As tempting as it may be to call up a Realtor and throw a “For Sale” sign in the front yard, selling your house requires a bit more preparation.
Even as the market heats up and demand increases, it’s always in your best interest as a seller to ensure your home makes a strong impression on buyers. That said, there are a few key steps to complete before putting your house on the market if you want to increase the chances of getting your full asking price.
Top 5 Steps For Getting Your House Ready To Sell
1. Complete Any Projects You’ve Been Putting Off
Like most homeowners, you probably have a mental list of small repairs or other projects you’ve been meaning to get around to— write this list down and complete every task before you put your home on the market.
Even a seemingly easy project may end up taking more time and energy than you initially expected, so the sooner you get started, the better!
2. Inspect The Entire Property
After you’ve finished the projects from your list, check the home for any other potential issues buyers may notice upon viewing the property. Thoroughly look over every room, from the basement to the attic, and don’t forget to go outside and assess the home’s exterior, too.
You can multi-task by completing your seasonal maintenance projects as you move from room to room.
3. Collect Your Valuable Items To Store In A Safe Place
If you haven’t already started the process of moving your belongings out of the home, it’s never a bad idea to start with the items most precious to you—things like jewelry, collectibles, important documents, and any other precious valuables should be carefully stored away someplace outside of the home.
4. Focus On Your Home’s Aesthetic
Below, professional home stagers Shelley and Pratt Barndollar of Showhomes Houston share their top recommendations for sellers:
Most buyers want the perfect home…..attractive, clean and move-in ready. Look at your home through a prospective buyer’s eyes – critically – and address any issues that you feel detract from the presentation. A few tips:
It starts at the curb! Clean up that yard, mulch, power wash. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware on the front door can make a powerful impression.
Do all those minor maintenance chores you’ve been putting off, ESPECIALLY if your home will be vacant.
Light fixtures, cabinet hardware or window treatments can make a home feel dinghy if they are outdated or worn, so replace them if necessary. Take down dark, heavy drapes – you’ll be amazed by how much lighter and spacious the room will feel.
Same goes for paint – a fresh coat of lighter, neutral-colored paint is a cost-effective way to create a crisp, new look and brighten a room. Don’t forget the trim.
ALWAYS ALWAYS have professional photos taken! For today’s buyers, the photos ARE the first impression. Put the photos of the home’s selling features early in the rotation – online shoppers won’t look past 4-5 photos if they don’t see something they like.
Thoroughly clean – a DEEP clean including shelves, cupboards, cabinets and garage.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter, Neutralize and De-personalize. Take down family photos, diplomas, etc – anything with your name on it. Make buyers feel like they are AT home, not a guest in your home.
Create open space – move excess furniture and closet storage offsite.
Don’t be afraid to have a professional stager in to help – their expertise is preparing homes for market, and even a simple consultation will give you lots of information and ideas.
Visit ShowHomes.com/Houston for more information about Shelley and Pratt’s home staging services!
5. Find A Local Realtor Who Knows Your Neighborhood
It’s always important to work with a Realtor who’s familiar with your town and the latest trends affecting your neighborhood’s real estate market. The more experience an agent has in your area, the easier it will be for him or her to estimate how much buyers are willing to offer and what the overall timeline will look like.
Best of all, Realtors who have experience in your neighborhood can help you create a marketing strategy to attract qualified buyers to the property.
Take your time fielding local real estate agents, and don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions before you decide who you’d like to hire.
Are You Ready To Sell Your Home?
As a longtime Houston resident myself, I’ve worked with homeowners in the Tanglewood, Uptown, Memorial, and Galleria neighborhoods for nearly 30 years. If you’re thinking about selling your luxury home, please feel free to get in touch!