How to get your house ready to sell

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell: What to Do Before You Put Your House On the Market

So, you’re selling your home. Have you been putting it off because of the work that goes into it?

Selling a house is a nightmare for many, and stressful for all, but does it have to be that way?

Believe it or not, over 5 million existing homes were sold in 2018, so it’s a challenge most of us will have to face at some point in our lives. Why not make it easier?

No matter the situation, let’s talk about how to get your house ready to sell quickly, and for top dollar.

How To Get Your House Ready To Sell

Making the decision to sell your house isn’t an easy one. No matter how long you’ve lived there, it will always be looked back on as a complete chapter of your life.

Well, that’s the same feeling that your buyers will be looking for before purchasing your home.

Once you’ve made the decision to sell your house, you have to think like a buyer as much as you think like a seller. What we mean is that there are many similar steps to follow when selling, compared to buying.

Let’s face it. This is your home and you don’t want to let it go for cheap. So, let’s go over some simple steps to getting your house ready to hit the market so you can get the best price.

Research

Doing your research on selling a home will help you understand some of the ins-and-outs of selling, as well as the value of your home.

Get free estimates to see a rough idea of how much your house is worth. Any big repairs or installations that may not be included in the estimate should be added to the price.

The location, the housing market, the land, and the property and building itself all contribute to the value of your home. Make sure that you are charging and expecting a fair price.

Don’t take this step lightly. This is the time to bring out your inner “keyboard warrior” and find out when the best time is to sell and how to get the most money from your sale.

This should be the easy part for you. If you like to look through Yelp reviews before trying a new restaurant, take the time to do some research on selling your home.

Is Everything Working?

One of the most important questions to answer before selling is: “Is my house really worth the estimate?”

Well, potential buyers will likely try to negotiate for the lowest price they can get. If the water heater or the septic tank isn’t working properly, they are going to push for a discounted price.

You should have your house inspected for any leaks, cracks, or damages so that you don’t lose any money because of it. You can add some of the expenses of the repair to the sale, which will give you more money than if the buyers had to pay to do it themselves.

This is the tricky part. Consult with your realtor and family to see which repairs will be worth it before selling. You wouldn’t buy a car with a broken transmission, much like how you wouldn’t buy a house with a giant hole in the kitchen floor.

If you cannot repair these problems, be upfront and honest with your realtor and/or potential buyers.

Presentation

You read that correctly. It’s clean up time! 

If you’re selling a house, it’s likely you’ve already bought one unless it was inherited. Now is the time to think like a buyer. What would you be looking for in a home?

People aren’t as interested in buying a house as they are in making a home. They want to be able to see a future in the house that they can make perfect for them.

So, what’s better for showing the house? Empty or furnished?

Well, most experts will agree that a lightly furnished, well staged home is the best seller. Give viewers a taste of the potential, and get your stuff (all of that clutter that has been building up since you moved in) out of the house a little early! It’s a win-win.

Cleaning

Make sure that your house is presentable. Think about how you want the house to look when you have a few coworkers over for dinner. Now think about how going the extra mile might look to a potential buyer.

The difference here is that your coworkers probably won’t be looking behind your curtains to inspect the dust on your window sill, but your buyers might.

It may be nearing September, but it’s time for some spring cleaning! Mopping the kitchen, vacuuming and steam cleaning the carpets, and adding some other basic tasks will go a long way for the sale. The little things add up!

Maintenance

We’re not saying you have to break the bank to fix every little thing in the house. However, every house has a few small problems. The good news is a couple of simple fixes will only take minimal time and effort but will help a lot with the sale. Potential buyers are conditioned to look for all of the little things.  If they find them, they will want to dig deeper to see if anything bigger is hidden.  Don’t give them the chance to be skeptical.

It doesn’t have to be rocket science, but paint chips peeling off the wall and a few loose doorknobs will seem worse than they are to someone looking for a new chapter in their life.

If you or someone you know is a handy person, grab a toolbox and fix some of the minor, superficial glitches in your beautiful home so that buyers will fall in love.

Even if you aren’t the handiest, there are plenty of DIY home improvements you can make, even on the tightest of budgets.

Don’t Forget The Great Outdoors

When potential buyers are looking to purchase a new home, the first impression doesn’t start when they open the front door.

These people are in a vehicle and they are filling with anxiety as they turn onto your street, excited to see the house they may live in for their entire lives for the first time. Who knows? If they are smart about it they could even get to the showing early and be inspecting it from their cars.

If you have a shed or a poolhouse in the yard, make sure it looks nice. Folks want to see an opportunity for their children to play and venture in the yard.

Like everything else so far, imagine what you would want to see. Would you enjoy imagining yourself on a riding lawn mower in the back, or a nice swing set for your kids? Leaving certain items behind for their viewing pleasure will make a difference. Remember, buying a house is as much of an emotional decision as a practical one.

How to Know When a House is Ready to Sell

So you’ve prepared? Good, but is that going to be enough?

We understand there is a lot to do before you are ready to sell, and if you’ve followed all the previous steps, you’re probably in good shape.

It’s best to be certain that you’re ready to go before making it official. So let’s go over the main criteria for a market-ready house.

Learn The Market

The housing market will either make or break your profits or even your sale. Fortunately, housing costs have been rising lately in most states, so now may be the best time in your life to sell.

This depends entirely on where you live. If your house is in great shape, it’s all about your neighborhood, your city, and your state.

For some reference, find out how much the average listing price is in your state, county and neighborhood and see how much it’s grown since you’ve lived there.

Get a Second Opinion

You can’t do everything yourself. Sometimes it is best to call in the professionals. If you are getting a house inspection, you might as well get your house evaluated while you’re at it.

Many inspectors will give you an estimate, so be sure to ask if they evaluate your home when seeking these services.

If your budget is tight and you can’t afford an inspector to come in, ask a friend or a relative to just look over your home to give you some honest feedback. A fresh set of eyes goes a long way.

Check Everything

I know what you’re thinking, but after you’ve cleaned and made the house presentable, simply look around as if you were a potential buyer.

Double-checking isn’t going to hurt you here if you are confident you have already gone over everything. If the house was inspected, it looks presentable, you have a price in mind, and you think you’re ready, then congratulations! It is finally time to sell.

How To Sell

If you’re feeling overwhelmed from all of that, don’t worry. This is where you get all the room in the world to relax. 

Once you are ready to hit the market, the fun has just begun. Now it’s time to make it official, talk to a professional, and sell your house.

Choosing a Realtor

Choosing your realtor when selling is as important as choosing a house to buy. Some people will be inclined to sell themselves, or hire the first person that they meet, but there is so much value in a trusted professional.

However, choosing the right one is often tough. Like a good mechanic, a good Realtor is worth their weight in gold. You need a Realtor who is strategic and can help you through every step of the process.

An ambitious, strategic Realtor will get you the best deal for your home and take the burden off your family. Our Mars mission is exactly the kind of ambition you need for your sale.

How To Present

Presentation is everything! A seller does not have to be present for a home showing, but it is certainly a bonus to hear testimony from the last owner about their stay.

When a resident tells you why they are leaving and how much they enjoyed the house, it puts a lot of anxiety to rest for potential buyers.

While that is a bonus for the buyer, you are welcome to leave the home to the imagination of buyers. If you’ve cleaned up the place, and things are working, your work is done. Feel free to leave it to the pros.

Move On

Once your house is presentable and in the hands of the professionals, you now have free range to start moving on. Reward yourself with a few scoops of ice cream and some future home shopping.

This is the part where you contact your moving company, complete the sale when it’s ready, and say goodbye to the house. By this point, you’ve earned the time to relax.

If you’re moving to a new home in the area, you probably need some help with buying your next home. Well, start the next chapter of your life with our buying services and you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Next Steps

Now that you know how to get your house ready to sell, why wait? Get your house ready to sell now, and let the pros take care of the rest.

We know this process isn’t always the easiest, but we’re here to work with you every step of the way to make this transition as pain-free as we can.

If you are interested in the process of selling a house, check out our series, #DailyDean, to see a day in the life of real estate industry here on Long Island!

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