process. We see a lot of homes and can often point out additional little things to do to prepare your home for the market. Discuss the best time of year to list, the best price to list your property at, and the marketing strategies that will be used to get your home SOLD!