Preparing Property for Its Top Sale Potential
When you are thinking about putting your home up for sale, it pays to take some time to look over things that can be improved quickly and relatively inexpensively so that you can list the property at the highest possible price within your market. Preparing property for sale is not as daunting as you might think. Read on to discover these simple tips for realizing your maximum resale value.
Taking an un-biased look
Selling your home is an emotional event but if you want the best possible price for the property, you must look at everything from the point of view of a buyer. There is no room for memories and emotion when it comes to identifying features in your home that may detract from the selling price or prevent other people from taking an interest in making an offer.
There are many things you can do to make your home more appealing to a wider range of potential buyers, quite a few of which are completely free or very low cost.
- Remove personal knick-knacks, photos and pictures (fill in and paint over nail holes in walls!)
- Thoroughly clean all surfaces including floors, walls, baseboards, register covers, windows, ceilings, fan blades, etc.
- Cover personalized paint jobs with neutral colors
- Mow the lawn, weed gardens, trim bushes and shrubs and add mulch
- Tighten faucets to eliminate drips and polish all fixtures
- Clean and secure gutters and down spouts
- Hang fresh, clean curtains (spot clean or machine wash) and wipe off window blinds or shades
- Replace burned out light bulbs
- Remove evidence of pets (if, and as much as possible)
Get a professional Pre-Inspection
Since all homes must be inspected before a sale can be finalized, it pays to have a professional go over your property early on to uncover what could be big problems. Taking care of these issues before having people see the home leaves you in a better position to ask a higher price and prevents you from having a potential sale postponed or cancelled.
The main concerns a pre-inspection focuses on are that the appliances are in good working order, the wiring and plumbing are up to code and intact, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning, and that there are no structural defects or insect infestations. In other words, a pre-inspection determines that the property is safe and secure. A licensed home inspector can also give you pointers on things to fix up to improve the appeal of your home.
Deciding what to fix up
Certain problems must be fixed, no matter how much it may cost – it is the responsibility of the seller according to law. Broken windows, loose steps, bad wiring or faulty plumbing can’t be ignored.
Beyond those types of issues, though, there are other things that can be fixed up so that your home shows in the best light possible. How much or how little you choose to fix depends on your budget and if they can be applied to Capital Gains exclusions, but making some improvements can mean a greater return on your initial investment.
The best way to determine cosmetic upgrades may be to visit other homes for sale in your area. See what these properties look like and compare them to yours with a dispassionate, unemotional eye. Generally speaking, though, certain tweaks can make a big difference.
- Update old kitchens: A new stainless steel sink and faucets as well as contemporary hardware on cabinets look sharp and fresh.
- Refresh bathrooms: A tub-surround, modern vanity and new fixtures can be installed inexpensively. A clean shower curtain and fresh caulking around the edges also look good.
- Repair or replace worn window screens
- Paint exterior doors and trim and seal cracks in walls and walkways
- Replace heating and air conditioning filters
- Install new carpet or flooring if the old is worn or damaged
- Freshen up paint with light, neutral shades
Even in a seller’s market, it is important to prepare your home prior to putting it on the real estate market. A bit of time, effort and money invested in improvements can add a significant amount to your potential selling price and provide you with a greater return on your investment.
For complete, friendly service to help make your real estate transactions smooth and profitable, contact Derek Worchel at Keller Williams Western Realty, serving Blaine, Lynden, Bellingham and Ferndale, where professional experience means professional results.