5 Ways to Prep Your Home For Sale
Are you thinking about selling in the 2021 spring real estate market? The current spring Grand Forks real estate market is in full swing. Now you might be asking yourself, when is the spring market? There is NOT a set date like the first day of spring – March 20th. It’s very fluid some years it could begin near the end of February and other times it could start at the beginning of April. Living in the northern Red River Valley, the weather plays a HUGE role when it starts. To be honest, the best time to sell your home is when you are READY.
My philosophy is that the first impression is EVERYTHING and photos are worth a THOUSAND
words dollars. Now, here are 5 steps to prep your home ready for the spring market.
5 WAYS TO PREP YOUR HOME FOR SALE
Declutter in Every Room
This sounds like a daunting task to most. However, if you are planning to list your home, you are also planning on moving so it will need to be done eventually anyways.
Start in the “easy” rooms or closets first. It will feel great to feel accomplished when you tackle each task area. Little by little go through each space. Make three piles in each room – Pack Up, Donate or Trash. As you pack up boxes, if you have a garage or shed – place your boxes in there. If you do not have a garage or shed, contact a local storage rental company and rent a storage unit. If you don’t have the means to rent a storage unit, organize the space as best as you can.
The goal of decluttering is to make the space feel as large as possible. If it’s full of stuff the buyers will have a hard time envisioning themselves moving into the space.
Finish Any Unfinished Home Projects
You might be asking, what do you mean “finish any unfinished home projects”? For example, if you started a remodel project and there’s still a bare floor, trim not put around windows, chipping peeling paint around windows or exterior, try to complete these when you can. I realize that some will not be able to do it and then we make do with what you can do.
There are certain types of loans – VA, USDA and FHA – that will cause issues when an appraiser comes through the home to give the bank the value. If there are any health or safety issues, the appraiser will flag it as a work order and will need to be completed prior to closing. So best to tackle those health and safety issues before so closings are not delayed.
Projects that I get asked quite a bit is “should I paint or put in new flooring or carpet”? This one I go back and forth. If you have bright colored carpet and none of the rooms match as you tour the home, the carpet should be replaced with a neutral color. If the carpet has stains, try to clean. However, if those stains don’t come out, it should be replaced. If your carpet has a pet odor, it needs to be replaced or work with a professional carpet cleaning to remove the smell.
Same things goes for paint colors, if there are bring colors in rooms and the colors do not flow or go together, paint those rooms to a neutral color. Try to coordinate colors between the rooms so it flows.
The goal of finishing any unfinished projects is to have the home be move-in ready and help hold your asking price. If you need names of contractors to help finish projects, local flooring companies and installers or painters, let me know and I will send to you.
Hire A Professional Home Cleaning Company
You are probably asking yourself, why do I need to hire a home cleaner when I can do it myself. Here’s the deal, you will have PLENTY of work to get your home ready for the market, plus many people are still working as they get their home on the market.
The items that need touches of a professional cleaner (and I’m not talking about carpet cleaning) clean all windows – interior and exterior, sweep and mop floors, wipe down everything in bathrooms, clean all the light switches, clean all light fixtures, dust all surfaces, wipe down kitchen cabinets, clean door handles and around them – wipe off any fingerprints on the doors too, vacuum and use wand to get into corners, wipe down kitchen chairs and stools and clean kitchen sink so it sparkles.
The goal of the home cleaning is to make your home have a great first impression, smell good and have buyers look at the house versus saying “EW” that’s gross. Trust me I have been in many homes that I haven’t wanted to turn on a light switch because it was disgustingly dirty.
One of my favorite local companies is TLC Cleaning.
Prep The Yard
This is a big task and VERY time consuming, especially after the snow melts. I recommend to hire this out if you can. A professional landscaping company has fresh ideas and resources to tackle this in a timely manner.
Prior to your photos being taken, mow the grass. Remove any dead leaves and plants from the yard. If there are any kids, pick up the toys and organize before photo shoot and any showings.
Also, prepping the yard might include sweeping your sidewalk and adding fresh flowers near the front door.
The goal of prepping the yard is to make it move-in ready and not adding “yard work” to a list of to-dos on moving day. If you would like information on professional landscape companies, please let me know and I can get it to you.
Stage the Home
Staging the home should be an easy step and completed after all the above items are completed. This does NOT need to be expensive or involve renting furniture or moving all your furniture to storage. The staging I am talking about is adding items to shelves, counters and coffee tables and REMOVING all personal photos. Make the space look lived in but not overwhelming the buyer. Add matching towels to the bathroom towel racks. Setting out a bottle of wine and two glasses. MAKING YOUR BEDS. No dirty laundry on the floor. Add decorative curtains to the living areas – if there are windows. Add a large rug if there’s hard flooring in the living room.
If you need help staging your home prior to hitting the market, I would be happy to help give you some tips and tricks.
The goal of staging it to make the space feel cozy and a buyer can envision the home being theirs.
If you are thinking about selling your home, want more information on the Grand Forks, North Dakota or East Grand Forks, Minnesota real estate market, or even looking for your home valuation, please do not hesitate to give me (Kimmy) a call.