Prepare Your Home for Sale
Well before you’re ready to plant that “For Sale” sign in your front yard, there is work to be done to prepare your home for sale.
Remember how keen your eye was to every small detail and defect in the houses you saw as a buyer? Now that door to your bedroom that never quite closed properly or that leaky faucet that you never got around to fixing will be seen by a potential buyer with that same keen eye.
Start making the obvious repairs today – even if you don’t plan to sell until a year from now. These repairs can cost money and take time. Plus fixing it now will allow you to enjoy the results before it’s time to move out.
If you plan on doing some improvements before the sale, the best place to start is where the buyers start: at your curb. Potential buyers base a large part of their decision on a property’s “curb appeal,” so make yours say something positive. That means a tidy front yard, a house with well-painted trim, a clean and neat driveway and a clear, welcoming front walkway.
Inside, the biggest return on your investment continues to be improvements to the kitchen, followed closely by improvements to the master bedroom. If you’re making these improvements shortly before selling the house, consider painting and decorating the rooms in neutral colors, the most appealing choice to the greatest number of potential buyers. However, don't go for major renovations at this time because you won't recoup your outlay. If your kitchen is very outdated, if your carpet is old and truly needs replacing, you can offer "credits" to potential buyers.
Inside and outside, start reducing the clutter. When it comes time to show your home, less will mean more. Potential buyers don’t want to see how your closets overflow with clothes, how every room feels cramped with furniture, or how the yard is difficult to maneuver with that rusty swing set in the way. So downsize your "stuff" now; it not only will make the preparation for showing your home easier, it also will make packing for your move faster.