February ushers in that time of year where most Texans look ahead, eager for the spring waiting just around the corner. Sure, that groundhog said six more weeks of winter, but around here that means we might get one more light freeze before our town bursts into a blooming display of technicolor. It also means that the competitive home selling season is almost upon us. For those of you thinking about selling your home this year, chances are you’ve got some homework to do. Don’t worry though, with your Stanberry realtor, there’s no Olympic training necessary. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. See your house for the first time
As you begin to look around your home with the intent to sell, try to look at it with the fresh eyes of a buyer who is coming to check out your house for the first time. They will notice all the bumps and scrapes every house accumulates over time. Making the effort to show potential buyers a clean palette will go a long way to achieving every seller's ultimate goal, selling as quickly as possible for as much as possible.
With the help of your agent, make a list of projects around the house for any repairs or cosmetic updates that might need to occur to achieve the price you are hoping for. Together you can prioritize what should be handled before the sale and what price adjustments you will are willing to make if you leave any tasks for the next owner to handle.
2. Clear it out and clean it up
Removing clutter goes a long way in selling a home. Personal collections and art are wonderful while you are living in a home but are not necessarily the best choice when trying to sell. Buyers try to imagine their lives moving forward in the houses they see and that is more difficult when looking at your incredible vacation photos or Grandpa’s taxidermy.
Clean out closets, pick up the laundry area, keep the kitchen counter tidy, and make sure those powder rooms are scrubbed. If you can smell your bathroom, so can a buyer. Storage can be scarce in some homes making complete removal of items difficult but keeping these areas organized provides a better overall showing experience.
Interior and exterior walls and ceilings take on new life with a fresh coat of paint, however, if a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is more in your budget then get yourself a couple boxes and go to town. Areas commonly in need of attention include light switch plates, door frames and handles and hallways. Parents, we understand your struggle. Just try to keep the Lego minefields and art supplies picked up, please.
3. See the magic a professional stager can do
Sellers are often shocked at how a talented stager can arrange their home, many times using your own belongings, to create inviting spaces that showcase the home in ways before unconsidered. A trained stager understands the mind of a buyer and can highlight the attractive bones and assets of your home while hiding any warts.
Many stagers offer multiple levels of service, from full staging with outside furniture and art to a consultation with suggestions on how to use your own items. This can include a small list of purchase recommendations to attractively fill out space.
4. Spruce up that yard
Your home sits in the canvas of your yard. Making a good first impression when the buyer first arrives for their showing sets the mood for the entire appointment. Clean out those flower beds and trim up the grass. Pulling weeds isn’t the most fun but, with the rain we’ve had lately, it’s certainly easier to grab them now rather than waiting until they’ve taken root in the dry cracked ground. Trim up unruly rose bushes and shrubs and bag yard waste for trash day.
Pops of color with flowers or painted pots make a cheerful house but don’t forget to mulch around flower beds and trees. Go ahead and cover those pesky spots where grass won’t grow, too. Stick a potted plant in the center and now it’s intentional.
5. Consider a pre-inspection
Full disclosure is the name of the game and a pre-inspection report can be an asset to your sale by allowing you to address any issues that might come up ahead of time. In many cases actually having a problem fixed is far cheaper than how much it will cost in the imagination of a buyer when it comes to an amendment.
As repairs are made from the report, they can be checked off as complete. Put any receipts and transferable warranties together for the buyer to strengthen your position on your price. With a little effort or the phone numbers of a few good contractors, you can have your house ready just in time for spring selling season.
6. Bonus tip - Have possible payment options on display
Consider having your favorite loan officer put together a comparison of rates and down payments to demonstrate potential monthly costs for the home. When you can provide answers to questions before they are even asked, your home will shine in comparison to the competition. Need a referral for a good loan officer? Your Stanberry agent can help.