There are thousands of articles written on this question so this is not going to be completely new. However after 25 years selling homes there are some things that are just practical and not costly, what I like to consider nuts and bolts preparations. If you watch the T.V. shows they have some good advise but a lot of it is superficial, costly and does not apply to South Central Kansas.
Lets start from the beginning, the goal is the sell your home for the best price with the least amount of complications. So lets get out from behind the computer and do a walk around. We’ll start out at the curb and have a good look at your home. Look at it with a critical eye the same one your buyer is going to use, put your self in their shoes. Are the windows clean? Is the front door clean and bright? Are the gutters clean or can you see leaves piled clear to the shingles? Are the shrubs trimmed? Should more fresh mulch be added? Is there any dead branches in the trees? is the fence straight and not leaning over? Are there any dents in the garage door? if so remember that is the first thing they will see when the pull in the driveway. The conversation goes like this ” honey look at that dent that really stands out, that will have to be fixed. How much do you think that will cost?” see they are deducting value before they even get out of the car. We want to stay away from this so we have to be honest with the home. We’ll walk all the way around it making notes to review later.
After you have toured your home’s exterior and yard move inside and do the same thing use a critical eye to evaluate the interior. Is there any normal wear and tear you can correct with paint? Can some furniture be removed to make space? Are the carpets tight and clean? Are the toilets tight to the floor and calked? Is there any pet damage or odors? That is a big one, we all have pets and they are part of our family but they must be minimalized during a home sale or it can cost you. Make preparation for the pets to be gone for showings they will thank you because it makes them worried and nervous when someone strange is moving through their home. are all the light bulbs replace and the globes cleaned and the list goes on. But do you see what I mean about having a critical eye? Again make notes to consider later.
Lastly but not least, after we have evaluated the home for manicure and present ability it must past the home inspections after a contract is accepted and you are headed to escrow. So lets look in the mechanical room. Is it clean and lent free? Remove anything stored there so the hot water tank and furnace are accessible. Check under the crawl space make sure there is no wood laying around or water standing, look under sinks and vanity’s to see if there are any minor leaks you were not aware of. Make sure the breaker box is clear and accessible. Once again give everything a good look over for something you might have over looked in your daily coming and going. If you see a problem lets fixit it and save the problem when you are trying to get moved later after we have a contract in place.
I have made a list below that you might consider. These are just some good ideas to consider and if you have any questions please call us, any of our agents will sit down with you and walk you completely through the selling process so you can feel confident in your move. It’s a thing we call Sudduth University and we leave no stone unturned in educating you about the process from beginning to end.
- Move in Condition is the bench mark.
- Clean and stretch carpets.
- Have the windows cleaned and have curtains open for light during showings
- Remove all magazines and newspapers from area where we all leave them.
- Pack up anything you do not use daily. You are moving and if we price the home right you are moving soon, so box it up.
- Clean out under cabinets so the workings and pipes can be seen and inspected
- Has you roof been checked for hail and ware? If not do that, after all we live in Kansas. Replacing a roof while in escrow is a nightmare we do not want to live.
- You might consider hiring a private home inspector and making his recommended repairs. This can be a valuable selling tool because it shows serious effort on your part to do your best for the buyer.
- have the HVAC system serviced by a licensed contractor and tape the invoice to the front of the furnace.
- Termite inspections are inexpensive and can save considerable stress in the contract process. I would get one.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs and leave the lights on for showings. The buyers are assured you were expecting them
- Make a list of everything you have done to the home over the years. Buyers love this.
- Map out your plants if you have special ones and identify them by name especially fruit trees. This is a great value to the buyer and likely your beautiful yard was a big selling feature.
- Make a list of all the things you love about your home. Do not take for granted the buyer will be able to visualize the beautiful sunsets across the water, the humming birds that come back every year, or the shaded back yard that is so cool on summer evenings, if its winter they will be looking at the fireplace and if its summer you need to point out how beautiful the Christmas tree is in the window. All of these things are essential to helping your agent write the best ads.
- Make arrangements for the pets they will love you if you do not leave them home during showings. It really upsets them.
- Remove extra furniture to make rooms look bigger.
- Clean off all counters, no pen and pencil cups, note pads, appliances you rarely use, do some major declutter.
- Move and hide exterior trash containers.
- Clean off the refrigerator no magnets and children’s art work. I know its home but this should not take long if it is done right. 🙂
- Remove all guns and jewelry or place then in a inconspicuous safe.
- Have the home ready for pictures day 1. Great pictures are critical. Most buyers are starting on line and they choose the homes they look at by the pictures on line.
- Call one of our professional full time agents and have a great selling experience.
I hope you find this helpful and as always do not hesitate to call us about any real estate question. We want to be your resource for your most valuable asset.
Mark Sudduth Broker / Owner
Realty Executives Sudduth Realty Inc.