If you want to sell your home for top dollar it is important to prepare it to sell.
The buyer who walks into the house should fall in love with the house . Remember you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
The five things to do in order to prepare your home for sale are
1. Home inspection
2 Minor repairs.
3.Cleaning and decluttering.
Home inspection. You may want to get a home inspection before listing the house. You can then take care of repairs recommended by the inspector.. A buyer will probably get a home inspection and will ask for repairs or credit . If you get an inspection in advance you have the opportunity to address these issues.
Whether you get a home inspection or not is up to you. There are different opinions on this topic. Some agents advice not to get the inspection. If you have lived in the house for many years you may already know about the things that need to be fixed. Whther you get an inspection or not if you want top dollar please make needed repairs before listing the house.
Minor repairs . Please fix all leaking faucets and running toilets. If these are not in good condition it gives the impression that you have not maintained your home well. Please repair broken glass on window panes and repair window screens. Touch up paint in all the rooms or paint the house if you can afford it.Repair the door bell if it is not working.Check electrical outlets and switches and have electrician fix any outlets/ switches that are not working.These minor repairs will not cost much but will help sell your home .
Cleaning and Decluttering .I have shown many homes over the years and have found that if there are two identical homes the buyer will prefer to pay more for a clean house than the one that is not so clean.
Remove most items from kitchen counters.
Remove all the magnets on the refrigerator.
Remove most of the personal pictures hanging on the walls.
Put away non seasonal clothes from your closets. It will make the closets look bigger. If you have many suitcases and are not planning to travel, you can store these items in suitcases.
Remove items from your closets and cabinets that you may not need and organize them.
If you are not going to use all the towels in the linen closet or all the sheets and blankets pack some in boxes. Keep two sets of towels and sheets for each person .
Clean your entire house from top to bottom and the exterior including gutters and downspouts, the front door and windows. Do not forget the oven. The kitchen and bathrooms should be cleaned thoroughly.
Organize your desk and put away all personal papers and bills .
If your kids have lots of toys, put away some of them .
If you can afford a cleaning service to come and clean your entire house if you do not have time, it will be worth it.
Have the carpets professionally shampooed .
Major repairs : Buyers may not be able to get financing if there are major repairs required. There ae some programs where a buyer can get financing for the repairs but if the home requires major repairs it is difficult to sell for top dollar. The appraiser may require some repairs be made before the closing.
Staging . If you have gone to model homes you will see that builders sell homes to buyers based on the model homes appearance. They do not see the home they are buying, just the lot. The model homes make the buyers want to buy the home. They are staged to sell. You may have seen TV shows about staging as well.
First impression is important. Paint the front door . Powerwash the exterior and clean the windows.
You can hire a professional stager but if you cannot afford one or feel you can do it on your own here are some tips.
When a person walks into your home they should feel like they are at a luxury hotel.
The rooms do not have much furniture but are inviting and bathrooms are clean and have minimum amount of towels and toileteries.
Remove excess furniture from rooms . This will make the rooms appear bigger.
Use the highest wattage light bulbs so rooms are bright.
If your towels , bathroom rugs and shower curtains or comforters are old buy a new set . You can take these with you to your new home after you sell.
Reposition the furniture so there is a nice flow when you walk in the room.
If you have been using a room for some other purpose it may be a good idea to use the room for the purpose it was built. eg if you have an office in a dining room because you use the kitchen for dining. Move the kitchen table to dining room unless you can borrow dining room furniture or rent it.
or if you are using the dining room as your exercise room. Move the equipment to some other part of the house like basement.
Do not cook foods with strong cooking odors. The food tastes great but some people may not like the odors when they enter the house.
If you are thinking of major remodeling jobs, ask your agent for information about the report of how much you can recoup based on information from National Association of Realtors annual survey.
Do not leave your laundry in sight. Put it inthe washing machine even if you do not plan to wash that day. Do not leave dishes in the sink. Either wash them right away or put in dishwasher.
Your home should be available to be shown at moment's notice . You can request your agent as to how much notice you need but try not to make it 24 hours notice.
If you want to sell your home in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery county please call me for free market analysis and tips on selling your home.