At present, the market is buoyant and, as we have stated in recent blogs, there is a big argument for getting your home listed right now, due to lively winter sales statistics and mortgage rates remaining low.
Nonetheless, you may feel that your home needs to have certain improvements before you list. Here are some of the things you need to consider: -
State of Decor - Although it's tempting to leave re-decorating for the new owners to worry about and pay for, the simple truth is that your home will very likely sell faster and for more money if its basic appearance is fresh. A few cans of paint can pay for themselves several times over, in terms of creating a more welcoming and positive environment for potential buyers.
Dripping Faucets - These can be very off-putting. Discolored sinks suggest that your plumbing may not be all it should be. This is a simple problem to fix with a big pay off in terms of the improved perception of people viewing your house.
General Repairs - Yes, they may be minor flaws in themselves but, cumulatively, appliances that don't work as they should, loose door furniture, squeaking doors and windows, holes in window screens etc. etc. all give the impression that the home has not been well cared for or, even worse, that there are even more serious underlying problems. Again, simple fixes pay serious dividends.
Bathrooms and Bedrooms - These are both big selling points in your home and you need to make sure that they are uncluttered, clean and welcoming. In the case of bathrooms, this will often require a bit of elbow grease to make sure tiled areas sparkle and caulking and grout look good.
Clutter - There is little worse than a home that generally appears cluttered and disorganized. This is a fundamental element of presenting, also called staging, your home correctly. It's a good thing to make some pretty ruthless decisions about piles of magazines that you never read and items strewn around the home that you never use. If you can't bear to be parted from these possessions, store them neatly in cupboards. If you simply don't have the storage space, you may wish to consider the merits of an off-site storage unit, if you don't have one.
Safety First - If you have reduced clutter on stairways etc., you've already made a big step to making your home a safer environment for the potential buyer. Make a complete sweep of your home and assess any other risks and hazards that should be attended to before it goes on the market.
Pretend You're the Buyer - It might sound silly at first, but why not role play a visit to your home as the buyer! If that's too extreme for you, then go right through the home, starting in the front drive, and carefully scrutinize every element. Is the lawn scruffy?, does the home look welcoming?, is everything clean and tidy? If you have already undertaken the above steps, you should be in good shape to give your home the thumbs up and, if not, well you still have some work to do.
As mentioned earlier in this article, now is a great time to be on the market, but if you are still determined not to list until the New Year, you can see that there are some very practical steps that can be taken now to make your house more competitive and to improve its value.
Please don't hesitate to contact us for specific advice related to your home's condition, current value and readiness for sale.