The DiCara R.E. Group at Sterling Homes
1487 Saratoga Rd
Ballston Spa NY 12020
Dave Cell: 518-588-8859
Tammy Cell: 518-588-8860
Properly preparing your home for sale can make the difference between a quick sale at full price, and a home that sits unsold for months…even after several price reductions.
The first order of business is to look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. Be impartial, and recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your home.
Remember, potential buyers are going to be viewing lots of other homes, and if yours doesn’t stand out, it will be much more difficult to sell.
Buyers buy what they see. If what they see is dirty, messy, or worn looking, you don’t stand a chance.
It’s just like if you were going to sell your car. You would clean it thoroughly and make any necessary repairs to make it more appealing to a buyer. Your house is no different!!
With a mental picture of a model home in your mind, make an “attack list” of items to be completed on your home. Keep in mind that all your efforts now will pay off big on closing day. Your objective is to present your home as well maintained, spacious, organized and clean. Many factors such as brightness, color scheme, sounds and smell subtly affect the buyers' impression of your home.
EXTERIOR: Walk out to the middle of the street and take a good look at the overall appearance of your home's exterior. Good “curb appeal” will make that critical good first impression. Often, if a home is unattractive from the outside, buyers won’t bother to see the inside!
You should have a well groomed, healthy looking lawn, trees, shrubs, and flower beds. Check your driveway and clean any oil stains with cleaning solutions, and move any old vehicles, trailers, or boats off the premises to a storage facility.
Replace or repair any loose or missing roof shingles or tiles.
If needed, replace or repaint the mailbox.
Your front door is a focal point of potential buyers. Make sure it is scrubbed clean or completely refinished if necessary.
Fix any broken windows or screens. Completely repaint the exterior if necessary, or simply freshen up the trim, window sashes, shutters, and garage door. Remove any political or other personal signs. Clean and neatly arrange any lawn furniture, barbeque grills, etc.
INTERIOR: Begin with a complete, top to bottom scrubbing of every room, nook and cranny. Be especially diligent in the kitchen and bathrooms, which should pass the white glove test. Clean houses sell faster!
A fresh coat of white or off-white paint will make the place look bigger and brighter, and give it a “new” smell. It doesn’t cost that much, and makes a big difference in buyer perception. otherwise, do a thorough job of touch-up painting.
Have the carpet cleaned. If it is worn, replace it. This is a fairly big cost, but it makes a huge difference in how the home shows. You should more than make up for the expense with a faster sale at a higher price.
Install the highest intensity bulbs allowable in all the light fixtures. This will make the rooms appear larger, brighter, and more cheerful.
Clean all windows and curtains/blinds.
Clean out the closets to make them look bigger. Store out of season clothes elsewhere and neatly arrange what’s left.
Too much clutter will make a home feel small and disorganized. Move out excess furniture, especially worn or outdated items, and take down pictures that hide the walls. Clean off the magnets from the refrigerator, and box up any other clutter-causing knickknacks.
Clean all the heating/cooling system vents, and replace the filters.
Fix or replace all of the little things that you have been meaning to get to. Make sure that everything is working properly (toilets, appliances, doorbell, etc.)
Attack the garage and basement, if you have them. Now is the time to get rid of any old junk, and clean and organize everything else.
If you have lived in your home for a while, by the time you finish with your attack list you will probably have truckloads of stuff to either sell, give away, or dispose of. Your motto should be: “If in doubt, move it out”!!
Consider having a garage sale. Not only will you reduce the clutter in your home, but you can use the proceeds to pay for some of your touch-ups and repairs. Plus, most movers charge by the pound, so you’ll save there too!
If you smoke, DO NOT SMOKE IN THE HOUSE!! A smoky smell turns buyers off -- even buyers who smoke themselves!
PETS: Pets should be removed from the home for showings. About 25% of prospective buyers will not consider a home with pets in it - either because they have allergies, are uncomfortable around animals, or simply think it negatively affects the condition of the home. Plus, a dog barking, sniffing, and scratching hardly makes a potential buyer feel relaxed and comfortable.
Preparing your home for sale can be a lot of work, but it will be worth it. Clean, organized, clutter-free homes are always the first to sell!