Ready to shut the door on 2020 and move on to 2021? If you are thinking about selling your home sometime in 2021, Now is the time to start preparing your home for a quick and profitable sale in the Spring. Here are 7 things you can start on now to make selling and moving less stressful.
1. Declutter: Decluttering has multiple benefits, the primary three are: You start weighing if you really “need” or will have room for items in your new home, it will be less stuff to move when you sell, and the potential home buyers will be able to envision their stuff (not yours) more easily in the home.
PROFESSIONAL TIP: A practical first step is to purchase plastic storage totes with lids (You will need many more than you think, but most homeowners will need at least 20-40 of them) and start filling them with smaller, loose items (NOTE: Marking with a marker and some masking tape them so you don’t have to remember what is in each one will save you a lot of headaches)
2. De-personalize: This is important to start early because the process of making your home (sanctuary), more like a house (to sell to a stranger!) takes time to get used to the idea, especially if you have been in the same home for decades and have acquired lots of family photo’s and mementos, many of them hanging on walls, which by the way…. These walls then should be patched and painted if possible.
3. Repaint: It is best to not to have any accent walls or colors that are not within the neutral tones. All main rooms should be neutral and there should be no more than 4 different colors throughout the home.
PROFESSIONAL TIP: You can hire a color consultant if you’re scared or stuck, sometimes stagers will do a “2” step meeting and color consult as well, it would be worth a text! The small investment now will have HIGH gains when you sell. Most real estate professionals estimate painting is generally 300%-500% rate of return (cost versus sales price gain)
Wipe down all walls and woodwork: A simple solution of vinegar and warm water will cheaply refresh your walls, cabinets, and trim, and it also helps to “discover or remember” scuff marks, wounds, and dents, as they should be addressed if possible.
4. Investigate Odd or Musty smells: Often times, the smell of our home is hard to detect by ourselves (Nose-blind). Having a friend or professional from the outside be honest about any odor will be helpful in identifying and fixing it early. Things that might help would be steam cleaning carpets, wiping down all walls (Here is a good article from DIY Network) and maybe even adding more ventilation, with a continuous use bathroom fan or air exchanger if the problem is systemic. Simply masking odor problems with an air freshener or essential oils will only lead to buyer thinking of “worst case scenario’s” as to the cause of the odor, and fuel mistrust.
5. Hire a home inspector: Some cities with older existing homes automatically require a pre-list inspection. Regardless, hiring a home inspector will minimize “bad surprise” situations later, and it also sends STRONG message to the potential buyer that you are aware and realistic about the condition of your home. This should be your guide of what needs to be fixed. This will put you one step ahead of the competition, therefore aiding in a faster and higher sale price.
6. Hire a stager: They know the market and what sells. A good stager can minimize weaker features, and maximize positive features.
A stager can also make your home more “camera ready” to catch a lot of eyeballs and sell your home for the highest possible price.
7. Hire a trusted experienced realtor who has a strong internet marketing plan for your home: Hiring the a good, established agent who is well respected in the immediate area, and has great reviews is vital to your ultimate success and resulting in more cash in your pocket at closing. This is especially important with modern buyers who are accustomed to seeing visually stimulating advertising on social media. So preparing for the photographs, and making sure the agent contracts with a photographer who is seasoned and savvy will be a primary conduit for the highest level of traffic, first virtual, then live showings.
More Staging Tips & Ideas from Ashley Lubs