7 Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Sell
Denver residential real estate is hot right now with no imminent signs of changing. When properly priced and in great condition, homes under $400,000 are moving quickly and receiving multiple offers. Even under these conditions, sellers can use this opportunity to maximize profit and limit days on the market with proper preparation.
Here are 7 tips to help prepare sellers to make sure their home is sellable before officially putting it on the market:
1). Repair: Fix any problems you’ve had with your house that you haven’t gotten around to yet!
Whether it’s a minor or major issue and most certainly if it’s a safety item that needs to be repaired or replaced, it’s better to get it out of the way before the home goes on the market. In the metro-Denver area, roof issues are common, especially following spring and summer hailstorms. Homeowners are often unaware of the issues until months later. Appointments for insurance adjusters to inspect roofs can take weeks so it’s imperative to address issues prior to listing. Lending underwriters are unlikely to lend on a property with a bad roof so unless a buyer is paying cash, it is easier to address before it goes to market than when under contract. Additionally, it is a good idea to have the furnace cleaned and serviced, ensure electrical items are to code as well as fix any other safety-related items. Some real estate agents suggest a pre-home inspection, which is usually unnecessary.
2.) Make it less personal: Remove most of the family pictures, wallpaper, and other personal effects. This will help prepare you mentally to move on from your current house, and will also make your job easier once it comes time to start showing it. Removing clutter will maximize the perceived space in your home to potential buyers, and it will alert you to any problems that need to be taken care of. Buyers will be able to move in mentally with their own photos and furniture if the home is properly prepared. As a general rule and unless it’s a newer (2013 +) trendy wallpaper, remove it and paint the walls a neutral color.
And with all of this said, you don’t want to make the home overly austere or too sterile. Likes attract likes and this occurs with homebuyers too. Leave a few personal photos in place as well as a few personal effects as long as the clutter is removed.
Finally, find a temporary place for any pet equipment, and make sure to have a plan for your pet(s) when your house is being shown.
3). Find storage space: For all of your personal items and furniture, you want to leave out of the showing. Renting a storage space is ideal in most cases, but if you have a crawl space or storage area in your basement, that will suffice. You may not realize how much stuff was actually in your home until you begin moving it, so it’s definitely a good idea to plan ahead with a place to keep it in the interim!
4). Repaint: A fresh coat of paint, inside and out, will do wonders for selling your home. After removing everything off of your walls, look at the paint job and make sure there are no scratches or scrapes. Check with your agent to make sure the interior wall colors are neutral enough to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Touch up or re-paint the exterior as needed as well. Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door (preferably in red if it matches).
5). Clean: Go through and clean after you’ve made your house look like a model home. After removing all unnecessary clutter and repainting your walls if need be, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Steam clean the carpet, put a fresh coating on the wood floors, and scrutinize every corner of your home. It’s a good idea to change air filters, clean the windows and replace the light bulbs at this time too.
6). Maximize Exterior Appeal: Mow your lawn, buy some plants for the entryway, and do anything else necessary to maximize your home’s curb appeal! A pressure wash on the outside walls of the home will also do wonders if your house doesn’t need to be painted. Make sure to trim bushes, cut down excessive branches on trees, and tidily maintain your lawn in order to attract as many people as possible to see the inside of your home. A couple fresh potted plants on the entryway can be the icing on the cake!
7). Have keys made for the front door. In an age in which most people are used to entering and exiting homes via garage door key codes, we often forget about the importance of actual keys. Make a set of keys for the lockbox soon to come.
Inevitably, it takes considerably longer to prepare a metro-Denver home for sale that one typically estimates. Depending on the initial condition of the home, it’s often wise to tag another month onto an estimated completion date. Your real estate agent will send in a photographer once all of this is completed and you absolutely want it picture perfect by that time for all online and print marketing.