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A few years ago, I sold my house in Florida so I could buy a different home on more land. The process was challenging, as there’s a lot to do to figure out how to get your house ready to sell. Plus, selling a home can be costly.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, be aware that spring and summer are typically the best times to put a house on the market, according to Zillow. Since the clock is ticking on the summer season, you’ll need to act quickly to get your place ready.
We’ve consulted with experts for tips on how to get your house ready to sell so you can attract buyers and receive a good offer.
1. Listen to your listing agent
Real estate markets aren’t uniform across the U.S., and your goal should be to appeal to buyers in your area. The best person to tell you how to get your house ready to sell is your listing agent. They should know what’s expected in your area.
“A seller should first and foremost listen to their listing agent,” advised licensed real estate salesperson Ethan Vickery of Triplemint, a New York City real estate brokerage. “Understand that none of the suggestions are personal but are based on presenting the home in such a way that buyers of different styles and tastes can see themselves living there.”
While it may hurt if your agent says you need to neutralize your Batman-themed master bedroom, remember that their goal is to help you sell your home as quickly as possible for the best price. Follow their expert advice so you can sell quickly and start personalizing your new place.
2. Declutter and eliminate distractions
One of the most important steps as you get your house ready to sell is to make it as neutral as possible. Put away anything that could distract buyers from your home’s features.
“The best way to get the best possible price for your home is to tell a story about it that people want to hear,” advised licensed real estate salesperson Lucas Callejas of Triplemint. “While we all live in reality, buyers don’t want to hear a story that includes clutter and dingy walls.”
Callejas said sellers should begin preparing their home by getting rid of clutter, including throwing away unnecessary items, giving excess clothing to charity, and putting furniture in storage if it detracts from the space or makes rooms look smaller. He also suggested eliminating furniture or accessories that are too personalized and repainting the home in neutral colors if necessary.
“In our city, we have some of the most creative minds,” he said. “Often, that shows through in their homes, and that’s fantastic. But what’s important is to be willing to create as close to a neutral, clean slate as possible. We want buyers coming through talking more about your apartment and less about your wall art.”
3. Take care of the small details
Discerning buyers often look at properties with the goal of finding flaws that suggest the home hasn’t been kept up. That’s why it’s important to check for small flaws that could be big red flags.
“Assess the condition of your walls and molding,” advised Callejas, who said these are details buyers tend to notice. “If you haven’t done a renovation recently and have visible pieces of your baseboards missing, it may give the illusion that your property needs more work than it does.”
Fixing leaky faucets, putting WD-40 on squeaky doors, updating cabinet hardware, and handling other small maintenance issues can help get your home in prime condition. Although bigger problems may be identified in inspection, making minor fixes can prevent your home from scaring off potential buyers.
4. Make sure your home is sparkling clean
Cleaning your home can be a hassle, but it’s essential to show off your house in the best possible light. You don’t want buyers turned off by fingerprints on your fridge or cobwebs in the corners of rooms.
That’s why Callejas recommended doing a deep clean to get the house ready before putting it on the market. You can do it yourself or hire a cleaning service after the home has been decluttered.
5. Always be ready for a showing
Once your house is in tiptop shape, try to keep it that way.
“The home should be maintained at all times when it is live on the market,” advised JJ Choi, a licensed real estate salesperson with Triplemint. “A buyer can request a viewing at a moment’s notice, and the home should look its best, as if you were hosting guests you want to impress.”
Choi also advised setting the mood for each showing by making sure the house smells nice, the blinds and curtains are open, and there’s soft background music playing. “I also spread some aspirational magazines in the home across the coffee table so the buyer can see himself or herself living in the space,” Choi said.
It’s worth figuring out how to get your house ready to sell
I spent a lot of time decorating and decluttering my home before I sold it, and I ended up with an offer for the full asking price, so the effort was worth it. Hopefully, you’ll have a similar experience. Follow this expert advice on how to get your house ready to sell. It may help your home appeal to a wide pool of buyers.
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