6 Penny Pinching Ideas To Help Get Your Home Ready To Sell

Dated: 11/17/2014

Views: 358

There are many schools of thought on what should be done to prepare a home for the market.  Whether it is an older home, a newer home, a first-time buyer home, a For-Sale-By-Owner or listed by an agent, the home should be prepared for the market.  If you hire a home stager, they take care of furniture placement, décor items, and more, but even before you decide to sell, there are things that need to be done to get ready to sell.  Here is a list of the cheapest, but the most necessary things to do:

1, Clean, clutter-free and de-personalize—first on the list because it is THE most important and will reap THE biggest rewards.  Make sure your home is clean, squeaky clean.  It’s time for deep spring cleaning, closets, drawers, windows, doors, floors, everything should sparkle.  Get some boxes and pack your family pictures, take your name off the door, remove your initials from over the garage door.  This may be tough, particularly if you have family vacation photos around, but the idea is for the potential buyers to view this home as a home their family could live in.  It’s to your advantage that they focus on the home, not spend time thinking about how nice looking your family is or what fun the cruise must have been. 

2. Open the blinds—I mentioned that the windows should sparkle.  Yep, that’s because I want you to open the blinds and other window coverings to allow the natural light into the home.  I’ve gone into several homes that were so dark I had to turn a light on just to get past the door and it is really a buyer turn-off.  It may be a way to cut down on utility costs but it may also deter potential buyers.
3. Handyman repairs—Take care of minor repairs before placing your home on the market.  Buyers may think that if there are minor repairs not being completed, there may be other, more expensive items needing repair. 
4. Front and back yards—Yards play a big role in the curb appeal of the home.  It is essential to have a clean, manicured yard, particularly the front yard.  Take a look at the shrubbery and see if they need to be trimmed, leaves raked or weeds pulled.  This is a very inexpensive project, it may cost you a few sore muscles, but very little cash.  Make sure the kids toys are not left scattered across the lawn.  In addition to looking bad, the toys may be a trip hazard.  The back yard should have a general cleanup including removing the tell-tale (and stinky) signs of a pet from the premises.  While you’re at it, be sure to store the trash barrels neatly around to the side of the home.
5. Front door—The front door and, in fact, the entire entry area of the home, contribute to great curb appeal (or not!).  If the front door is dirty, needs painting, has a screen that is torn or a window that is broken, well let’s just say that it may be enough for a potential buyer pass you up.  If the front area isn’t cleaned and polished, chances are there may be more issues inside.  So, grab some paint, the broom, purchase a new door mat, add a pot of color or something else of interest to draw people inside.  It’s our/your goal to get the home sold and to do so, we need to get potential buyers inside.      

6. Utilities (A/C and Heating)—We all want to save money on utilities, but you don’t want potential buyers to hurry out of the home because it is too cool in the winter or because you turned off the ac in the summer.  Maintaining a comfortable temperature will, upfront, show the potential buyers that the AC or heater is working and, they will be more likely to stay a bit longer to actually look at the home.  This could be the time when they start talking about where they will place their furniture.  

None of the ideas here cost very much, but I hope you will find them interesting and useful if you decide to sell a property.  Good luck.  
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Sharon Miller

Sharon is a military wife who moved at the direction of the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years, a Federal employee who retired after 30 years of service, an active Broker Associate/REALTOR in San Antonio w....

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