By Tim Freeland, Realtor
So you’re about to take the plunge into the real estate market, specifically the local sellers’ market. Home preparation is key to getting what you want in the time you want it. How devoted you are to making your house shine like a gem can increase the perceived value by several thousand dollars as well as ensure that your home sells in a reasonable time.
1 – Make space. Make sure you remove any clutter lying around but keep the home presentable, meaning give it that “cozy home for the family” feel. You need the purchaser to easily visualize themselves living in their new abode. This includes wall clutter all the way to that man-cave clutter. Buy totes or boxes and store it off site or in the garage for now.
2 – Character/personality. This might seem quite obvious, but it’s extremely important that you don’t make your property come across as a hotel room. Give your personal touches but don’t overdo the décor. Some imperfections are allowed to offer that homey feel.
3 – Way of life. Present the home to the prospective buyer in a way they can enjoy and experience life in their new haven along with the neighborhood. Go above and beyond to show them how simple it is to throw a barbecue or have your neighbors over to hang out in your fire pit, new deck, patio or back yard. Think “stand out”. The name of the game is to catch their attention with their emotions.
4 – Give it a paint job. Be sure to give your house an exceptional paint job – even if it does not need it. Prices can vary in the thousands of dollars based on this point alone. Even if you just paint a room the smell will send subliminal messages of “newness” throughout the home. You may pay a certain amount for a paint job but command a much higher price for the home in the long run.
5– Fix it. Eliminate any exposed or hidden cracks, leaky faucets, cracked windows, etc. Remember, even if the buyer doesn’t see these imperfections the home inspector will! Remember people are always on the lookout for imperfections because they are subliminally looking for reasons NOT to buy the home. We would also recommend you professionally clean your carpets, or replace that old living room carpet to get the house smelling good.
6 – Light, Air and smells. Open the windows or light a fire, use newer, fresh curtains and sweet-smelling candles. Anything that plays to the senses of the perspective buyer. The kitchen is also an essential part of this. Add some fruit to the table and air out all the cabinets so that they do not smell of spices when opened.
7 – Use an agent. You need the right teammate to present the property in the best light and to know what to highlight and what to downplay. This person needs to be able to paint a pretty picture for the prospective buyers. It is proven that using an agent will gain you a higher price than not using an agent. A seasoned professional has learned all kinds of tricks of the trade over the years.
Overall, in order to get what you want, which is selling your home for the best price and in a timely manner, you need to take advantage of preparing. Preparation can make or break the sale, and your home is not the area to cut corners. Yes, it’s a lot of work, it seems, but not as much as you think. People put off cranking through their to-do lists for years, only to find they can get most done within a week’s time when they’re focused on the goal of selling the house. And don’t be afraid to ask your agent to recommend contractors or a few local handymen.
When you’re in that “prep” mode, contact an agent and they’ll give you some tips that you probably wouldn’t have thought of. It will be a call worth its weight in equity.
Tim Freeland, Realtor with Edina Realty was voted Best Realtor in Southern Minn three years in a row. Reach him at Tim@TimFreeland.com or text/call: 507/581-5038.