Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to sell your house. Its not because its your Home, its because you live there and can overlook flaws that others can notice who are not attached to it by memories and familiarity……
So what can you do to make sure your house stand out from all the others on the market. Before it actually goes on the market may I suggest a few pro-active things to do?
Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-market home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers and you’ll be able to make repairs before buyers can notice them.
Organize and Clean. Pack up your least used kitchen items such as blenders, out of season clothes, decorations, toys and exercise equipment. Secure valuables and personal items such as family pictures. Store items off site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures and baseboards to make the house shine. You’ll have to pack these items when the house is sold anyway, this is one less job you will have to do when it is time to move.
Get replacement estimates. Do you have big ticket items that are worn out or will need replacing soon such as a roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it will cost to replace them, even if you do not plan to do it yourself. Having estimates available will help buyers to determine if they can afford the home and will be handy for when negotiations begin.
Find your warranties,survey and deed. Gather up warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher and any other appliances or items remaining with the house. Also having repair and maintenance receipts on hand helps show your house is a good investment as you’ve taken good care to keep it in working order. If possible have Deed, survey and Title papers handy.
Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you are a buyer and stand outside of your house. As you approach the front door what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the paint around the door in good repair? Is the address clearly visible on either a post or the house itself? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the walkway?
If you have renovated or expanded are all of your building permits closed? Most people don’t think about permits for decks, renovations or finishing a basement. You must obtain a building permit, have work inspected and obtain an official Certificate of Occupancy. Without these steps completed you may cause delays in closing on the sale when Title and Municipal searches are done.
Set the scene–have a professional “stage” your house. Sometimes houses are sold before they have a chance to catch their breath. From the moment a potential buyer steps out of the car your home needs to catch their attention–and hold it. They need to be able to see their belongings in place. By setting the scene you can help them see memories of their own. Your professional can be your Realtor or a professional Stager–the difference of furniture placement and “framing a room” can make all the difference in how someone sees a room.
Possibly most important, talk with a bank or finance officer. Make sure of your financial picture—will the sale of the house cover all that is owed between first and possible second loans? Are credit scores and income sufficient for you to qualify for a loan on a new home. You don’t want to go through all the above steps only to find you will have difficulty moving to a new home because you cannot get a new mortgage. Get a pre-approval letter before you put the house on the market.