If you’re planning on selling your home in the Spring, start NOW and start with some smaller things that can be done from inside the house. We still have time to hibernate and this is our opportunity to get it together, bit by bit, from the inside out. Refer to these EASY steps to make for a painless prep!
1. LIST BEFORE YOU LISTStart jotting down improvements you have made since you first purchased your house. Include major and minor updates (i.e. replaced bathroom faucet 2009, refinished hardwoods in May, installed new HVAC 2012). Anything you can think of, write it down! Also, write down features of the house that potential Buyers will enjoy just as you do (i.e. bathroom heat lamp, secret storage closet, laundry chute). The more the better. Provide this list to your Realtor and go over it with them so they can know the ins and outs of your house to market most effectively. Help me help you!
2. LET THERE BE LIGHT Conduct your own mini Home Inspection! Take 15 minutes and go through your house to check that all light bulbs are in and on, all outlets are working, and all switches are properly covered. Attention to detail is important and Buyers notice missing bulbs, exposed wiring, or even just one missing cover plate. While you’re at it, take a peek under your sinks to make sure everything below is dry! Buyers are mentally subtracting value for each potential problem they see. Don’t let that happen- you’ve got this one!
3. KNOW YOUR NUMBERSIt is very important to know what selling will COST at the end of the day. Now is the time to call a Realtor so you are ahead of the game to avoid any surprises come closing day! Do you know how much you owe on your mortgage(s)? What are the State and County transfer and recordation fees? Does your HOA require anything specific for the sale? There is a lot involved in selling your home even after the beautiful photos have been taken, the Open House is over, and a Contract is in place. Realtors have resources and relationships to get the answers you need. Know this upfront. Gather the best information, see if you think they’d be a good fit for you, and build trust with the person that is handling your biggest investment. Ring Ring, CHA-CHING!
- ask your Realtor for an “Estimated Net Sheet” or “Prelim Closing Disclosure”
4. WATCH MORE TELEVISION Now this is a fun one! You likely watch HGTV already, but when you are preparing to sell your OWN house, you may absorb the information in a different way. This is a good thing! Many of the shows reinforce what you have heard about the positive impact of de-cluttering, cleaning and staging your home (in most cases, you can work with the furniture and home accessories you already own). All three have a direct affect on the amount of money you will Net from your sale. Sit back, relax and….take notes!
5. DON’T CRY, SAY GOODBYE!A client of mine once told me about how she took principles from Marie Kondo’s book on tidying up to prepare for the market. She went room by room, item by item asking herself “Does this bring me joy?”. If she hesitated to say YES or if she said NO, she put it in a trash or donation pile. She had lived in her home for over 25 years and was able to get through the process using this simple tool. When cleaning out my closets last year, I personally found this method both enjoyable and gratifying. Try it-let me know how it works for you:)
**If you need somewhere to donate your clothes, I recommend Interfaith Clothing at 751 Twinbrook Parkway in Rockville, MD.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Leave a comment-I’d love to hear about other ideas you have for home prep in the winter months!
Until next time…xoxo