Do Not Miss These Things When Selling Your Home
Selling your home can be a stressful experience, but paying attention to the particulars will get you the biggest bang for your buck. When preparing and marketing your property for sale, a lot can fall through the cracks. That’s why we’ve put together this list of things you must not miss when selling your home.
Accurately priced homes attract serious buyers and sell quickly. Proper pricing aims for the highest possible sale price within market conditions.
If you initially value the property too high and reduce it later, buyers may present you with low-ball offers. If you don’t price your home correctly from the start, you might sell for less than you anticipated.
Your property will be compared to others in the same price range. If your home is overpriced, it won’t be competitive against similarly priced properties.
Overpriced homes linger on the market, increasing carrying costs like mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance costs.
If the buyer obtains financing, the lender will need an appraisal to verify the home’s value matches the purchase price. The sale may be jeopardized if the buyer cannot secure the necessary financing due to an overvalued property.
Most homeowners recognize the importance of decluttering and neutralizing the home’s appearance to entice buyers. However, many people don’t take it far enough.
Decluttering allows prospective buyers to focus on the layout and architectural details. Clean, open spaces make homes appear larger and brighter.
Personal belongings, photographs, and distracting decor inhibit buyers from envisioning themselves in the space and must be out of sight.
Here are a few items to store away during showings:
- Musical instruments
- Unhealthy plants
- Bath mats and area rugs
- Extra furniture
- Awards and certificates
- Pet supplies
Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to deep clean. It may feel tedious to maintain a showroom-ready level of cleanliness, but each cleaning makes your property more appealing to buyers, potentially yielding a higher selling price and a quicker sale.
CRANK UP THE CURB APPEAL
The street view of your home is its first impression on prospective buyers. Before showing or photographing your home, consider these tips to spruce up your home’s exterior:
Planting and landscaping:
- Trim and prune trees and shrubs.
- Weed your flower beds and lay down fresh mulch.
- Plant flowers for a pop of color.
- Keep the lawn mowed, edged, and manicured.
- Consider repainting or staining your front door to make it look fresh and inviting.
- Upgrade the hardware, including the knob and lockset.
- Add a seasonal wreath or decoration.
- Power wash the exterior of your home, including siding, walkways, and the driveway.
- Window cleaning inside and outside will make them sparkle.
- Remove cobwebs and debris from corners and eaves.
- Consider painting your home’s exterior a neutral, appealing color if it needs painting.
Roof and Gutters:
- Replace missing or damaged shingles.
- Clean the gutters and downspouts.
- Make sure outdoor lighting fixtures are clean and in good condition.
- Consider adding path lighting or accent lighting to highlight architectural features.
Mailbox and House Numbers:
- Upgrade or clean your mailbox.
- Make sure that the house numbers are visible and in good condition.
- Declutter the front porch and entryway.
- Add potted plants to make your porch more inviting.
- Consider repainting or staining the porch floor or steps.
Fencing and Gates:
Repair or replace damaged fencing and gates. Gates should open and lock smoothly without issue.
- Fix driveway cracks and potholes.
- Clean oil stains and seal your driveway to make it look like new.
Clean the sidewalks, decking, siding, patio furniture, and hardscapes with a pressure washer to remove dirt and stains.
Your goal should be to make your home look well-maintained, inviting, and appealing to a wide range of buyers. Enhancing your curb appeal doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A pressure-washed exterior and a few bags of mulch make a substantial impact!
Small touches result in a quicker sale and a higher selling price.
Make sure your property is in top condition before you place it on the market by addressing any necessary repairs and maintenance tasks. Obvious repair needs will dissuade buyers, and any hidden repair needs will be unearthed during the inspection.
Here are some repairs to think about:
- Repair leaking faucets, pipes, sinks, tubs, and toilets.
- Troubleshoot low water pressure.
- Fix or replace malfunctioning light switches and outlets.
- Ensure all electrical systems meet safety standards.
HVAC system maintenance:
- Ensure your HVAC (air conditioning, heating, and ventilation) systems operate efficiently.
- Clean air ducts and replace air filters.
Address structural issues:
- Repair any cracks or damages to the walls, ceilings, and foundation.
- If there are any termite or pest issues, take action.
Check your windows and doors.
- Fix or replace broken/damaged windows, doors, and screens.
- Make sure that the weatherstripping and sealing are in good condition.
- Ensure the appliances, i.e., the dishwasher, refrigerator, and stove, work properly.
- Replace damaged tiles, hardwood floors, and carpeting.
Deck and patio maintenance:
- Repair loose boards, railings, or stairs on decks and patios.
- Apply a coat of stain or sealant if necessary.
Plumbing and septic inspections:
- Evaluate your plumbing system and septic tank to ensure they work correctly.
- Pump the septic tank if needed.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors:
- Ensure all smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are functional and have fresh batteries.
Radon Mitigation (if necessary):
- Test for radon gas and mitigate if levels are high.
Crawl space and attic inspection:
- Check crawl spaces and attics for proper ventilation and insulation and ensure there are no pests.
- Replace or repair damaged garage doors and openers.
To be clear, buyers won’t be expecting a spotless inspection, so it is best to prioritize your repairs. Leaky windows and faulty electrical systems take precedence over cosmetic fixes that are subject to taste.
Expect to negotiate repairs with the buyer and consult your agent before making repairs.
RELY ON YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT
Real estate agents are a powerful partner to have in your corner. They understand the local real estate market, including recent sales data, pricing trends, and other factors that determine your home’s value. This knowledge allows them to set a competitive listing price for your property.
Because they are market experts, real estate agents possess excellent negotiation skills, which are invaluable when dealing with potential buyers and their agents.
When selling your home, a licensed agent will advocate for you during complex negotiations.
Avoid the responsibilities of marketing your property, creating professional listings, and arranging showings. Agents rely on their established network to introduce your home to their pool of potential buyers.
Real estate agents utilize online listings, social media, and traditional advertising to generate interest and foot traffic. Additionally, they ensure all contracts and disclosures are correctly executed, which is crucial for avoiding potential legal pitfalls.
When selling your home, it’s crucial not to overlook key aspects to maximize your selling potential. A knowledgeable real estate agent will assist you with pricing and staging, recommend necessary repairs, and be your advocate throughout the sales process.
Caleb Leonard is a freelance writer and marketing professional. A graduate of the University of North Texas, his interests include gardening, podcasts, and studying Spanish.