After the holidays, we like to clean out the old and usher in the new. If that means shopping around for a new home, then you’ll want to make sure the one you have now is in sell-ready condition.
1. Evaluate your home. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it is the most important step if you are looking to get a good return on your home. Remodeling your kitchen or bathrooms, for example, is a great idea to attract potential buyers and increase the value of your home; but be careful to not go overboard. CNN.com reported that moderate kitchen remodels (about $57,500) can recoup 69% of costs. Excessive ones ($111,000) got back less than 60%. If you’re itching to sell fast, a better plan would be to fix and update the smaller things in your home. This can mean cleaning your tiles, replacing door and cabinet hardware, fixing faucets and other small but impactful parts of the house. These things add up, and going overboard too close to putting your home on the market can be more hassle than help.
2. Think about when you’re selling. In Florida, we’re lucky enough to have green grass and appealing lawns all year-round, but it’s still a good bet to show closer to springtime than directly after the holidays. Even serious buyers may be deterred due to post-holiday frenzy. You can either wait until a few weeks after New Year’s, or hold off showing until spring. The difference is fewer shoppers but more serious ones, versus multiple shoppers and competing with more homes on the market.
3. Be realistic with your pricing. According to CNN.com, today’s buyers are cautious. Pricing your home too high can deter them from even considering your home, when there are other more realistically-priced options nearby. Save yourself the time and hassle and price right the first time.
4. Make a good impression. Whenever you decide to sell, make sure you and your home are ready. Try to clear your home of any overly-personal style choices or room decorations. They may fit for your family, but potential buyers will have a hard time seeing past these bold arrangements. Clean up and put some things in storage, and make neutral everything you have left. Clean closets with a few linens and hangers are more sellable than ones covered in band posters and full of kids’ laundry. You never get a second first impression, so make sure shoppers are hooked when they walk through the door.