Your Ready To Sell, But Is Your House Ready
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting, or needing to sell their house. Home owners take pride in their house, and it can be difficult for the owner to look at their long time home from a buyers perspective. Often real estate agents herar from home owners that their house is much nicer than other houses listed for sale in the same neighborhood. While this may be true, and many upgrades can increase the value of a home, there are simple things that can be done to help make a house much more desirable to home buyers.
Low Maintenance Is Always Better.
A home buyers mind is like a high performance calculator, quickly adding up every possible repair they see that needs to be done to a house, If there are simple cleaning tasks that have not been performed, the buyers mind goes into overdrive imagining all of the potential issues the current owner may have neglected to keep up with. If the windows are dirty, then what about other regular maintenance like furnace filters? If they haven’t been changed, has the furnace been serviced regularly? Quickly a dirty window has created a $5,000.00 maintenance issue in the buyers mind. Human nature often leads us to judge a book by its cover, and home buyers are relying on first impressions of a house to tell them the story of how it has been taken care of. If you want to attract a buyers interest, take the steps to alleviate any doubt from their mind about how well you have maintained your home.
Key Areas To Focus On:
Remove Clutter: If you are listing your house for sale, have an exit strategy. You are already planning on moving, so begin packing early if needed. If your house is packed full of your belongings, the buyer will have a much more difficult time visualizing themselves, their furniture, and personal effects in the space. Think of this as a perfect opportunity to declutter your life. Throw out old stacks of magazines and newspapers, have a yard sale, donate to local charities like goodwill or the kidney foundatio
Windows, Walls and Floors: Make sure that all of your windows are spotless, then open the curtains or shades to let sunlight fill the house. This will make the home much more inviting to buyers. Check to make sure all windows open and close easily, and that the window locks are in good condition. If the window is designed to have a screen, is the screen installed, and in good shape. Now that the house is well lit, you may notice the floors and carpets could use some attention. Hardwood floors should be polished, and carpets may need to be professionally cleaned, or replaced. Walls should be clean, with all cobwebs removed, and repainted if needed. Your real estate agent should have a list of vendors and contractors they trust to take care of their clients. If you need professional services ask your agent for referrals, if they have not already suggested them to you
Bathrooms and Kitchens: I cannot put enough emphasis on how important these two rooms are. When the buyer walks into these rooms you want them to feel like they have walked into nirvana, and a zen state of happiness is washing over them. Create an open environment by removing extra appliances, storage jars, etc. from counters in the kitchen. The refrigerator should be clear of magnets, notes, and other clutter. Store soaps and other cleaners out of sight. Pay special attention to cleaning the dishwasher, stove and microwave, inside and out. Keep the sink areas clear other than staged items to accent the room. Make sure any towels in either room is clean, and smells fresh. Do not leave a laundry hamper in the bathroom, especially not one with dirty clothes in it. Re-caulk around sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, and clean any mold or mildew. Keep the toilet spotless, with the lid closed.
Roof, Heating and Air Conditioning: If there is one thing I can guarantee that home buyers in Georgia are going to expect, it is a well maintained air conditioning system. One way to make a great impression on buyers is to have the heating and air inspected prior to listing, and have the inspector provide any certifications available that can be shared with the buyer. If the roof is more than 10 years old, you may also consider having a licensed roofer inspect the roof as well.
Attention To Detail: Many sellers forget to pay attention to minor details while preparing their house for sale. Inspect light switch and outlet plates, baseboards, and mirrors. We see these things every day in our own home, and they are easy to overlook. Buyers will notice if they are new, and clean. Check for loose door knobs, doors that do not open and close easily, or squeak. Do the garage door openers work well, and is the garage area clean, check again for cobwebs. If you have an older house, replace electrical outlets in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as outside outlets with GFIC outlets. This will show that you have made an effort at keeping the house up to current codes.
Outside Of The Home: Pulling up to the house is the buyers first impression of your home. Less is better. If you know a buyer is coming to look at the house remove vehicles from the driveway. Keep garbage cans out of sight. Grass should be kept neatly mowed, leaves raked, broken tree limbs cleared, basic yard work maintenance should be a top priority. Have the house and driveway power washed, especially if you live in a humid climate where mold and mildew form on homes every year. Look for areas that may need repaired, which could include cracked siding, caulking around outside of windows, paint trim if needed, replace all burned out light bulbs, clear spider webs if needed.