When it comes to real estate, oftentimes selling your house can be just as, if not more, stressful than buying it. As you gear up to put your home on the market, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with decisions regarding how to make your house as presentable as possible to home inspectors and prospective buyers alike.
The goal, of course, is that this extra effort will pay off in the form of increasing your home’s value and optimizing its selling price. But without a little guidance, the process of getting there can be complicated.
Louis Alfaia, mortgage consultant at AAA Northeast Bank, provided us with some essential tips on how to prepare your house for sale. Here are the biggest takeaways for those of your looking to put your home on the market.
Anticipate Your Buyer’s Needs
If you’re hoping to land the perfect buyer for your home, the first thing you need to do is put yourself in their mindset. What key elements of your home would they expect to be in working order? To start with, check that central systems like your hot water heater, septic system and air conditioning are all functioning properly. This will also give you a leg up when it comes time for your home to undergo inspection.
“Preparing your home for inspection can address issues before they become a problem or concern for a buyer,” Alfaia said. Don’t allow these fundamental aspects of your house to become compromised, as they might be the stubborn stumbling block that prevents you from securing the sale of your home.
Start With Small Projects
Preparing your house for sale is a daunting task, but you shouldn’t let yourself get too overwhelmed with what lies ahead. Rather, break down the process step by step and focus on the easier tasks upfront. Alfaia suggests beginning with cleaning and decluttering your house, particularly areas like the kitchen and bathrooms that tend to get grimier and more cramped over time.
You should also focus on eliminating any unpleasant smells and minimizing the amount of trash in and around your home. These small steps can collectively go a long way in creating a more pristine look and feel for your house. Moreover, this small but significant progress can motivate you to maintain your home for its impending sale.
Set Your DIY Priorities Upfront
Once you’ve cleared your home of clutter and made it all shiny and fresh-smelling inside, you’ll want to turn your attention to your local home improvement store. Again, Alfaia stresses that home sellers should take things one step at a time, working their way up from less expensive projects to more costly ones.
In many cases, putting a fresh coat of paint on your home or refinishing your floors can be more effective in attracting potential buyers than replacing your cabinets or redoing your plumbing. Ultimately, you want to turn your attention to the home improvement projects your home needs the most. This will guide your decision-making process as you prioritize what should be done and in what order.
Consider Curb Appeal
First impressions are indeed everything in the world of real estate, and as Alfaia said, “Curb appeal is the first impression the buyer will have.” So how can you the seller maximize your home’s curb appeal? Well, you’ll be relieved to know that it often doesn’t involve expensive upgrades to your home.
Instead, you can greatly boost your curb appeal by tending to your landscaping and ensuring that the exterior of your house is pristine. Keep your grass and hedges trim, remove any lingering twigs and branches, power-wash your driveway and sidewalks or even repaint your front door. All these seemingly simple steps can make your for-sale home exponentially more appealing to passersby.
Don’t Overthink Your Timing
One of the most commonly asked questions by people looking to sell their home is “When is the best time to sell my house?” However, Alfaia cautions home sellers not to obsess over waiting until the “right time” to put their home up for sale. “Anytime you are ready to sell can be a good time,” he said.
Spring and summer are often viewed as the best times to put your house on the market, but this is also the most competitive time to try to find buyers. Consider waiting until fall or winter to list your property instead. The right buyers may still be on the prowl, and the fact that your house will likely benefit from holiday decorations certainly doesn’t hurt in revealing its potential.
Learn more about AAA’s home loan and mortgage services.