Preparing to Sell

couple sitting on front porch of home

Selling a house can be a process that takes lots of preparation, research, and patience in order to realize the full potential of your home’s value. The most important first step every homeowner can take before selling a home is to enlist the services of a top flight real estate agency, such as Green Isle Real Estate & Mortgage.  A Realtor will give you an enormous amount of good advice on a wide range of topics, such as comparable home values, design trends, fixtures, finishes, and how to prepare the home for sale.

Remember, your potential buyers are just like you – they’re looking for the best house at the lowest price.  In order to get the best price from your buyer, you may need to put in a little more sweat equity, and perhaps even some real equity too getting your property ready for sale.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

couple using laptopOne of the first important steps is to begin coming to terms with leaving your home. This is understandably difficult for some – especially if you’ve been living under the same roof for many years.  Maybe your kids grew up in this home, maybe your wedding was celebrated here.  Every square foot of the home may contain precious memories, but now it’s time to put those emotions aside. You’ve decided to sell and get down to business.  You’ve put a lot into your home. Now you can reap the rewards for all that hard work.

Home Inspection

home inspectionBefore you begin with the cleaning, the repairs and the upgrades, consider having a professional inspection done so that any major flaws will be uncovered before they’re spotted by potential buyers.  In doing this, it will show that you’re a responsible seller, greatly improve the comfort level of your prospects.

After doing the inspection it’s time to prepare the house for the upcoming sale. A good way to start is to stand back, look at the house objectively and put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Ask yourself, “Would I buy this house?”  Ask friends, relatives, neighbors what they think of the house and what they might want to see if they were a buyer.  Then make a list.  Your due diligence can pay big dividends when it comes time to start entertaining offers.  You’ll have much more confidence in the real value of the home and can effectively convey that value to your prospects.

Fix Up the Exterior

man fixing home windows exteriorIs there a layer of mud on the outside of your home?  How about the driveway?  Does it look so dark and spotted that you can barely see the concrete underneath?  You may want to hire the services of a good pressure washing specialist.  They can make your house and driveway sparkle like the day it was built.  Well worth the small investment of a couple hundred dollars.

Check the entrances, windows, exterior lighting and garage door. Remember, these will be the very first things your prospective buyers will see when they arrive to see your home. Make sure that you make a great first impression by not overlooking these details.


laying-sod-for-outdoor-landscapingIf your lawn is full of weeds, pull ‘em.  If you’ve got great big dead areas on your lawn, lay some sod.  Many landscaping improvements can be made easily and inexpensively but can yield great results.

Trim shrubs, prune trees, add some more flowers to your garden.  All of these small details will help to give your home that “wow” factor known as “curb appeal”.   Your local home improvement store can be an excellent resource for many easy, do-it-yourself landscaping improvements.

Update the Interior

couple painting home interiorLook at the kitchen.  Is that counter top from the last century?  Ask your Realtor what shoppers are looking for and whether the cost-to-benefit ratio makes it a smart investment.  Go through the same process with the floors, the paint, the fixtures and the drapes.

Do a cost analysis on everything and make sure that whatever you spend money on will come back to you at closing in the way of a higher sale price.  Upgrades can also help sell your house faster.  Many home buyers don’t want to assume the responsibility and expense of upgrading the home themselves.

Clean the Clutter

clutter free homeMake sure your house is fresh, clean, and well maintained so that it will stand out from the competition.  After you’ve done this step you may want to remove all the personal touches to create a more neutral feeling.  Take down the family photos, the stuffed Marlin and the sports paraphernalia – you want the buyers to be able to imagine the house the way it will be when they live in it!

If, like some people, you’re a bit of a pack rat, you may want to consider renting a storage unit while you’re in the process of showing your home. Take all those old items out of the closets, guest rooms and garage, and move them out of the house completely. This even applies to the things you have in storage at the house because you’re potential buyers will want to see these areas as well.

Home Staging

home staging living roomIf you want to take your open house presentation to the next level, you may want to consider the services of a professional home staging company. A good staging service knows just how to give your interior design that “model home” feel. They will usually have tremendous resources when it comes to furnishings, artwork and decorations, creating an environment that shows your home in the best possible light.

Have Patience

couple planning to sell homePreparing your house for sale can feel like a daunting and overwhelming task.  You can make it less so by breaking it up into smaller projects. Make a list and set a deadline for each task that is realistic.  Set appointments with the appropriate contractors, if necessary, and stick to your schedule.  Do not, under any circumstances, show the house before it is ready (even though it can be very tempting to do so).  Your hard work and attention to detail will pay off big time when it comes time to open your home to buyers.