Low Cost, Easy Preparations to Sell Your Home

Decided to sell your Home? Preparing, otherwise known as staging, your home can make or break your chances of moving the property. I posted on this a few months ago – Hardest Part Of Staging a New Listing This topic can’t be hammered home enough though. Remember the old job interview maxim? – You only have one chance to make a first impression. Your property for sale only has one too and it’s critical in the current, highly competitive market to make the first impression a clincher. No one buys a house on impulse. Each person who attends an open house or arranges a showing puts more than a dozen homes for sale under a microscope. For a small budget and a little elbow grease, you, the seller, can make or break a potential sale!

Curb Appeal

A buyer’s very first view of the house is extremely powerful. Make sure your home’s exterior is neat and clean. The lawn’s mowed, all bushes, shrubs and trees are trimmed. Buyers are turned off immediately by overgown vegitation. Experienced home builders know that the dampness, darkness and falling debris from close plant life can be a growth medium for mold, moss, insect invation and more! Any bushes or trees that are close to the perimeter of the house should not be taller than the roof line, and have at least 1 or 2 feet between the edge of the bush and any other object, especially the house itself. Adding mulch and trim is great way to dress up your yard. Make sure to remove as many weeds as possible before putting down the mulch.

Exterior of Home

A well maintained exterior wall and roof line says a lot about a home to a prospective buyer. Siding is expensive and painting may be hard, but if your home’s exterior doesn’t encourage the buyer, someone else’s on the list will. Removing bugs, dirt and stains can be very inexpensive. Rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store and you can pressure wash walls, gutters, decks, driveway, and other walking areas in 1 day. Another common visual problem are rust stains, usually brownish orange stains. There are a number of chemical solutions to this at the local hardware store! While your shopping for this, pick up some outdoor bleach for your wood deck and siding. It’ll remove the mold/moss stains.

Last but not least, bugs are very important to remove as many buyers will lose any good feelings they had about the house just from seeing a bug or two. For short dollars, insect solutions that you spray along the perimeter walls and edges of your doors, windows, patio, sidewalks, and driveway, kills ants, bees, beetle etc on contact and usually lasts at least a couple of weeks. Make sure you pressure wash and remove the stains first. Allow a couple of sunny days to make sure you have a dry surface for the bug treatment.

Interior of Home

Neat interiors are important too. The buyer needs to be able to envision just what life would be like there for them. Overwhelming evidence of your time there can turn off a buyer instantly. Remove all clutter and unusual items. Also get rid of any dirty or broken down furniture and fixtures. Damaged walls, peeling paint or wallpaper signal a potential home buyer that the home maybe a money pit. Throwing stuff away is a very liberating experience and can make a huge difference. Once all clutter is removed, clean and repair everything! Vacuum and mop the floors, use magic eraser to clean scuffs and dirt off the walls, Paint and paper where you need to, Sand and maintain moldings, dust all fixtures and ceiling fans, clean all glass and windows, clean all bathrooms and shower curtains, and bleach any mold or mildew you find in the bathtubs. Also, if you have a screened patio, porch or deck, make sure the screens are in good condition and secured.

Now, at last, your ready to STAGE!

I gave a lot of tips in the post referenced above, Here’s a few more. Remove any personal or family photos hanging on the wall but leave up any art or landscaping framed pictures. Purchase 3 or 4 plants from your local home store to add a nice green color to your home. Try 1 or 2 per room for the living, dining, and patio. Buy New Hand towels to dress up the kitchen and bath and a nice pump hand soap dispenser. Low cost rugs for the living room and hallways might be nice. Lastly, make sure the home smells inviting. Buy just 1 or 2 HIDDEN air fresheners for the entry, and bath. Air fresheners, scented candles, odor sprays, say to a buyer: These people are trying to cover something up.

During Showings

Before the buyers arrive, make sure you turn on all lights and open all blinds. You want the house as bright as possible, since you’ve cleaned all the dirt AND repaired all the visible defects AND redecorated. Also do one final check to make sure there are no dead bugs from when you sprayed the house. If you have a radio, then turn on a good jazz or oldies station and keep the volume low. If you have a large TV, the weather channel with low volume make a great distraction and conversation starter. Who doesn’t love to talk about the weather. Remove or cage all pets and if the buyer is using a Realtor, make sure you leave and let the Realtor show the house! This is extremely important as most buyers feel uncomfortable viewing a home with the owner there! The only time the owner should be at a showing is if the buyers are not with a Realtor.

Final Tips

While cleaning is cheap, R&R (Repairing & Replacing) is sometimes not. If there are material defects that need work, you need to price your home accordingly and disclose that to any potential buyers. Selling a property in need of work happens all the time. There’s a solid business reason to price the house right. You’re in competition with HUNDREDS of other houses in your area. You know how you price common household items at the supermarket. Home Buyers research and price the options that much more deeply. If you need additional help, call your local Realtor or me.

Lew McConkey
Focused on Home Buyers and Sellers in Brockton, Abington, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax and East Bridgewater

Rosen Realty