Every seller wants top dollar, but the deciding factor is most often what’s been done to get your house ready to sell. Just because two homes are the same square footage or in the same neighborhood doesn’t mean they’ll sell for the same amount. It comes down to buyers and how they react to the homes.
Get Your House Ready to Sell Checklist
So what can you do to get your house ready to sell? Start with this checklist to get your house ready to sell.
Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer.
Use a critical eye to evaluate your home and property. Get your house ready to sell by looking for the flaws outside. Cracks in the driveway or pathways, peeling paint, missing window trim, broken gutters. These eye sores indicate to buyers that the home has not been cared for. They can be easily remedied, and will go a long way in first impressions with buyers.
Don’t make it personal.
You probably have wonderful memories of the home, but to get your house ready to sell you need to let the personal part go. Remove the family photos, the mementos and knick-knacks, and all of the other personal items that can be distracting to buyers. You want them to imagine owning the property, not being reminded that it belongs to someone else.
You may love magenta walls and orange-striped pillows, but your taste may not coincide with the average buyer. To get your house ready to sell neutralize the design and décor. Cream and beige tones are good choices because they are not offensive. Some buyers have a hard time seeing past a color they don’t like. Make it easy on them by creating a completely neutral palette.
It’s easy to overlook a small crack on the wall especially if it’s been that way for years, but when you get ready to sell your house you need to notice those details. Just because you learned to live with it doesn’t mean the next buyer is willing to. Address the cracks, fill the holes, smooth the wall surfaces. Fix the door that sticks, the step that creaks, the light switch that doesn’t work. And don’t rely strictly on a fresh coat of paint. Take care of wall imperfections before touching up the paint.
Clean out the closets and drawers.
It can be a big task, but to get your house ready to sell you need to purge. Buyers open doors and drawers, and you don’t want them to be a mess. Stuffed drawers and bursting closests tell buyers that the house doesn’t have adequate space. Pack clothes up and put them in the storage if you have to. Streamline the closets so they look functional and neat. Do the same with drawers in the bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen. Buyers can imagine themselves in a neat, efficient space.
Organize the kitchen.
Get your house ready to sell by removing everything from the counter. It may not be what you are used to, but buyers like to see every inch of counter space. A tidy kitchen is an efficient and more spacious kitchen. Organize cupboards and pantries, and remove clutter.
Less is more.
Generally every space looks better and bigger with less furniture and items in it. To get your house ready to sell minimize what you have. You’ve likely grown out of your house or are downsizing anyway so take the time to get rid of old furniture and items you don’t want anymore. Donate or toss them. Remove at least one piece of furniture from every room. Try to narrow bedrooms down to just bed, bureau, nightstand. Remove everything else. Clean out under beds and give everything a thorough cleaning.
Niceties go a long way when you get your house ready to sell. Add the little features that buyers appreciate. Update older kitchen cabinets with contemporary knobs, fill vases with fresh flowers, stack potted plants on decks and back steps, and place nice bath soaps in a dish with fresh hand towels in the bathroom.
Make surfaces sparkle.
Every surface needs attention when you get your house ready to sell. Everything from your front lawn to kitchen floors need to look like new. When surfaces look dingy the buyer assumes they’ll need to replace it and this comes off the listing price. Buyers are more willing to pay top dollar when everything looks pristine and new. Sand and refinish hardwood floors, regrout tile in the bathroom, wash tile floors and windows, trim the grass, and steam vacuum carpets. Some sellers invest in professional cleaning services on an ongoing basis during the home selling process to maintain maximum cleanliness.
When you get your home ready to sell, choose an experienced real estate agent.
Once you get your house ready to sell it’s important to work with a real estate agent that is familiar with your neighborhood and real estate market. Capital Residential specializes in home selling and buying on the South Shore. Our agents work and live right in the community. We watch and study the trends, and understand what both buyers and sellers want in this market. Wondering how homes are selling on the South Shore? Sign up for our free market reports to receive the latest real estate numbers for Norwell, Hingham, Hanover, Marshfield, and other surrounding towns. If you’re thinking of selling your home, contact me, George Jamieson at Capital Residential in Norwell, MA. I can be reached by email at George@capitalresidential.com or call/text me at 617.877.4839.