Preparing Your Home For Sale

Preparing Your House For Sale

First impressions matter.

Buyers have many choices when it comes to looking for their new home.  Buyers are going to be comparing your home with other homes that are on the market.  There some things that you cannot change about your home, like the location,  but there are things you can do.  In some instances, expensive upgrades like remodeling a kitchen or bathroom(s) might make sense depending on the age and condition of your house.  I  generally recommend, however, that you concentrate your efforts on less expensive improvements that will help create a positive impression without breaking the bank.  Some of the things you will want to consider include:

Landscape – How does your home look when the buyer pulls up in front of your house.  Is your lawn fertilized and neatly edged?  Will they see weeds or freshly installed mulch in your beds and planters? Are your trees trimmed and shrubs pruned?   As a licensed landscape contractor, I can help you evaluate things you will want to consider that won’t cost a lot of money but that will make your home stand our from the crowd.

Exterior Entry   –  The second thing a prospective buyer sees is your entry, courtyard or front patio area.  Few things create a negative first impression like walking into a courtyard or entry that is  full of clutter and debris.  Flower pots with dead plants and/or flowers, tired and worn out entry furniture, old newspapers and flyers, an old garden hose, kids bikes and toys…you get the picture.  It is not a pretty one.  I will help guide you and offer suggestions how how to create a positive impression.  Some of the things you will want to consider include planting pots with new annual color plantings or succulents  and shrubs that “dress up” your entry and make it inviting.

Front Door – When they walk up to your front door what are they going to see, a tired old door that needed to be stained, painted and/or varnished years ago or a freshly refurbished door (or even a new door) that invites them in to see the rest of your house.

Fresh Paint – How long has it been since you put a fresh coat of paint on your interior walls.  Paint is relatively inexpensive and with a little effort on your part, a fresh coat of paint pays big dividends in the impression it can leave in the buyers minds.

Is your home clean? – Few things turn off a prospective buyer as does a dirty home.  We recommend that you evaluate every room in your house and do a thorough cleaning.  If you are too busy to tackle this on your own and maintain it, a professional cleaning service while you are marketing your home is a very good investment.

 Is your home cluttered? – A prospective buyer is thinking of buying your home, not your “stuff”.  While your home is listed for sale, I strongly recommend that you eliminate as much clutter as possible.  If you are honest with yourself this is probably long overdue anyway.  Store away or recycle all of those old magazines.  Box-up memorabilia and photos in anticipation of your move, pictures of your entire family tree are obviously meaningful to you but, let’s be honest,  in the eyes of a buyer, they are nothing more than clutter.  Think about those model homes you have previewed over the years.  Keep just enough “decor” to make a favorable impression. You might even consider “staging” your home by adding a few decorator items that are more up-to-date with today’s tastes and trends.

Is your kitchen clean and organized? – One of the biggest “turn-offs” to a prospective buyer is to walk into a dirty kitchen.  Enough said.  The kitchen is, particularly in the eyes of a female buyer, is one of the biggest selling features of a home.  If your kitchen is in need of a major remodel, this may or may not make financial sense but at the very least your kitchen needs to be as appealing as possible.  This is an area where “staging” might help detract from the negative aspects and give them a sense that it is “workable”, at the very least.  You may want to consider replacing your kitchen cabinet knobs to give them a more up-to-date look.

And those Bathrooms? – Another really big one, especially to the ladies.  A deep cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, new hand and bath towels neatly arranged.  If you have a shower curtain, replace it with something new and complementary to the design theme.  If your fixtures are old and worn, you should consider upgrading to new faucets, towel and toilet paper holders.  You might even consider replacing the knobs on your cabinets.

Windows and Window Screens – If cleaning windows is not one of your favorite jobs, hire a professional window cleaner to clean all of your windows, inside and out.  Unless you recently replaced all of your window screens, I highly recommend having the screens replaced.  This is a subtle detail that won’t go unnoticed by the buyer even if it is subliminal.  One thing for sure is that they will notice the tired, old, dirty screens with holes and tears!

Backyard – The same thing holds for the backyard as with the front yard and entry.  Evaluate your landscape, your patio furniture, etc.  If your patio furniture is old and worn out, you may want to evaluate whether it can be rehabbed or whether an investment in something new would make more sense.  Keep in mind that if you do consider upgrading, this will be something that you can take with you as an amenity to your new home!  What about that old umbrella(s)? Is your umbrella old, faded or worn-out?  A new umbrella makes a great impression and is not terribly expensive.  The same holds true for that old bar-b-que.  If your outdoor grill looks like is is a carry-over from your college days, you may want to invest is a new one.  Home Depot, Lowes, and even Costco sell a variety of reasonably priced grill that would be a great investment and upgrade to your new home, the stainless steel models have become surprisingly affordable and have a great look.

These are just a few ideas and suggestions on how you can prepare your house for sale.  As part of my service as your real estate broker, I will work closely with you in identifying and prioritizing this effort.  I promise to be honest with you, after all, your goal is to sell your house as soon as possible for the best price and my job is to help you accomplish that.

Not only am I a licensed real estate Broker, I am also a licensed landscape contractor (CSLB C-27 Landscape Contractor License No 896009). This makes me uniquely qualified to help guide you in preparing your landscape so that it enhances your ability to Attract Buyers and to Achieve the Highest Possible Sale Price for your home!

Let’s start the process of selling your home! Call me  and I will get back to you with a Comparative Market Analysis and detailed proposal for marketing your home!

I can also help you find your new home. The home that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Help me understand what you are looking for in your new home and I will begin the search!

DRE Broker License No. 00877135