Now that you are ready to sell your home, it is time to prepare the property for sale. One of the most important things to remember is that you only get one chance to make a first impression. The time you take initially to prepare your home for sale will prove invaluable once it hits the market. These are important points to keep in mind when preparing your home for the market:
1. Disassociate Yourself from the Home
Once you have decided to place your home on the market, it’s time for you to remove your personal attachment to the property and think of the sale as a business transaction. Your mindset must change from selling your “home” to selling a house you happen to own and doing what it takes to make it stand out amongst the competition.
2. Select a Realtor
When choosing to work with a REALTOR®, you are choosing to work with someone who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) with a membership comprising over 1 million brokers and salespeople bound by a strong Code of Ethics. Realtors are continuously pursuing educational opportunities, attending conferences, as well as taking part in local community groups and events in order to become a more seasoned real estate professional to whom you can turn when deciding to purchase or sell your next home or investment.
Werba Realty and our entire sales team is a respected member of both the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the Long Island Board of Realtors (LIBOR). As such, in addition to our expertise and our longstanding relationships with qualified buyers and investors, we can offer you the opportunity to have your property marketed via the multiple listing service making it available to an even broader spectrum of potential buyers.
At Werba Realty, we believe that being a leader in the real estate sales and management business since 1965 gives us a tremendous edge in the local real estate market. We have been successfully promoting properties and building longstanding relationships with both buyers and sellers which will make the difference when selling or purchasing your next home or investment.
3. Get your documents in order
It’s important not only to prepare your home for sale but to be prepared yourself for inquiries that might arise regarding the property, as well as, be able to present the necessary documentation that your listing agent, attorney or potential buyers will request.
- Go through all your paperwork on the property and prepare your documents to be complete and readily available, i.e. deed/mortgage satisfaction letter/copies of rental agreements, utility bills, tax bills, etc./utility company contact info/etc.
- Make sure all outstanding town/city permits are closed out and building violations cleared.
- Speak to your accountant regarding the sale of your home with regard to any tax issues you should keep in mind.
4. De-personalize, De-Clutter and Get Organized
Now the real work begins.
- When selling a house, you want to create an environment whereby buyers can envision themselves in the space. Removing as many personal items and photos keeps potential buyers from being distracted.
- Getting rid of excess furniture and other items that are not being used on a daily basis makes a living area feel more spacious. Clearing bookshelves, tabletops, and china cabinets of “chachkis” will also help to make the space feel bigger. Begin at your front door and go through the entire house tossing, donating and packing up everything in order to make the house feel less cluttered. Don’t forget the basement, attic and garage.
- Organize the closets and kitchen cabinets. Sort like items of clothing and shoes together, place things in neat storage boxes and keep hangers facing in the same direction making the most use of closet space. Arrange kitchen cabinets so labels face forward, jars/cans/boxes are in rows, dishware is neatly stacked and everything appears in its place.
5. Remove Your Movables & Lighten Up!
- Take the time now to remove whatever items you plan to take with you. This includes window treatments, lighting fixtures, packed boxes and any other items you do not plan to include in the sale of the property. Doing so will also help in staging the home for buyers.
- Get rid of heavy drapery and window coverings that make the space feel dark and heavy. Open up the blinds and shades and let the light in from every window available. Bright, sunny rooms sell houses. Once the house is ready for showing, keep the doors open to the rooms throughout the house, with the exception of bathrooms, providing uninhibited access and traffic flow.
6. Repair it or Replace it
Walk through the house and make a list of all the things which need to be repaired and/or replaced.
- Paint rooms to freshen things up.
- Paint the Front door, garage door and any exterior trim to make the house more inviting.
- Replace house numbers with new, visible and attractive lettering.
- Replace burned out light bulbs and old/outdated or rusty light fixtures.
- Replace broken or outdated appliances, leaky faucets and fixtures.
- Re-caulk/Re-grout tiles in baths and kitchens.
- Fix any broken locks, doors, sliders, screens and drawers to ensure everything opens easily. A little “WD40” goes a long way.
7. Make The House Sparkle & Shine - Inside and Out
- Vacuum and clean all carpets, rugs and window coverings.
- Dust the furniture and mop the floors.
- Wash the windows and don’t forget the window blinds.
- Put out fresh kitchen and bath towels, blankets and bedspreads.
- Air out closed spaces and place lightly scented air fresheners throughout your home.
- Remember the utility room – clean gas/oil burners and dust free water tanks speak volumes to prospective buyers.
- Make the front entry inviting by clearing cobwebs and replacing all the welcome mats.
8. Consider the Curb Appeal of the Home
- Make sure the lawn is mowed, the leaves are raked and the snow is plowed.
- Trim the hedges and replace overgrown bushes.
- Plant flowers to make the home more inviting and appealing from the street.
- Make the front entry picture perfect with lovely planters, a bench, and new mailbox.
9. Final Staging
You are now in the home stretch.
- Arrange the furniture making sure pathways are clear and rooms feel spacious and defined.
- Adjust and align window shades and blinds so they are level and let the maximum light into the rooms.
- Pay close attention to bathrooms ensuring toilet lids are down and private toiletries are not visible.
- Place fresh flower arrangements in the entry and/or kitchen.
- Take one final walk through the house and make final adjustments considering the buyers’ perspective.
- Now that the property is ready to show, call your realtor to arrange for pictures to be taken of the entire property, inside and out.
10. It’s Showtime!
- Arrange steady convenient times, including both weekdays & weekends, when the house can be shown to buyers.
- Make your home available for open houses.
- Maintain the cleanliness of your home, inside and out, on a daily basis.
- Keep promotional flyers showcasing the house on the kitchen counter for all buyers.
- To avoid “being put on the spot” as a seller, it is best to take a backseat to your Realtor and allow the listing agent to direct all showings and field all questions from potential buyers. Your realtor will meet with you in a private setting to discuss everything in further detail.