Getting Ready to Sell that Home Sweet Home
You never know when the right buyer will walk through the door, your house needs to be ready to go from the moment you put it on the market. Putting your best foot forward is the key to sales success.
That doesn’t mean you need to completely gut and remodel your home, but you should make sure everything is in proper working order and ready for a new occupant. That can be a lot to wrap your head around, though. If you get overwhelmed, start with the list below.
Entry / Living Room
The moment that door opens, your potential buyers are forming an opinion of your home. What the open door reveals had better pack a punch (or at least not terrify them).
Make sure that the windows are very clean to let in as much light as possible, that all your light bulbs are in good working order, the flooring is clean and in good shape, and the walls are flawless. A neutral color is always a good idea, but white is kind of a turn-off for a lot of buyers. Blues, light grays, beige and creams are all good choices for paint colors.
Your dining room should follow the same advice as your living room. Since there’s probably some amount of eating that happens in this part of the house, you’ll want to check the flooring to ensure there’s no staining or spots under the table.
This is a particular problem if there’s carpet. Do not attempt to cover spots with a rug as this could be considered a “hidden, latent defect.” Basically, it means that you’re hiding damage from a potential buyer. That’s a big fat no go.
Instead, call a professional carpet cleaner (we can get you in touch with a great one!) or just own it and try not to panic if the buyer asks for the carpet to be replaced or cleaned before closing.
Check all the items on this list, one at a time:
- Appliances that stay with the home
- Are they fully functional?
- Do they have an attractive appearance?
- Do they match one another?
- Are they clean?
- Kitchen sink area
- Is the sink free of damage?
- Does it drain well?
- Does the disposal work?
- Does the sprayer work?
- Is the faucet leaking?
- Counters, backsplash and cabinets
- Do the counters have worn or burned spots?
- Are there grouted areas that need to be regrouted?
- Do the cabinet doors open and close properly?
- Is there water damage anywhere?
- Is everything clean and not tacky to touch?
- Do the cabinets have worn finish?
Bedrooms are by far the hardest, especially if you have kids. If you’re going to have to live in the house until you find a buyer, invest in some storage systems — they’ll pay off in the long run. Organize everything as best you can to give the rooms the appearance of more space. Clean the windows, install the lightbulbs, clean the carpets, and instruct everyone to keep it tidy. If anything can be moved out to a storage unit, do it.
Bathrooms are much like kitchens, they have a lot of wet, moving parts. That being said, they also have basically the same punch list. The only addition would be the shower or tub units. Check the faucets and showerheads for leakage and make sure there’s no mold on your tub or shower surrounds. Clean that stuff within an inch of its life and if you can’t get rid of the stains, recaulk. It’s an easy way to make that tub or shower look like you’ve never even used it.
The key is to bring in more light and then use lighter colors to keep it bouncing around the room. A new coat of white ceiling paint won’t hurt your efforts, either.
Paint is great for a lot of reasons. It can seal in smells you might have never noticed, as well as giving the house the scent of fresh construction. That smell paints a picture for a buyer that says this house has been taken care of and they can trust that it’s in great shape!
When it comes to the great outdoors, keep your lawn mowed, trim your hedges, clean up any projects that you started and never finished. Landscapers, trash haulers, and metal scrappers can help a lot with these tasks. You’ll also want to check out your roof and gutters to make sure they’re in good shape because your potential buyers will be doing the same thing.
The first thing a buyer sees is the view from the street, make sure you run out there during the outdoor prep work to check your look. When you start to wonder if you should actually sell this amazing house at all, you’ve probably got the curb appeal knocked out.
When You Can’t Get It All Done
You don’t have an unlimited timeline, that’s completely understandable, but your home should be ready to sell if you want to get top dollar. Call us today if you’re thinking about selling your home!
Your Real Estate Consultant
REALTOR®, BOLD, EcoBroker, CNE, CHRE, ILHM, KW Luxury
Professional Denver Real Estate for the Urban at Heart