Selling your home is very involving, from the moment you decide to put it up for sale to the moment you close a deal. However, it’s almost impossible to know how long it will take for it to sell. Meanwhile, you are living like a guest in your own home because you have prepared it for buyers — who could show up anytime for a showing!
You may be tired of all the preparations, and you might wonder whether the real estate agent is seriously saying your home needs more work. Below is a mini-checklist of the most important things you should do to close that deal within days of listing.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
The first rule of the home-selling process is that buyers are always looking for space. If your home is still full of your things, it probably looks smaller and will be a turnoff for buyers.
A useful guideline is to remove one-half of your stuff; consider it the start of your packing for when you leave. Start with the real things that you don’t need, and then ask yourself:
Have I used it in the last year? If not, will I use it in the next year?
Do I have better things that can do its job?
If it’s broken, is it fixable and will I actually fix it?
Do I want it enough to move with it to my new home?
Items in good condition can be sold in a garage sale or online and others donated to Goodwill or other charities near you. Call your local recycling center and find out the kinds of things they accept. Then, organize for professional removal if your garbage service doesn’t accept the rest. Just keep in mind that junk removal can cost between $100 and $800.
Look at Local Listings
There’s a lot you can learn just by scoping local listings to see recently, sold homes, homes for sale and open houses. For example, you can see how their open house is set up, how the furniture is arranged, and how their home stacks up against yours. In this setting, you have better objectivity, which allows you to see what you can do better in your home.
Scoping listings can help you price the house competitively as well. In West Chester, houses typically sold for around $258,000 on average over the past month. Compare your home’s features, square footage, and general condition with other homes in the area. If you want, you can hire an appraiser for an official valuation, but an experienced realtor can do the job just fine.
Glam Up the House
The first step of going professional is to remove any signs of your personal tastes and preferences. If a buyer doesn’t like your taste, it could tarnish their objectivity and desire to settle in your house. Of course, very few people will have the exact same tastes.
Go beyond just getting rid of mail and family photos – remove subjective art, religious symbols, hobbies, crafts, and fridge or door decorations. Paint accent walls into neutral colors: the girls’ room in your house could be the boys’ room for a potential buyer, so let them decide. Remove tabletop décor and clean out pantries, closets, and non-neutral furniture.
Your furniture arrangement should make the room look cozy and larger — do this by arranging them into comfortable zones away from the walls. This not only allows buyers to case the room from all angles, but it also gives the illusion of more space. Make the most of natural lighting by using light and neutral curtains and drawing them back during showings. If you have a small budget to fix up the house, invest in painting and minor repairs like fixing cracks. You can also hire a professional stager to help you maximize the positive aspects of your house.
The importance of visiting other open houses and listed houses cannot be overstated, especially if you’re selling your first home. Hopefully, you should have somewhere to move your family during showings, so that buyers have no distractions when assessing your house. Finally, getting an experienced realtor can help you navigate all the above much easier.