Ready, Set, Sell! How to get your house ready to sell!

So you’re ready to sell your home? To sell your home for the highest price possible, there are steps you can take before putting it on the market to increase its value. Although it may take a little work, research, and time to get the best offers, our easy-to-follow guide can help you get more out of your upcoming sale. We’ll give you six steps for preparing your home for the sale, as well as four tips for the selling process.

Bringing in only the most serious buyers and highest-level offers can often be the most difficult part of selling your home. Follow these tips to make the process go more smoothly, and don’t forget to consult a real estate professional before you make any moves.

1. Understand Your Home’s Value

Your first step should be to determine what your home is actually worth. You’ve likely made a lot of great memories in your home. Maybe you grew up in it, raised a family in it or have spent precious time there with friends and family.

With so many memories attached to your home, it can be easy to believe that your home is worth more than it actually is. A common mistake that homeowners make when they sell their home is overvaluing it and pricing it too high.

A local real estate professional can help you determine how to price your home. They’ll consider recent home sales and current market conditions to figure out a good price point to attract buyers and bring in offers.

2. Find The Right Listing Agent

A great listing agent is an invaluable asset when you sell your home. Listing agents not only handle your listing agreement; they also help you create your battle plan to promote and then show and sell your home. Additionally, a listing agent will make sure your home doesn’t spend too much time on the market.

3. Depersonalize And Declutter Your Space

Sure, you may love that pink bedroom, but will your buyer? Removing distinctive personal touches like bright paint and mementos allows buyers to envision themselves in your home. This often leads to a higher selling price and less time spent on the market. Here are some additional tips:

-Make your design aesthetic as neutral as possible.
-Remove unusual paint and wallpaper colors, and pack up family photos.
-Ask a friend to point out any taste-specific decorations so you can remove them.
-Redecorate with as much generic appeal as possible; think of neutral wall colors and modern furniture.

This process should also include a thorough decluttering. Remove unnecessary appliances, furniture and toys from view when buyers are touring your property. Before a house showing, clear the kitchen counters and tidy up common areas and bedrooms. Open your curtains or shades to allow light in. Keep your kids’ toys hidden or in a playroom until potential buyers leave.

4. Make Minor Repairs And Updates

A home that’s in great condition will help you get a higher offer. Although repairs might not be required, they’ll give you better-negotiating power and help you avoid the headache of having to quickly fix something to close the sale. Here are some repairs and updates you should consider when you’re getting ready to sell:

Paint: Touching up paint is one of the cheapest and easiest home repairs you can make. Take a look around your home for paint that needs to be updated or retouched.

Kitchen appliances: Buyers will expect your major appliances to work. If your oven, stove or dishwasher doesn’t work or isn’t in good shape, you should repair it before you show your home. Additionally, some buyers may be expecting you to have Energy Star-certified appliances, so consider the benefits of installing some.

Bathroom fixtures: Bathrooms and kitchens are some of the most important rooms in the home. Clean, updated bathrooms are an absolute must. If any of the plumbing is leaky, schedule necessary repairs immediately. Consider installing WaterSense fixtures, too, to pique the interest of those interested in energy-efficient homes.

Lighting: Lighting can be a powerful asset when you sell your home – because it can change how a room looks. If your light fixtures aren’t updated or energy-efficient, they can make your home look older and smaller. Soft white LED light bulbs are more affordable than ever before, and can make your home feel cozier than fluorescent lights.

Roofing: Roofing problems can be expensive to repair. A roof with leaks or missing shingles is likely to scare away many buyers. If you have the money to repair the roof, it’s best to do so before you list your home. If you don’t have the money, you can still list your home, but make sure you disclose your roof’s condition to the buyer well before closing.

5. Touch Up Your Home’s Exterior

Your home’s exterior is the first thing buyers see, so take some time to make sure you’re up to date on exterior maintenance. Here are some exterior items you can tackle before selling your home:

Clean your gutters out and wash your home’s siding.
Mow your lawn, remove weeds and prune bushes.
If your home has a fence, inspect it for missing panels and peeling paint.
If you have a pool, fish out leaves, toys and branches before buyers visit.
Clean and clear your sidewalk and any other paths on your property.
If your front door has peeling paint, a fresh coat will instantly update and modernize it.
Finally, consider adding curb appeal by putting planters on either side of your front door or adding a new, clean welcome mat to help potential buyers feel at home.

6. Get Rid Of Odors

You might not notice the pet smells in your home because you’ve gotten used to them. And even though these issues are easily fixable, they can be a turn-off for buyers. It’s best to hide any litter boxes and use an air freshener before open houses and showings. Wash or replace pet beds and toys to fight bad odors, and set up a cleaning schedule to keep pet hair at bay.

If you have an open house or showing coming up, ask a friend or family member to watch your pet while buyers are in your home. If that’s not possible, make sure your pet is in its crate, your backyard or otherwise out of the way when you show your home.

Even if you don’t have pets, there are odors to watch out for, including:

A musty smell could make buyers leery of mold or mildew.
Odors from your sink or garbage disposal may indicate a problem with under-the-sink plumbing.
The smell of rotten eggs or sulfur in your kitchen may indicate you may lack the required traps or vents; this problem can be fixed with the help of a plumber.