When selling a home, it’s important to establish a balance between doing the things essential to ensuring a successful sale and not going overboard. If you do too little, you are unlikely to get top dollar for your home. Similarly, if you do too much, you will not necessarily get a return on your investment. To help clear up any confusion, here are some “dos” and “don’ts” for preparing to sell your home.
WHAT TO DO:
PRE-INSPECTION OR WALK-THROUGH
The starting place for most sales involves ascertaining what needs to be done before the home is listed for sale. Often, this is done by walking the property with a licensed real estate agent that has experience selling homes in your area. Armed with a keen understanding of the local market and insight into the kinds of things buyers look for, your agent will be able to help you create a list of repairs and updates that will help your home show well and add value.
In the case of older homes for sale in Bethesda, MD, the agent may suggest that you get the home pre-inspected by a professional. The inspector will conduct a more thorough inspection, including the home’s foundation, structural components, electrical systems, plumbing, and roofing. The inspection will flag any significant issues that need to be addressed. Depending on the nature and expense of those repairs, the agent will advise whether you should do the repairs or include an allowance for the buyer to have the repairs done after purchasing the home. To avoid potential issues, more often than not, the agent will advise you to have the significant problems corrected.
CLEAN AND DECLUTTER
The better a home looks, the more likely it will command top dollar. So, it’s crucial to ensure that your home is thoroughly cleaned — top to bottom, inside and outside. Inside the house, that means cleaning walls, fixtures, trim, cabinets, carpeting, windows, and doors. Outside the home, siding and hard surfaces should be power washed, and the gutters cleaned. Along with cleaning, all clutter should be removed. Closets, cabinets, and drawers should be no more than half full. Trash cans should be kept empty. Appliances should be cleaned and tidied up. Flat surfaces like tables, countertops, windowsills, shelves, and vanity tops should be free of all clutter.
As you progress through the house to clean and declutter, it’s important to remove any personal items as well. Personal items include family photos, trophies, decor that contains names, or anything else that associates the home with your family. Although this may seem an odd exercise, the purpose is to create a “blank slate” in which the buyer can envision the home as their own.
ENHANCE THE CURB APPEAL
The exterior of homes for sale in Silver Spring, MD will be the very first thing buyers will see when they come for an open house or showing, so it should be appealing. Be sure that there’s no damaged fencing, house trim, or other exterior structures. Remove all debris and clutter from the yard, garage, and outbuildings. Take time to ensure that the outdoor living spaces, like porches and pool decks, look clean and inviting. If possible, replace the house numbers and update exterior light fixtures. Add fresh mulch to gardens, install new plantings, and trim shrubs and trees. And finally, if the exterior paint on the trim or siding looks aged and dingy, it’s worth having those surfaces repainted.
REPAIR, REPAINT, AND POSSIBLY UPDATE
With the list of repairs and updates and your agent’s advice, begin to complete the necessary fixes around the house. Most of the time, the repairs will be minor, like replacing damaged trim or fixing a leaky faucet, but may include some more expensive (but necessary) items like replacing a broken window.
Repainting your home’s interior is probably the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to give the house a fresh new look. Just be sure to select a neutral color. Bold, dark, or bright colors can be off-putting to many buyers, so they should be avoided. Similarly, if you have wallpaper or other wallcoverings, those should be removed.The decision to make expensive updates to Chevy Chase homes for sale can be complex. Rooms like kitchens and baths are the primary focus when buyers visit a home, so a beautiful update of those rooms can capture their interest. At the same time, renovations of kitchens and baths are the most expensive updates in a home, so getting a decent return on your investment may not be possible. However, what it may buy you are more interest and a faster sale. So, when it comes to major updates and renovations, it’s best to discuss it with a realtor that knows the local market well and will have the knowledge to offer a sound opinion.
The final stage of prepping the home for sale is to have it staged. Some homeowners opt to stage the home themselves with just the input and advice of their agent. Other homeowners, especially those selling luxury homes. Staging enhances the home’s appeal, making it “picture perfect” and welcoming. Every room and space is arranged and decorated to demonstrate a single purpose and accentuate its best features. According to the National Association of Realtors, 82% of buyers’ real estate agents indicated that a staged home made it easier for their clients to envision the property as their home.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
NEGLECT REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
If you want your home to sell quickly and for the highest price, you don’t want buyers to stumble upon broken items or evidence of neglect. These things are “red flags” that create a sense of concern and skepticism. If a buyer thinks that the seller hasn’t maintained the home or is trying to conceal issues, it will undermine that potential sale. At the very least, it’s likely that the offers you receive will be below your asking price and potentially below market value.
ALLOW THE HOUSE TO BECOME UNTIDY
After you’ve gone through the trouble of getting your house cleaned and prepped for sale, keeping it in tip-top condition will be essential. Don’t allow the home to become cluttered or unkempt. This can be particularly challenging if you have children or pets, so you’ll need a game plan to ensure that when an agent calls to inform you that a buyer wants to come over for a showing, you and your house will be ready.
SET A LISTING PRICE THAT IS TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW
Setting the right listing price is one of the most critical aspects of your home sale. Set the price too high, and buyers will pass it up for homes that are more fairly priced. Set a price that is too low, and buyers will wonder what’s wrong with it that it’s being offered at such a low asking price. That suspicion may compel them to move on to the next listing. So, it’s essential to work with an agent that will do a Competitive Market Analysis and determine an accurate listing price for your home.
DIY THE SALE
The best way to be sure that you do all the right “dos” and avoid all the “don’ts” when selling your home is to work with a realtor that has the experience to provide sound guidance. Michael Shapiro and his team at Modern Capital have decades of experience and a solid track record of satisfied clients. Contact them today for information on how they can help with the sale of your home.