Selling your home can be both an exciting and an emotional experience. After all, this is often the place where you have made lasting memories with your family. Maybe, it was the place where your son took his first steps. Perhaps, you have great memories of making dinner together in the kitchen. As you prepare your home for sale, there are several do’s and don’ts that you should remember.
Do Stick to Neutral Colors
If you are repainting the interior of your home before selling it, stick to neutral colors. Sure, there are buyers who will love a lime green dining room or a dark purple bathroom, but that’s the exception. You are going to appeal to more buyers by going with more neutral colors. This does not mean that every room in your home needs to be white, but it does mean you should avoid extreme colors. Some neutral colors to consider are tan, off-white, beige, and gray. To add a little more color to your home, you may want to try lighter shades of colors such as blue, yellow, and pink.
You may also want to stick to more neutral colors when it comes to your carpeting and other flooring. If your home is in a family neighborhood, though, you will likely want to avoid white carpeting, especially in high traffic areas. For many parents with young children, white carpets are basically viewed as a magnet for stains.
Do Know the Market
Before putting your home up for sale, take a ride around your neighborhood. Get a feel for what is available. Are there a lot of homes for sale? Are there only one or two homes for sale within a three-mile radius? If possible, you may want to visit at least a few of those homes or at least get information about the homes. When deciding on an asking price for your home, it is important to understand the competition, and other homes in your neighborhood will be your competition. This is especially true for homes with similar square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and other home features.
With the help of a real estate agent and knowledge of homes in your neighborhood, you can effectively price your home. When deciding on an asking price, it is also important to consider things such as:
- The condition of your home- Even if your home has a similar layout to a nearby home that is also for sale, if your home is not in as good of condition (worn carpets, broken light fixtures, worn roof, or other features), you will either need to make some repairs or go with a lower asking price.
- The location of your home- Even in the same neighborhood or same general geographic area, there are places that are more or less appealing. For example, homes on busier streets might be a harder sell. Homes within easy walking distance of the park, elementary school, or other locations may increase the home’s appeal.
- Your neighbors- Sadly, your neighbors may also influence your home’s value. If your neighbors’ yards look unkempt, your home may look less appealing. Fortunately, if their yards look good, people will likely be more interested in your home.
Don’t Get Too Attached to Your Asking Price
While it is important to establish a fair asking price, it is also important to avoid getting too attached to that price. In some cases, your home may sell for your exact asking price. In a seller’s market, you may even find buyers getting into a bidding war, offering more than you are asking. Sometimes, though, you may find yourself negotiating with buyers, trying to come to a compromise. Be flexible when it comes to your asking price, and be ready to negotiate.
Don’t Make Big, Unnecessary Upgrades
At times, you may want to do a few repairs or make a few upgrades to your home to make it more appealing. Updated appliances, new carpeting, a new roof, and freshly painted walls may increase your home’s value enough to make the repairs or upgrades worth the cost.
Upgrades that are not going to give you a good return on your investment, though, should be avoided. It is important to think through upgrades before making them. For example, is tearing up half your backyard to put in a backyard pool going to be worth the cost? Replacing your master bathroom shower with a Jacuzzi tub might sound like a good idea, but it may also not be worth the time and monetary investment. You are also taking a gamble when you focus on upgrades that are only appealing to a specific type of buyer. While they may pay off if you find the right type of buyer, you will more likely find yourself losing money on the upgrade.
This is an opportunity to declutter your home. Get rid of clothes and other items that you no longer use. Give them away to friends. Donate them to charity. Throw them out.
Part of decluttering your home is also storing items. People are going to have an easier time imagining your home as their home if you increase the space in your home and decrease the personal touches. Rent a storage unit and put your out-of-season clothing and items you will not be using until after your move in it. You may also want to store some of your family photos or other personal items. Large items that take up a lot of space, such as an extra sofa, can also be put in storage. This may help to make the room look bigger. The more potential buyers can focus on the house’s potential rather than your personal items, the better chance you have of them falling in love with your home.
Do Make Sure It’s Always Clean
This is perhaps one of the hardest parts, especially if it takes a while for your home to sell. You may begin to feel like you are constantly vacuuming, scrubbing hardwood floors, and dusting. Yet, it will be worth it in the end. Potential buyers want to buy a clean home.
Keeping your home clean and clutter free will likely require extra care. Make sure your children put away their toys after they’ve played with them. Avoid having dirty dishes stacked next to the sink. Keep up with your laundry. If you’ve gotten new carpeting, you may also want to make sure that people take off their shoes before walking on the carpeting. The little things you do to keep your home looking clean can make a big difference in attracting a buyer’s interest.
The scent in your home can also add to the feeling of a clean home. While you do not want to cause a scent overload for potential buyers by lighting a bunch of candles, spraying your home down with a deodorizing spray, or plugging in a ton of air fresheners, there are simple things you can do make the smell of your home appealing to buyers. Stick to cleaning or freshening your home with simple scents such as orange, lemon, or vanilla. Placing a few flowers in a vase on your kitchen table make also make your home smell nice.
If you have pets, you may also need to make some adjustments. Having your dog or cat stay with a friend for a while can help to create less of a mess in your home. Even just moving the animal’s stuff to the garage when potential buyers visit can help the rest of your home to look cleaner and smell better.
Don’t Forget About Your Exterior
Curb appeal is so important when it comes to selling a home. If your yard looks unkempt, potential buyers may simply drive by without even considering your home. Make sure your yard gets mowed regularly. Spray for weeds, use a fertilizer that destroys weeds, or dig them up to ensure that your yard continues to look nice. Keep your yard well watered and green.
You may also be able to improve your home’s landscaping beauty by planting some flowers. Just don’t go overboard with the flowers. Bright flowers, even if they are only annuals, can make your yard look more cheerful. In some cases, the exterior of your home may also benefit from a fresh coat of paint.
Don’t Try to Do It on Your Own
It might be tempting to try to sell your home on your own. Do not try to do that. Instead, seek the help of an experienced real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent can help you understand the process of selling your home. We have experience matching potential buyers with homes that would be a good fit for them, and we can offer helpful advice to people trying to sell their homes.
If you are ready to buy or sell a home, contact me. With years of experience in the real estate industry, I will work to ensure that the process goes smoothly.