You've made the decision to sell your home, found a fantastic real estate agent, and are currently busy making improvements to your home so it will stand out from the competition. But as you may have noticed, preparing to sell your home may be a major task. There is a lot to do before putting your home for sale, from taking on home renovation tasks to having your property staged.
A lot of people frequently overlook crucial activities along the process, even when they have a list of to-dos. Fortunately, we've compiled a list of the top considerations most home sellers overlook:
1. Cabinets and closets should be cleaned and organized.
You may have cleaned up the clutter in your home, arranged your desk and other surfaces, and put your antiques and personal belongings away, but have you taken on your closets and cabinets?
You should highlight your home's storage options because it's likely that prospective buyers will look inside your closets, kitchen drawers, and cabinets during a home tour. Start by purging your drawers, cabinets, and closets, making sure you're only retaining enough items in each to maximize the potential of the available space. Consider it as a storage-specific version of your home staging.
2. Remove odors and clean up stains.
Small blemishes, smudges, and other flaws are signs that a home has been well-loved. However, these minor blemishes may stand out to potential buyers when you're ready to sell your home, so be sure to address them.
Start by leaving your home and coming back inside as though you were a prospective buyer touring it for the first time. Then, proceed to stroll through each room and make a note of any flaws you find. Your list might surprise you with how quickly it expands.
If you have pets, your house may have an odor that you can no longer detect. While thorough cleaning is a guaranteed approach to help get rid of unwanted odors, doing something as basic as opening the windows for a few hours each day will help your home breathe (especially if there are any chemical smells lingering). Additionally, you can utilize room fresheners as plugins to spread a fresh aroma around your home. Don't use artificial odors excessively, though, as this can cause them to wonder what odor you're actually trying to cover up.
3. Replace light bulbs
Many people fail to complete minor things like changing a lightbulb when it burns out when preparing their house for sale. Walk through each area and make sure every lighting is operational to avoid deterring potential buyers with these minor flaws. Don't forget to verify the functionality of all the external lights. Open houses or home tours could occur as the sun is setting or when it is already dark, depending on the time of year, so make sure your home is spotless both inside and out.
Make sure that both inside and outside your home, all of your light bulbs are the same color temperature. For first-time homeowners, a soft-white LED bulb can produce a friendly yet bright environment.
4. Consider the little things, like plants, mirrors, and rugs.
Consider the unique qualities of each space as you prepare to sell your home so you can truly show off each one's potential.
Add some greenery to your entire house.
Nothing brings more life to a space than a small amount of vegetation. Even modest house plants placed throughout your home, like on a desk or close to a bedroom window, can make a difference. A potted tree can do wonders for a living room.
Mirrors can expand even the tiniest spaces.
A certain area of your home could feel a little crowded as you prepare to sell it. Consider adding a mirror to open up the room. Because they give the appearance of depth and reflect light brilliantly into darker locations where natural light may not be abundant, mirrors can make tiny spaces appear larger.
Rugs can breathe personality into a bland room.
Rug staging is an easy way to give your house more personality. However, bear in mind that you should utilize rugs to complement a room rather than make them the center of attention. A rug may add a little personality to a unique spot in your house that you've never really worked out a decent use for while leaving the space and its possibilities up to the buyers' imaginations.
5. Improve your outdoor area.
One of the most powerful methods to make a great first impression is to improve your curb appeal. The other outside spaces, such as your front porch or entrance, rear entrance, side yard, and backyard, should not be overlooked. You should improve the outside areas surrounding your home so that potential purchasers may envision living there as well as inside.
Simple improvements can make a big difference, such as applying fresh beauty bark to the base of your hedges and trees or arranging potted plants at the front entrance. Consider creating a DIY fire pit or setting up your deck with outdoor dining chairs if you don't already have a distinct outside entertaining area. It's a smart idea to invest in your backyard's landscaping if you don't intend to undertake a significant outside improvement before selling your property. In the end, your outdoor space is equally as significant as the interior features of your home.
6. Get professional aerial photography
Aerial photography is a fantastic way to make your property stand out among the competition. Listing images are an effective marketing tool when you're getting ready to sell your home, and homes with professional photos are known to sell for more money and spend less time on the market.
Drone photography can provide a stunning view, showcase your entire property, and document the surrounding environment. Potential buyers can quickly understand the full scale of your property from an aerial view, which also makes for eye-catching listing images.
7. Remember to take care of your gutters.
Depending on where you live, you might not see as much rain, even in cities where it rains frequently. Gutter obstructions are a deal breaker for prospective purchasers. Consider hiring a professional to clear out and examine your gutters if you don't have time to do it yourself as you prepare your property for sale to make sure this small oversight doesn't dash your dreams of a quick sale.
8. Baseboards and crown molding should be painted.
It's normal to paint your home's interior a neutral hue to attract more buyers, but when preparing their house for sale, many homeowners neglect to take care of their baseboards and crown molding. Your baseboards have probably seen a lot more traffic than your crown molding, especially if you have kids and dogs. The crown molding may only need minor cleaning and touch-ups. Consider cleaning your baseboards with just water and dish soap to remove these unattractive flaws. However, if it has endured years of deterioration, think about giving them a fresh coat of paint.
9. Think about your floors.
A floor makeover can be one of the best expenditures you can make to give your home a fresh look if you're thinking about what repairs to make before selling your home. Make your flooring stand out because they are one of the first things purchasers see when they enter a new house.
Refinishing your hardwood floors will restore them to their previous splendor. This entails sanding the floors to remove the old finish and stain, then repainting them in the chosen color and applying one or more coats of sealant.
10. Gather your documents
Your critical documents must be organized at the same time that you are preparing your house for sale. You should gather all of the paperwork you possess, including manuals, service records, and details of any home repairs. Before you sell your home, several parties will require different copies of these documents for a number of reasons.
Home inspectors will thoroughly inspect your house as part of the home inspection procedure. They'll let you know whether your water heater or furnace hasn't received maintenance in a long time. Take charge of the situation by compiling all of your service records so you'll be aware of any repairs that are required before advertising your house.
Title firms want highly particular documentation before they will allow you to sell your house, including the following:
- Information about mortgage loans, including the balance owed and any outstanding balance (if there is any)
- Final purchase and sale agreement
- Title report
- Details about property taxes, including the most current tax statement
- Homeowners insurance information
- Lease agreement, if you’re currently renting the property
- Any records or paperwork pertaining to the property.
- Records pertaining to warranties, licenses, service records, owner's manuals, dates of home remodeling projects, and the age of the HVAC, roof, furnace, hot water heater, and all other significant appliances.
11. Home inspection before purchase
When getting ready to sell your home, the last but possibly most crucial step is to perform a voluntary pre-sale home inspection. It's a proactive method to know your house's value and take care of any repairs or faults before putting your home for sale.
If you wait until the buyer requests their own home inspection, you can run into delays when it comes time to close because repairs are being completed or because you are negotiating repair costs with the buyer. You'll want to keep the number of reasons that could make the buyers back out of the contract to a minimum because they might have an impact on your asking price because they might want concessions to cover any repairs. In the long run, conducting a pre-listing home inspection will put you in a better position to haggle with prospective buyers.