7 Steps to Prepare Your House to Sell in the New Year
The holidays are a wrap, and with the coming of the new year, many people are starting to make their new year’s resolutions. If selling your home in 2020 is one of those resolutions, it’s beneficial to take steps now to prepare your house to sell in the new year. Getting a jump start on this preparation can help your home be ready for the spring/summer homebuying season, an annual tradition that typically sees an increase in buyer demand.
Preparing a house for sale in the new year involves more than taking down the holiday decorations. Some of the key steps to take before putting your home on the market in 2020 include:
Decide on a listing date
One of the first steps is to decide when you want to put your house on the market and create a timeline for all the tasks that need to be completed before this happens. Work backward from the listing date to establish deadlines for each task. Establishing these deadlines can be a great motivator for getting all of the “to dos” done in order to showcase your house to its best advantage.
Hire a REALTOR®
A REALTOR® will guide you through the selling process and provide a plan for attracting potential buyers to get your house sold for the best possible price. REALTORS® have reams of data and calculators at their fingertips to help you make the most strategic choices when selling your house.
Give the house a deep clean
Deep cleaning goes beyond vacuuming and dusting. Giving your home a deep clean means getting carpets steam cleaned, mopping floors, cleaning windows inside and out, washing walls to remove stains and scrubbing bathrooms. Consider using professional carpet cleaning and maid services to really make your house sparkle and shine.
Get rid of all the clutter
De-cluttering will make your house seem more spacious and make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves in the house. Start the de-cluttering process by cleaning out closets, cabinets, and garages. Donate clothing and other items of use and throw out items that are broken or cannot be used.
Make needed repairs and updates
Leaky faucets, chipped paint, running toilets, and squeaky doors may seem minor but really signal to potential buyers that your home has not been well maintained. To help attract buyers and get top dollar for your home, take the time to make needed minor repairs and consider updates such as repainting rooms with neutral paint colors, replacing worn carpeting, and modernizing bathroom and lighting fixtures.
Spruce up curb appeal
Sprucing up the curb appeal of your home is an important step to take before putting it on the market. In fact, among REALTORS®, 94% have suggested sellers improve their curb appeal before listing a home for sale. This recommendation is so common simply because the outside of your home is the first thing buyers see when they pull up to the curb and as the saying goes – you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Painting or replacing the front door, keeping the lawn mowed and weeded, trimming overgrown shrubs and trees, and repairing cracked walkways are just a few things that can go a long way to sprucing up the curb appeal of your home.
Stage it to sell
Staging your home can show it in its best light. The National Association of REALTORS® 2019 Profile of Home Staging found that 40% of buyers’ agents cited that home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home, and 83% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Staging a house can involve things like adjusting furniture layouts to make rooms appear larger, repainting rooms, opening curtains and blinds to let light in and adding extras like fresh flowers in vases, a bowl of fruit in the kitchen and folded towels in the bathrooms.
If selling your house is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, make sure to take the steps outlined above to get it ready to sell. This preparation can help your house stand out among the 6.1 million homes nationwide projected to sell in 2020.
Jeffrey M. Fagan