As the weather begins to warm, we tend to feel more energized, are more likely to spend time outside, and start to plan new projects. Additionally, spring has historically been a very busy time of year for the real estate industry. If you are one of the many homeowners who is planning to sell a home this spring, there are some things you can do now to prepare.
Now, more than ever, homeowners understand the importance of showing their homes in the best possible light when listing them for sale. With a very competitive housing market comes lots of inventory and, therefore, lots of competition. Preparing a home properly so that it stands out among the competition is critical. Homeowners sometimes need months to complete a laundry list of projects before a house is ready for sale. It’s a big job and very time-consuming, but well worth the effort.
According to HomeGain’s 2012 survey of home improvements, the refinements that made the top five are: cleaning and de-cluttering; lightening and brightening; repairing electrical and plumbing; landscaping; and staging. Addressing these low-cost/no-cost items has proven to bring in the highest return on investment of all improvements that can be made.
Many a homeowner has argued against spending money on a home they will be leaving, but investing a little money up front will bring in more on the back end. Buyers tend to perceive a home that is clean, well cared for and updated to be worth more money. The goal is to attract as many buyers and the highest offer possible.
Cleaning and de-cluttering is imperative. The home must be sparkling clean. Hire a cleaning service, if needed, but be sure that every space is tended to, from ceiling to floor.
De-cluttering is a great way to begin the process of moving. Pack away anything that you won’t need until you move into a new space. All collections should be stored, and the home should be cleared so that the living space is maximized. Now is also a good time to donate or toss any items that will not move with you. There are several services that will pick up materials free of charge.
To lighten and brighten a home is to give it life. A dark home portrays a dingy, depressing space. Be sure that each room, closet and hallway are well-lit. Buyers walking through will inspect each area and bright areas will show a more energized home.
Tending to any electrical and/or plumbing issues helps you to gain the confidence of buyers. Any repairs or improvements that can be done before listing will be portrayed as a positive in a buyer’s eyes. As any improvement that is made, it will reinforce the fact that the home was well-maintained.
The outside of the property is just as important as the interior of the home. It is buyers’ first view as they drive by or drive up to the home. A clean exterior with lovely landscaping and a welcoming front entrance draws the buyer in with a positive first impression.
Having a home inspection is a wise decision as you prepare your home for sale. A home inspector will uncover any major (or minor) issues that may become a problem. Having that information at your disposal will give you the opportunity to address those issues before a buyer’s home inspector finds them.
Hiring a professional home stager is a great way to get an objective view of your home as well as some great advice. A professional stager looks at your home with “buyer’s eyes.” She will also assess the home’s positive attributes and consult you on making the changes or improvements that will accentuate those positives, while playing down any less than ideal features.
Selling a home is a big undertaking. It is time-consuming and can be stressful. Allowing yourself ample time to properly prepare alleviates some of that stress. Focusing on the improvements or repairs that will be most profitable takes some time, but is never a waste of time. Remember, a little investment up front in the areas where it makes sense will bring the best return in the end.
Source: HomeGain.com, Inc.