The holidays, Super bowl and tax season are over. The school summer break is right around the corner, interest rates are starting to inch upward again, and buyers are making their move. The time to list your home is NOW.
It may seem overwhelming if you have been living in the same home for more than just a few years. You've accumulated lots of "stuff" to make it more cozy and personal, and maybe you've even added to your family and have tons of toys around! So, where do you begin?
Begin by tackling one room at a time.
Step One: Gather some boxes. Start to declutter, maybe just 10 minutes a day (you can do almost anything for only 10 minutes at a stretch!) Get rid of excess paper clutter by tossing it, recycling it or shredding it. Think, "Do I want to pay a mover to move this stuff?" every time you come across something you don't need or love.
- all family photos
- religious objects
- artwork that includes nudes
- taxidermied animals and fish (call your taxidermist on how best to pack these away)
- fishing rods
- gun cabinets (with gun locks on, of course!)
- other non-essential items
You're moving anyway, so pack it away now! "If it has eyes or words, it must go!"
You are getting ready to switch your clothes over from winter to spring, so pack that clothing in the garage or storage locker. Weed out clothes that don't fit, are out of style, or just don't wear correctly and donate it to the Thrift Store. Be sure your closets are only half-full. Keep only the necessities to take you through the winter and early spring.
Secure any valuables in a safe deposit box.
Before you go any further, consider hiring a Professional Real Estate Team who workes with a stager to give you a consultation. Your next steps will involve repairs and painting, so have the stager work with you on some neutral color choices for your home.
Once you've tackled every room and closet, the attic and the basement, then you can move on to Step Two.
Step Two: It's time to think about repairs, in an effort to appeal to every potential buyer out there! Not every person sees the potential in a home that's in need of repair, and frankly, fewer people these days have time to go to the Big Box store to buy materials to fix things that might be wrong with YOUR home.
Roof: You may have snow up there, so it's not ideal roofing season. However, it's very costly to do a complete tear-off and re-roof. Can you afford this? Are there other options? The roof may be THE major repair your home needs, and it will certainly be a deal-breaker if it's not in good shape. Get a list of reputable contractors, and make appointments for estimates. Most buyers in today's market are getting and FHA type loan, and the FHA inspector will require the roof of the home to be in good condition and within 5-10 years of remaining life expectancy to pass the financing requirement.
Electrical: Again, this can not only be a safety issue, but another possible deal-breaker. If the electrical is not up to code, you will have huge problems when the inspector comes before closing. Get this looked at NOW. Better yet, have a professional licensed inspector do a Pre Home Inspection by checking everything BEFORE you list, so there are no surprises when you get an offer!
Plumbing: Even a leaky faucet tells a potential buyer that other parts of the home might be neglected!
Appliances: Will they be staying? Be sure they are working flawlessly and look brand-new!
Foundation: Any cracks? Leaks in the basement? Damp or moldy in the cellar area? Correct these NOW!
HVAC: Again, have a pro check these out. Just because it's working now doesn't mean it's in perfect shape. If you have a fireplace, again, stick with the pros!
Windows, doors, insulation: Is the caulking fresh? Feeling a breeze under the back door? Is the attic insulation at an appropriate level? Add it to your list of to-do's so there are no surprises later.
These basic repairs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to having your home professionally inspected. However, if you budget this into the sale of your home, you invest very wisely.
Yes, you've lived here for a while and there are many memories associated with it, but if you were going to sell your car, you'd want it to look its very best for potential buyers. No one would purchase your car or your home just because of its memories.
So now, let's think about paint and walls.
Tear down the wallpaper. Yes, I know you loved it when you purchased it and hung it, and it matched the decor so well...but now we are neutralizing your walls. Wallpaper just screams "more work" to potential buyers. Remember, you want to appeal to MOST of the buyers, not just ones who don't mind a little sweat equity.
Find a paint store or big-box that carries a variety of paint colors in neutral tones. Some paint stores, like Sherwin Williams, actually has a line of "neutrals" that you can choose from. Stay away from white for the walls; they make rooms look cold. You want to find some warm neutrals to make your house look cozy and inviting. If the colors you choose harmonize with your furniture, artwork, and accessories, then terrific! You won't mind living with the color while the house is on the market.
If you are painting several rooms, you may want to get a professional color consultation. Color is what ties an entire home ("house") together and add to the flow of the rooms. You'd never want a neutral pink bathroom adjacent to a neutral orange bedroom! Don't be affraid to aske for advice, and remember The Property Shoppe Team, works with a professional stager to assist with getting your house sold in the least amount of time, for the most amount of money.
A fresh coat of paint, in neutral colors, tells the potential buyers that the house was well-maintained. They'll be better able to picture themselves living there, now that you have packed away family photos and other items that made the home yours.
Buyers, in this market, are very picky. You want them to walk in and stay awhile, not just "walk-through" and leave.
Keep your house on the buyers' "short list" so they will come back and make an offer (or just make an offer during the first Open House!)