Often the idea of selling your house is more difficult than the actual process. Even though most homeowners face the prospect with a bit of dread, preparing a house for sale should be an orderly progression of small steps, and it is possible to accomplish the necessary preparations in 30 days or less.
Tips to Sell Your House
If you want to sell quickly and for the highest possible price, there are specific things you must do:
- Enlist the Help of a Professional: Interview several real estate agents, and select someone with local knowledge and a proven track record. Not only will you get an unbiased assessment of the local market, but you should also get an idea of the relative appeal of your home compared to the competition. You should also gain expert advice that will lead you in the right direction prior to listing the property.
- Make Necessary Repairs: Placing a house on the market is not like planning a garage sale. You will want to present the property in the best way possible, both physically and through the real estate markeing efforts. Catch up on deferred maintenance, clean up the yard, check for missing trim, dripping faucets or hose bibs, broken windows, damaged shingles, cracked sidewalks, outdated light fixtures or decor. Resolve to make changes that are deemed necessary or desirable, but don't think you have to completely remodel an older home.
- Update Interiors if Necessary: Prospective buyers might be able to overlook a paint color that is not their favorite, but they won't forgive carpet stains, scratched wood trim or smudges on the walls. Be sure all locks, latches and lights work properly, that the rooms are comfortable and that views, sight lines and focal points are effectively highlighted.
- Remove the Clutter: Enlist the help of a professional stager, or move personal belongings to a storage unit if necessary to make rooms look more spacious. Organize closets and storage areas, pantries and kitchen cabinets, and the garage. Take a look at the attic and basement, and clear out what is no longer necessary. Pack up seasonal clothing and sports gear. You'll be moving anyway when the house sells, and doing some of the work in advance will help make moving out easier.
- Make Your Home Sparkle: A home on the market can never be too clean! Polish the window, faucets and light fixtures. If you have a pet, try to remove or minimize the evidence, especially for showings! Make the beds daily, dust and vacuum often, and make sure the house smells fresh and pleasant at all time. However, don't try to mask odors with overly sweet or potent sprays. Vanilla and cinnamon are always pleasing scents. Fresh flowers, or green plants are a bonus, and they also help air quality.
- Price it Right! The comparables supplied by your real estate agent will give you a starting point, but it can be helpful to study online photographs and to visit other homes on the market. Be honest as you assess your own house in relation to others. Pricing is an emotional decision, but it is one of the most important things to do before you sell your house. A too-high listing price usually doesn't mean more money for you. Instead, it may send prospective buyers down the road.
There is no magic formula for selling a house. Instead, it is a measured, almost scientific approach that gets results. An optimistic attitude, of course, certainly can help!
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How do I stage my home while living in it?
Staging your home while living in it, is far easier than you may think. Start by deep-cleaning and de-cluttering. Next touch up the paintwork, cut the lawn and fix the gutters. Sort out anything that detracts from your home's overall look and consider buying fresh linen and a few throws. Keep on top of your cleaning and keep things tidy. Having several large plastic bins, you can quickly put things into before a viewing will also help. Ms. Yorkville provides in-depth staging advice on her blog.
How do you stage a home on a budget?
It is still possible to stage a home on a budget. Deep cleaning costs very little yet it will make a huge difference. As will buying a small pot of paint and touching up the paintwork. Cut your lawn, do the weeding and borrow a pressure washer. Buy rugs and throws to cover up stains and freshen things up. It does not cost much if you buy them from thrift shops. You can find more staging advice on Ms. Yorkville´s website.
What month do most homes go on the market?
In Canada, most homes go on the market in May, just as the weather starts to warm up. A pattern that is repeated in other parts of the world. Both buyers and sellers see spring as a good time of the year to move or sell. Conversely, December is when fewer homes are put on the market. Ms. Yorkville has clients looking for homes, year-round. So, there is no need to wait until the springtime to put your house up for sale.