You decided to sell, have retained a realtor, and decided on selling price. Now what? It’s time to prepare your house and yourselves.
Your realtor may suggest you have a professional Home Inspector to perform an inspection on your property. The inspection will determine if there are any latent defects that should be addressed before the for sale sign goes up on your front lawn. This may prevent a sale falling through at the last minute, because if the buyer’s home inspection finds the problem they could get cold feet. Or the buyer decides they want $2,000.00 taken off the asking price when, if you had it fixed the issue beforehand, it would have only cost you $800.00. Not all homes require the seller to do a home inspection, but it can be money very well spent.
Your realtor will do their own inspection, making detailed notes, taking measurements – all to be used in MLS (Multi Listing Service) and the web site write ups describing your house to potential buyers. After this inspection, expect a “To Do” list, sometimes broken down into three categories: Must do, Should do, Would like you to do. You might see little things like clean out closets and pack and store (off site if possible) seasonal clothing, re-caulk your tub, paint your trim, or larger things like replace a front door, replace an aging roof, or repair a crack in the basement wall. All these things will make your house more attractive to a potential buyer.
The three simplest and most effective things you can attend to when preparing your home for the market are: Cleaning, Clutter and Closets. If possible, have your house professionally cleaned – after you have removed as much clutter (do this twice – a week apart – you will be surprised what you can throw or give away the second time through) and cull unneeded clothing from all your closets.
Prepare yourself for the showing process as well. Understand that your agent will try to give you 24-hour notice before any showing, but sometimes a spur of the moment showing is requested. Always try to be ready – those spur of the moment showings can lead to a spur of the moment offer! That means keeping ahead of the laundry, housekeeping and gardening – you always want your house to be show ready. Hopefully, your house will sell quickly and the inconvenience of always being ready will only be short lived
Written by: Sandy Morgan