1. Find a great real estate agent
Selling your home is one of the top 3 stress-creating transitions in life. Choosing the right realtor can actually add years to your life. “Listing, marketing, showing and negotiating the contracts can be very exhausting” states Harold Ross (The Property Experts). Why add this to your already busy stress filled life? Find a professional that is competent, reflects your values, and has a drive to get your home SOLD.
2. Consider your curb appeal
Make sure the first thing prospective buyers see of your home entices them to want to see more. Yes, for better or worse, buyers do tend to judge a book by its cover. By investing some effort in relatively easy fixes like planting colorful flowers and repainting your front door, adding fresh mulch to beds … the outside of your house can beckon them to come on in.
3. Declutter living areas
“Less is definitely more when it comes to getting your house ready to show,” says Sam Taylor, a real estate broker with The Property Experts.
Do a clean sweep of counters, windowsills, tables, and all other visible areas, and then tackle behind closed doors: closets, drawers, and cupboards since virtually nothing is off-limits for curious buyers.
4. Stock up on light bulbs
Go ahead and stock up on light bulbs. When showing your house to potential buyers, all light fixtures and lamps will need to be turned on. For this reason, it’s important that all lights in your home have working light bulbs.
5. Give your house a deep clean
First impressions mean a lot. So don’t let foul smells, dirty floors, or dusty surfaces make a bad one on a potential buyer. Before listing your home (and throughout the selling process), give your home a deep clean. This means cleaning toilets, wiping down surfaces, mopping floors, cleaning rugs and scrubbing bathrooms. Consider calling in the professionals (think: Stanley Steamer and a housekeeper) to ensure that your place is in pristine condition.
6. Depersonalize your home
When selling a home, you want to strike that perfect balance between depersonalization and creating a warm, welcoming home. This means putting away the majority of framed photos, bulletin boards, and personal items: photo albums, magazines, toys, equipment, awards, etc. throughout the home. Leave a few nice framed photos around the house to make the home inviting and feel lived in.
7. Call a handyman
When selling a house, you should have your handyman on speed dial. Make sure anything and everything that needs to be fixed (think: locks, hardware, leaky faucets, running toilets, cracks in the walls, broken appliances, squeaky doors, etc) has been taken care of before listing a home. Otherwise, buyers may think your home hasn’t been well taken care of, which can be a turn-off for many.
8. Paint the walls
Now’s the time to re-paint your home. Start by painting over those bright orange and green walls with neutral colors. Stick to whites, light grays, light beiges, and “greige” wall colors. These shades will make your home appear bigger, brighter, and more welcoming. Adding a fresh coat of paint to your home will also help cover the wall’s imperfections and convey a blank slate to potential buyers.
9. Touch up any scuff marks
Even if you’re not doing a full-on repainting project, pay special attention to scrubbing and then touching up baseboards, walls, and doors to make the house sparkle and look cared-for.
10. Hide your valuables
There will be folks in and out of your home over the next few months. Everything from repair and maintenance people to prospective buyers. Don’t give anyone a reason to do the wrong thing. Remove and store out of sight any art, jewelry, and other collectable treasures that might be tempting.
11. Make a quick one-page list of the following
Average monthly electric bill, natural gas, water, HOA fees, and your annual city/county taxes. If you can research the age of your roof, heat and air units, hot water heater, and any other major purchase this info will definitely influence the buying decision.
Harold Ross Jr.
Real Estate Agent
Harold has called the Tri-Cities his home for the past 45 years. He has extensive knowledge of the commercial and residential landscape to help his clients find that special property to fit their needs. Harold has over 30 years of sales and marketing experience and looks forward to the opportunity to partner with clients as a trusted advisor, creative planner and sound negotiator. He welcomes the opportunity to sit down with you and review your needs and explore the wonderful opportunities our area has to offer.