Selling a house takes a lot of works and efforts. The home selling process can vary greatly in terms of how long it takes and how difficult it is and also in how much the seller nets from the sale. There are a number of steps that helps you to sell your house fast and one can take to prepare for the process that will make it quicker, easier and ultimately more profitable.
Things to prepare for selling a house
Clean it Up
The appearance and overall condition of the property is the single most important factor that influences how the home selling process goes. Obviously, the condition of the property needs to be as good as possible, but there are some specific things to pay attention to that are more essential than others. The overall goal should be to identify and fix anything that a potential buyer might not like or want to fix. The condition, age and type of roof are very important. Just because a roof does not leak does not mean that it is in good condition to sell. If it is a wood shake roof, even if it is not very old, this can cause potential buyers to have issues with insurance. Without exception, wood shake roofs make the property significantly more expensive to insure, and there are a number of insurance companies in certain areas that will not even insure a home with a wood shake roof. Sellers who have wood shake roofs should seriously consider replacing it with a traditional composition or metal roof prior to advertising the home for sale. In addition to avoiding the insurance issue that wood shake roofs cause, a new roof will enhance the value of the property and make it that much easier to market. Any repairs or maintenance issues should be taken care of. This includes peeling paint, missing siding, cracks in bricks or foundations, cracked and uneven sidewalks, overgrown or messy landscaping, bare or weed choked lawns, and fences or outbuildings that need to be repaired or removed. Particular attention should be paid to the front of the property to make it as clean and attractive as possible. Curb appeal is a very important factor in selling a property. A property with excellent curb appeal will outsell a property that lacks curb appeal every time. Curb appeal includes the front lawn, landscaping, sidewalks, and the front of the house itself. All of these details should be evaluated and improved as much as time and budgets will allow.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Aside from curb appeal, the other most important factor in selling a house is the condition of the kitchen and bathrooms. If possible, the flooring should be updated to a contemporary stone or ceramic tile, including complementary tile backsplashes. All countertops should be updated to a contemporary stone finish and all appliances should be updated and in good working order complete with a hood vent vented all the way to the outside. Sinks and showers should be clean, free of mildew and stains and updated if necessary. Hot water heaters should be of adequate capacity for the size of the home and installed according to local code. If the water heater is not installed up to code, many lenders will require that this be fixed before allowing the buyer’s loan to go through and this could cause delays. The paint colors should be designed to appeal to the largest number of people, meaning that the colors should be fairly neutral with no loud or uncommon shades. All cabinets should be either well painted or stained with a contemporary wood stain and free of chips, scratches or wear marks.
The type and condition of the flooring is also a very important factor in selling a house. If there is any carpet, it should be clean and not appear worn, even in areas of high traffic. Carpets should be professionally cleaned prior to showing the house to potential buyers and even before photos are taken for marketing purposes. If the carpet is worn, stained or even outdated, it should be replaced with carpet that matches or complements the overall color scheme of the house. In many cases, replacing carpet with tile or hardwood or a combination of both throughout the house will greatly enhance the appeal and value of the home. Currently, replacing carpet with tile throughout the home is a common and expected upgrade prior to marketing the property. Flooring in the kitchens and bathrooms should always be tile, never carpet.
Clutter and Staging
If the home will be occupied until sold, particular attention should be given to keeping the house absolutely clean and free of clutter. Showing a home that is messy and cluttered to potential buyers will greatly reduce the chances of them making an offer, even if the property is quite valuable. Clutter will make it difficult for the potential buyers to get a good idea of the rooms and to have a good sense of where or if their furniture would fit. On the other hand, if the property is not occupied, the seller should consider staging the home. Staging involves putting just a little bit of furniture and décor in the home. This allows the potential buyers to get an idea and a suggestion of what the home could look like decorated with their own items without overpowering or cluttering the inside.
Do Your Homework
Do your homework before selling a house. Knowing what to expect in terms of sales price before dealing with buyers will greatly help in getting a good sales price and having a smooth and stress free selling process. There are a number of online resources for researching sales prices and it is important to consider sales that are as close as possible to the property and as similar as possible to the property, including the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms and of approximately the same size. Knowing this will give the seller an educated up front idea of how to price the home realistically. Homes that are priced too high will not receive much attention from buyers and homes that are priced too low will cause the seller to loose equity they would otherwise have been paid for.