You’re looking to sell your home but before you put it on the market, there’s some housekeeping that needs to be taken care of. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry because, at Felix Homes, we’ve come up with a checklist every seller should follow in order to get interested buyers to make top-dollar offers.
Tips for Your Home’s Interior
- When a prospective buyer visits your home, whether it’s a private showing or an open house, you want to make sure your home has a certain flow, a ‘feng shui’ if you will. Keep it simple and avoid having too much furniture in one room. Consider renting a storage locker and eliminate any clutter so that each room appears open and spacious.
- There’s no need to pay for expensive staging, make your furniture work for you! Here’s a suggestion, choose a focal point in each room and set the furniture around it. For example, if you have a fireplace in the living room, make sure the furniture highlights it and makes it feel like the star of the room. This will not only make each room appear bigger but will give each room a purpose as well.
- Clear everything off the kitchen counter, clean out every cabinet and drawer and, put unused dishes, pots, and pans in storage. In addition to your kitchen cabinets and drawers, your closets should be de-cluttered and spacious as well. Trust me, you can never have enough storage space and a cluttered cabinet, drawer, or closet will not bode well when potential buyers visit your home.
- Brighten your rooms! I can’t stress this point enough because it’s something that every buyer will notice when they walk in your home for the first time. You want to allow as much natural light to brighten the house as possible. Make sure to keep your windows and screens clean and turn on the lights when potential buyers are looking at your property. You may also consider replacing old incandescent light bulbs for modern, natural-looking LEDs.
- Freshen up your rooms by adding fresh flowers and houseplants. Not only do they look great but they can add a wonderful smell to your home as well. I’ve found that lavender works great to eliminate unpleasant odors and does a much better job at masking odors compared to heavy perfumes which can be overpowering. There’s nothing that turns off a potential buyer more than a smelly house.
- Be sure to clean everything, especially the carpets. If you want to get top dollar for your home, I’d highly recommend spending $100 to shampoo your carpets and rugs. Over the years, carpets can trap bad odors, especially if you have pets. If this sounds like your carpet, not to worry. Most grocery stores allow you to rent professional carpet cleaners which will give a carpet in need of some TLC that brand new smell and appearance.
- Spend a weekend to do some minor repairs. There’s not a single buyer out there that would prefer to walk into a home where the faucets are leaking and the door squeaks. One weekend of repairs will produce a return on investment that makes any stock trader jealous. Take the time to repair any dripping faucets, squeaky doors, or burnt-out lightbulbs. While you’re at it, remember to check the windows and light fixtures to make sure they are clean and aren’t dusty.
- Typically, we wouldn’t recommend taking on a large renovation or project prior to selling your home because you’ll never see the return on your investment. That being said, if you have a little extra money lying around, consider replacing your carpets and drapes. Or, if your home has wood floors, make sure they’re polished and in good shape. These are a couple of examples of minor upgrades you can do that will add to the value of your home.
- Remember to remove personal items from rooms such as family photos. While achieving that warm at-home feeling is important, buyers want to picture themselves living in your home, without feeling your family’s presence. This would be a great time to rent a storage unit and pack up some of the more personal items around your house.
- The goal of these tips is to make a good first impression when a buyer visits your home. A great trick to make the entrance of your home feel larger is to add a large mirror near your home’s front door. This will create a feeling of spaciousness give your home the impression that it’s bigger than it may seem.
Tips for Your Home’s Exterior
This should go without saying but make sure to maintain and groom your landscaping, especially if it’s visible from the street. Your lawn and shrubs should look well maintained and well-watered. Curb appeal should definitely not be overlooked as it’s one of the first impressions a buyer will get when visiting your home.
Hire a power washing company to clean your home’s siding, driveway, and walkways. While you’re at it, hire a local handyman to repair small cracks in the foundation or walkways which make your home’s entrance look old and worn. No buyer wants to see that!
Clean the garage and remove as much clutter from your garage as possible! I know what you’re thinking, “potential buyers won’t be looking in my garage.” You’d be surprised. If you’re using your garage as storage, consider renting a storage locker and move all of your clutter there. The last thing you’d want is for a buyer to walk into a garage filled to the ceiling with boxes.
This should be obvious but I feel like I have to mention it anyway. Remember to replace any cracked windowpanes and check that your windows and doors open and close properly.
This one goes back to point number two but it’s so important that I figured I’ll mention it once more. If you have vinyl siding that is dirty, it’s imperative that you clean it using a power washer. There’s not a single buyer that looks at a dirty home and says “that’s the one for me”.