Are you getting ready to sell your house, but can’t figure out how to start preparing? Making sure you have your ducks in a row is the key to a smooth listing and selling process. Here are 8 important things to do before selling your home:
Get a Pre-Listing Inspection
The buyer’s home inspection during the contract contingency period often stalls negotiations between buyer and seller when it uncovers hidden issues. Don’t forget that once you are made aware of a significant defect in your home, you will have to disclose it to any future buyer. To avoid this headache, consider getting a pre-listing inspection.
In addition to giving you back some power, you also may discover problems that could completely derail a sale, such as a hazardous electrical panel or foundation cracks. This gives you the opportunity to address the issues before they pop up on an inspection report. You also get more freedom over who does the repair, which could save you money.
Make Necessary Repairs
Using the information you gained from the pre-listing inspection, make any repairs that may hold up the selling process. You especially want to fix major defects such as leaky roofs or broken windows while also taking care of the little details like a dripping faucet and re-caulking tubs, showers, and sinks. Don’t forget the exterior: have the gutters cleaned, the driveway sealed, and make sure there are no trip hazards. Attention to detail will make buyers feel confident that you’ve treated the rest of the house with that same level of care.
Declutter & Organize
Messy is a distraction. You want the buyers to be able to see how much room there is for them to put their own possessions in your house, and that stack of old magazines could be blocking out that perfect nook they would love otherwise.
But don’t just throw the clutter in a closet, or stuff it in the garage; buyers want to see every part of the home, and the last thing you want is for them to open a door and have piles falling on them! Make sure even the cupboards are organized, and take small steps like neatly stacking dishes and organizing your clothes. Again, attention to detail is key.
If your home is full of bright and fun colors, you may want to tone them down a bit. While you might love intense colors throughout your home, most buyers are looking for a clean slate. Neutral colors allow buyers to concentrate more on the space and not think, “Wow, this pink is really bright.”
Fix the Decor
Just like the wall colors, you don’t want your decor to be too over-the-top. Some pieces of art and furniture may be more of a distraction than a help to the selling process.
You also want to put away any personal items. It may be hard to put away those framed pictures from your wedding, but the buyers want to be able to visualize themselves and their memories in the house. Use this as an opportunity to get a head start on packing!
Packing up big pieces of furniture also will help. You want your spaces to appear large and open, so if you have an awkwardly placed couch that closes off your living room, consider moving it or putting it in storage.
Make It Dreamy
Your end goal here is to make buyers picture themselves in your home. Many buyers spend their time looking for their “dream home,” so deliver on that! Make your bathrooms feel like miniature spas with soft towels and fancy soaps. Bake cookies to make the kitchen and adjoining areas smell nice. Open the windows on a nice day and let as much natural light in as possible.
When you make your house feel like it has the potential to be a home, you encourage buyers to get their imaginations going.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
This might seem obvious, but it cannot be stressed enough that a clean interior is one of the most (if not the most) important parts of selling your house. Cleaning the house should not be a quick project – this should take you most of the day before you start showing and require constant attention throughout the selling process. Here’s a checklist that covers most of what you’ll need to pay attention to:
- Wash windows (inside and outside)
- Power wash exterior and sidewalks
- Dust cobwebs
- Polish faucets and mirrors
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Wax the floors
- Dust furniture, ceiling fans, and light fixtures
- Bleach dirty grout
- Keep fresh towels out
- Air out musty areas
This isn’t a full list, so make sure you’re aware of what your home needs in order to shine!
Focus on Curb Appeal
Just like books, people may judge your home just from what’s on the outside. Make sure it looks welcoming and presentable. Mow the lawn, paint any faded window trim and the mailbox, plant flowers or other attractive plants in beds or front porch plots, pay attention to hedges and bushes, and make sure the house number is clearly displayed.
Getting your home prepared to sell can be a major project, but one that can be tackled with ease once you know where to start!
Thorough Pre-Listing Home Inspections in Maryland
Make sure you won’t have anything holding up your home’s selling process with a pre-listing home inspection by Inspections by Bob. We take our time, looking over every inch of your home so we find anything that might be a problem. After our inspection, you get a detailed report with recommendations, and our inspectors are available to answer any questions you might have. Contact us today to schedule your pre-listing home inspection!