Putting your home on the market isn't as simple as placing a FOR SALE sign in your yard.
There are several steps to take PRIOR to listing your home that will make the transaction smoother and quicker.
1. Hire A Real Estate Agent.
It may be tempting to list your home on your own to avoid paying a sales commission, but selling your own home is a full-time job. A real estate professional represents the best opportunity to earn the maximum amount from your home's sale. An agent will recommend the best listing price, market your home effectively and show your home to buyers. An agent can also recommend improvements that will help attract more buyers to your home.
2. Get your home inspected.
You are required to disclose any problems with your property to prospective buyers. Failure to do so will lead to further complications, even if you weren't aware of the flaws ahead of time. Hire a professional inspector to identify and document any problems with your property. Also, make sure your home has a clean bill of health from termites.
3. Make Repairs ahead of Time.
A long list of necessary repairs is a major put-off for most buyers, who may decide to move on rather than deal with the headache of fixing up the home. Do as many repairs yourself as possible, then hire a contractor to complete the rest. If you decide not to make major re[pairs beforehand, hire a reputable professional to provide cost estimates that you can show to any interested buyers to put their minds at ease.
4. Showcase your Home.
Great landscaping may reduce the amount of time a home stays on the market by nearly six weeks. Clear any unnecessary items from your yard, regularly mow your lawn, keep your hedges trimmed and your flower beds wee-free. And don't forget the interior of the home. Keep your home clutter-free to maximize its livable space.
5. Price it Right.
The original asking price of your home has a huge impact on the ultimate sales price. If you price it too high, buyers will look for better values and your home will remain on the market longer. The longer your home is on the market, the less desirable it becomes to buyers - even if you eventually lower the asking price - because most buyers will avoid a home that others are avoiding. Conversely, pricing your home too low may result in a quicker transaction, but will yeild you less money in the end.
MAKE YOUR HOME ATTRACTIVE TO BUYERS.
Once you have taken care of the prep work to get your home on the market, you'll need to present your home to potential buyers. Even small cosmetic improvements will have a major impact on he sale of your home. While the right touches can get a buyer excited about your home, a few poor decisions may lose their interest completely.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN.
A tidy home is a loved home. Wipe fingerprints and other smudges from glass, mirrors and other shiny surfaces. Wax and polish your hardwood and tile floors and vacuum your carpets often. Keep your oven, stove and kitchen counters clean and free of clutter.
CLEAN UP YOUR HOME'S EXTERIOR.
Make sure your landscape is well maintained to increase curb appeal. A more conservative yard is often a better showcase for your home, so be generous with your trimming and pruning. Pare down bushes and trees that block windows. Repair minor asphalt and walkway cracks, if necessary. If your home has gutters on the roof, clean and clear them frequently.
LET THERE BE LIGHT!
Natural light is the best light to cast your home in. Replace faded and heavy curtains with sheer ones or install Venetian blinds. Opening the shades when showing your house will also make your home seem larger. Make sure darker rooms are well lit.
ADD A FEW LITTLE TOUCHES.
Replace worn or outdated doorknobs, cabinet handles and light switches. Buy new towels for the bathroom, but don't use them (keep the towels you use out of sight in a cabinet). Place flower i windows that are walked by often to add a cheerful, homey touch.
Other LOW-COST ways to update your home.
- Install a new mailbox
- Upgrade outdoor lighting
- Replace old doormats
- Plant annual flowers
- Buy new pillows for sofas
- Display subtly-scented potpourri or candles
- Replace torn window screens
- Polish or replace your house numbers
- Fix or replace your leaky or outdated faucets
- Use baskets or bins to reduce/disguise clutter
- Re-caulk sinks and bathtubs
- Place centerpieces on large counters and tables