Prepping For Sale: 14 Tips To Get Your Home in Tip-Top Shape!

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Are you in the beginning stages of preparing to sale your home and fretting about where to start? Well, here’s a starting point from the Ash McGinty & Co. team.

We have prepared “14 Tips to Get Your Home in Tip-Top Shape Prior to Selling”. If you are preparing to sale your home or need assistance with the home staging process, please feel free to contact us for assistance.

14 Tips To Get Your Home in Tip-Top Shape Prior to Selling!

Many clients want to know the secret to receiving the highest bid for their home and how to successfully appeal to buyers. The following tips will answer those questions plus more to help you prepare for the sale of your home.

1. Paint the Interior! Most buyers appreciate a fresh coat of paint and this will instantly help enhance your property’s value. It will also help brighten your rooms giving them a new clean and fresh appearance. Try to stay away from bold and bright colors and focus more on lighter and softer earth tone shades. This will help make the rooms feel more spacious and more appealing to a larger group of potential buyers.

2. Paint the Outside. Curb appeal is very important and there is nothing worse than for a real estate professional to try and market a home that has peeling paint or is in desperate need of painting. Depending on the time of the year that you are selling your home, you may run into seasonal weather conditions. However despite those circumstances if possible paint the exterior of your home. As noted with the interior suggestion of choosing soft lighter neutral colors follow the same rule of thumb for painting the outside of your home. Stay away from bright colors that others may not like.

3. Pick Up Any Outside Debris, Trash or Clutter. First impressions hugely impact the decisions of potential buyers. Should your property have unwanted clutter at the initial showing of your property to buyers, it will absolutely take away from the marketing and selling of your home. A little raking, cleaning and picking up odds and ends could add “thousands” to the sale price of your home. Yes thousands.

4. Reduce Extras and Odds and Ends From Your Home. Rooms with too much furniture or decorations can often detract from the showing of your home. Usually too much décor can make the rooms look smaller and hurt your chances of selling your home. Store unneeded furniture or items that you can do without during the marketing stage of your property listing. Your goal is to make your property look spacious and comfortable. Buyers also want to see rooms that appear and feel spacious to them.

5. Replace Light Bulbs. Switching light bulbs to a higher wattage can help brighten rooms giving them a more open and accommodating feel. Always check the light fixture and the maximum wattage and do not add bulbs above the recommended usage. You can also add a drop of vanilla extract as a nice touch to bulbs on lamps to provide a fresh welcoming scent to rooms if needed.

6. Remove Any Heirlooms or Keepsakes. Many times sellers will want to keep certain items that have sentimental value to them such as a light fixture or wall mirror that has been affixed to the real property. If you have any items that you plan to keep then you should replace it prior to any showings. Once buyers visit your property and begin making serious offers to purchase, it is generally hard to negotiate these items off of the offer to purchase.

7. Clean the Gutters. You never know when your property may be shown and if it is a rainy day the last thing you want to portray is a house where the water is gushing over the gutters and downspouts. Making sure that the gutters are cleaned and that the extensions move the water away from your foundation is always a good idea for the continued maintenance of your home and it shows buyers your commitment to caring for your home and keeping it in tip-top shape.

8. Hire a Home Inspector. Let’s face it you want to sell your home. So it is probably not a bad idea to have a home inspector look at your home and make a list of repairs or items that need to be fixed prior to marketing your property. After all many homebuyers will have an independent home inspection performed too. Your pre-inspection can help remedy any potential problems that a future inspector may have had to correct in advance. Additionally, most buyers will get “cold feet” if their inspection shows too many needed repairs. By being proactive and fixing these issues ahead of time you can ward off these potential problems down the line.

9. Make a “I’ll Miss List”. There are several items you will probably miss when you leave your home. These items are normally excellent marketing features to promote to potential buyers. Take the time out to make note of the things you enjoy and will miss the most once the sale of your home is completed. Items and features that you appreciated are items someone else will enjoy too!

10. Have Your Carpets Cleaned. It is a good idea to have your carpets cleaned and your hardwood floors polished or waxed. This is can be costly. However doing so can add lots of appeal for potential buyers.

11. Purchase New Linens and Towels for Bathrooms. This can help give a bright new appearance to your bathrooms.

12. Recent Repairs. Most borrowers need to know about any recent updates or repairs or additions you have made to your home. For example, a new roof, furnace or central air, hot water heater and etc. are all very important repairs to note. If you have had any recent repairs, be sure to include the cost, installation date and include who performed the repairs. These are all noteworthy features to have for buyers and agents when selling your property. Any repaired or newly added items during your occupancy should be listed on a separate sheet if at all possible. It is also a good idea to provide copies of paid receipts of the items you had repaired or installed in order to validate those costs. It is a great idea to place all of this information in a binder and use it as a presentation/marketing feature to show buyers and agents.

13. Hire an Agent that can assist you with staging! Staging can amplify room appeal and add immense value to your residence. Feel free to contact Dana to assist you with staging your home!

14. Price Your Property Right From The Beginning. Many buyers take the approach and attitude that they can always come down on the price. This can have an adverse effect on the sale of your home. Many buyers feel that if a home has been listed for an extended amount of time that there is something wrong with it. The best activity occurs during the first two to three weeks of the listing date. After a few weeks the activity will begin to taper off and showings will cease. If your home is priced incorrectly from the beginning it will not receive a lot of showings and the longer your home is on the market the more buyers will feel that it is tainted or something is wrong. Price your home right at the beginning to help generate the most activity and a quicker sale. Feel free to contact Dana to assist in pricing your home for sale.

By Dana Ash-McGinty

Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC internal medicine physician and medical correspondent. They are often referred to as "The Danas".

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