Preparing to Sell

Shad Ghazarian  |  August 30, 2022

Preparing to Sell

Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

A home inspection before listing. It's always good to find out what's wrong with your house PRIOR to listing. Don't wait until the buyer has leverage or pulls the plug on the deal. Be proactive. Get an inspection before hitting the market. Judging by the strong seller market now, it might not be necessary. However, it's always nice to know what to expect.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have carpet or hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside. Give your house a makeover that adds value and keeps it current. That doesn't mean you should go buy tons of marble and install it in your kitchen but if the norm in the neighborhood is hardwood floors that would be a great added value.

Depersonalize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices on your floors and walls with something more neutral—beige, tans, and white. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.

  • You never want a buyer to feel like they're intruding and in YOUR space. The best place for a buyer to be? In their future home! 

Stage. Staging experts have experience and tons of knowledge on how to maximize your space. If your agent and yourself prefer to skip the staging cost, you can still spice up your space with a fresh coat of paint, new cabinet hardware, and strategically placed lighting. I like to think of it as a creative, inexpensive facelift.

  • Kitchens sell houses, and any potential updates you can think of can go a long way.
    • A corroded faucet can be a huge turnoff for a buyer but such a small inexpensive fix.
    • Instead of replacing the dishwasher, check with the manufacturer and see if they sell replacement panels for your model.
    • Update the backsplash if you can, if you'd like to find a budget-friendly option you can go with peel-and-stick faux tile. 
  • Make your bathroom shine! Nothing turns off a buyer like a dirty bathroom.
    • If the tile is looking old, consider having it repainted.
    • Grout can be fixed with a $15-20 bottle of grout stain.
    • When done, create a spa look and feel with fluffy white towels, candles, and a few fancy soaps! This will go a long way.

Photography. Agents usually pick up the expense of a professional photographer but it goes a LONG way. It can cost up to $300 but it's well worth the expense. Buyers respond to photos. Every agent knows this concept. Buyers go to the web to check out homes, the ones that don't look as good are eliminated and immediately out of consideration.

  • Data shows listings with professional photography sell up to 25 days FASTER than without. 

Hire a real estate agent. Experienced real estate agents will provide you with tons of tips to get you top dollar no matter if it's a seller's market or buyer's market. It is important to note that "for sale by owner" listings fail over 90% of the time! This isn't to say you won't be able to sell your home yourself, it's more to highlight that real estate agents don't just stand around and wait for a buyer to show up!

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