Preparing Your House for Sale

| August 10, 2012

fixer-upper

If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you’ll want to look through the Dex Pages to locate real estate agents, all of whom will give you the same starting advice: Make some preparations to ensure that your house looks its best. Here are a few ways to start.

Clean up the exterior

People make assumptions about a home’s interior by what they see on the outside (“curb appeal”), so make sure your exterior is inviting. Keep the lawn mowed and the weeds pulled, and plant a few flowers to give your yard some character. If the porch is crumbling, repair it, and consider brightening up old shingles with a fresh coat of paint.

Clear it out

If your home is cluttered, it will look a lot less spacious. Start clearing out as much furniture and other belongings as you can. Pack up the knickknacks and rent a storage unit, even temporarily, for larger items.

Clean and polish

A thorough cleaning is a necessity before showing your home. Clean the windows, bleach the sinks and rent a professional steam cleaner for the carpet (especially if you have pets) or hire a steam cleaning service to do the work. Buy new rugs and towels for the bathroom and throw out those ratty couch pillows. Ask a trusted friend to assess your home and help you polish up anything you’ve overlooked.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don’t spend a lot of money on major repairs or renovations – they likely won’t help you hike your selling price enough to make them worthwhile.
  • Think about hiring a cleaning service if you can’t keep up with regular housework while trying to sell; you never know when a potential buyer will want to come by.
  • Be sure your agent notes to prospective buyers the items you plan on taking, such as appliances or light fixtures, before the buyers assume they are part of the deal.
  • If you live in a little pink house or have a school bus yellow bathroom, consider a paint job before you go on the market — houses with neutral colors tend to sell faster.

Did You Know?

  • Potential buyers spend less time looking at a home if the owner is present, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Let your agent or another trusted person handle the showing for you.
  • According to NAR, 90 percent of prospective home-buyers conduct their home searches primarily via the Internet, so take some pictures for the web.

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Category: Real Estate, Real Estate Agents & Brokers