How To Prepare Your House For Sale And Make It Appealing To Buyers

There are lots of factors that go into the price of a house — both historically and in its current market — but one factor many buyers consider is how well-maintained and appealing the home is. No matter how pretty your house is, if it’s full of clutter or needs repair, you might find it difficult to get buyers interested. Here are some tips for getting your house ready to sell.

Clean Up Your Yard

Buyers don’t want to see unkempt yards when looking at houses for sale. Make sure any overgrown plants are trimmed back, along with hedges, weeds, etc., so they don’t block windows or make the yard look cramped. Remove any remaining snow from the ground. Springtime grass should be at least 4 to 5 inches tall, but not too tall (2.5-3.5 inches) as that can make it difficult to show the house!

Declutter Your House

One of the biggest deterrents for buyers is an overstuffed home with clutter everywhere. This doesn’t mean you need to remove every single possession from your property; simply de-cluttering will make it look more spacious and easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there. 

Start by removing personal belongings from closets, drawers, and cabinets in every room of the house. Then tackle larger items such as old furniture or appliances. It’s a good idea to have a friend come help out — one person can sort through things while the other holds open a garbage bag.

Fix Any Cosmetic Issues

Small cracks, stains, and other cosmetic issues can be distracting for potential buyers. Invest in some caulk that matches your paint colour to fill any small holes or gaps in walls or trim. If there are stubborn stains on the carpet, you can try renting a carpet cleaner (or hiring professionals) to make it look newer again. 

Also, switch outdated light fixtures with new ones. It’s important to keep your house looking fresh throughout this process; otherwise, buyers will assume bigger repairs are needed too.

Stage Your Home

After you’ve decluttered and cleaned the house, it’s time to do a little light decorating. This will help set the tone for potential buyers — demonstrating that your house is move-in ready — and allow them to picture themselves living there. It’s a sure way to get a cash offer fast.  Depending on your home’s layout, you can try staging rooms like a model home. 

You can also make small changes such as adding fresh flowers or moving furniture around. It doesn’t take much effort (or money!), but having those little touches can make all the difference when selling your house!

Postpone Painting Your Walls

If you’re planning on repainting your walls before selling your house, hold off until after buying offers come in! This is because buyers want to be able to choose the colours they like, and if you’ve already painted, it limits their choices. You can still repaint rooms that buyers won’t see — such as the closets and basement — and make sure any walls damaged by furniture or kids’ toys are patched!

Give The Kitchen And Bathroom A Deep Cleaning

House For Sale2

Kitchens and bathrooms can require more intense cleaning efforts than other areas of your house. If you’re not up for scrubbing every surface yourself, consider hiring a professional. 

Otherwise, go through these spaces with an eye for detail: mould around sinks (and under them), scuffs on tiles, food crumbs in corner cabinets, etc., should all be cleaned up before showing your house to potential buyers.

It’s Not Always Necessary To Make These Repairs

There are some repairs that might not be necessary to make before selling your house — especially if the issue isn’t noticeable to potential buyers. For example, you shouldn’t remove floor or wall tiles simply because they’re outdated; these can reflect the character and give buyers a chance to imagine themselves in the home. 

Postpone Repairs Or Major Decorating Projects

It might be tempting to start renovations before selling your property — after all, new floors or updated appliances could increase its value and appeal to buyers, but unless it’s a major project, hold off until after the sale is complete. Big changes might lead to complications, including costly repair issues that could delay or even derail your sale altogether.   You don’t want to risk losing any offers because you wanted to start some renovations!

Invest In Some Photos Of Your Home

Once the house is clean, decluttered, and staged, it’s time to take some photos. You can hire a professional photographer or refer to this list of DIY tips. If you prefer the DIY route, keep these things in mind: make sure your home looks tidy from all angles; avoid including clutter, and don’t use flash (it might create an unrealistic appearance). Also, check out what colours your camera captures — they may look different than you remember! 

Price It Appropriately 

Once it’s ready for the market, price your house appropriately by looking at similar sales in your neighbourhood. There are plenty of online tools that allow sellers to estimate how their property is worth, such as this website. Also, real estate agents can help you determine the market value of your home by evaluating its size, previous sales in your neighbourhood, and recent listings. 

Go Through The House With Potential Buyers

Now that you’ve decluttered, staged, and photographed your house, it’s time to show it off! If possible, lead buyers through the house to give them a sense of how much space is available. Don’t try to push potential buyers into making an offer — let them explore at their own pace. You should also be prepared for questions! Many prospective buyers will have a list of things they want to be clarified before putting in an offer. 

Once You Accept An Offer

If your house is under contract, don’t panic! There’s still plenty of time to prepare for the move. In addition to planning a moving sale, here are some more things you can do in the weeks before closing: set up utilities at your new place, find a storage solution if you haven’t found a new home yet, have your mail sent to your P.O. box after the sale closes, organize any paperwork and bills you’ll need during and after the move (and shred anything with personal information). 

The best way to prepare your house for sale is to clean, stage, and photograph it. With these little touches, potential buyers will be able to imagine themselves in the home — which increases its appeal. Also, focus on making the necessary repairs before you list your property or adjust your price accordingly. Lastly, always ask a real estate agent if you have any questions.

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