You’re bursting at the seams. Or you’ve been transferred. Or it’s time to downsize. For whatever reason, your current house is no longer your long-term home and your thoughts turn to the new place. Will it have a sunny kitchen? A garden? You spend your days browsing home-porn sites like Houzz and your nights dreaming about your new life.
You interview realtors and they tell you how great your current home is, what a high price it will fetch. Then reality comes crashing down …
The realtor tells you very matter-of-factly: You need to spiff things up. You need to “stage” your rooms. You need better curb appeal. And… oh yeah… that kitchen? You need to update it. And the bathrooms. And all the little chips and cracks and loose thingamajigs that you’ve learned to ignore. And now, the house that you can’t wait to get out of becomes another money pit that you can’t avoid.
As a seller, how do you prioritize? Here at Fair Trades we believe that first, you do the things that don’t cost anything.
Step 1: Purge
Toss or donate everything that you don’t see a need for in your new life. Be ruthless. Other people can get good use out of the things that are just taking up space in your home. Then box up everything that you won’t use in the next couple of months. Plenty of storage is really important to buyers, and the less stuff of yours in closets and cupboards, the better.
Step 2: Clean
And I mean clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Clean under furniture. Clean in the attic and the basement, and most especially clean up any sign of furry critters from outside who cozy up in your house during the cold months.
Step 3: Assess
Look at your house with fresh eyes. Is it appealing? Realize that in most cases, the buyers will be younger than you. Does the current layout and usage of the home make sense for that demographic? If not, how can you change it? It’s important that you try to be objective and realistic about your house before bringing in the experts.
Step 4: Consult
Now is the time to bring in a professional home stager and a handyman/remodeling contractor. Fee structures for the consultations vary, but you should realize that if you are asking for peoples’ time and expertise you will need to pay for it….and it’s well worth the cost. At Fair Trades Home Services, what we do is charge an hourly rate for our time in estimating these types of jobs (usually a laundry list of minor repairs), which is credited back against the work if you hire us to do it.
Step 5: Work the lists
Now, armed with a full list of projects that can help sell your house quickly and at the best price, you can prioritize based on your budget. Do what you can yourself, hire muscle and tool-wielding expertise where you need to, and watch those offers roll in!
Although it’s impossible to avoid the expense of prepping a home for sale, it is possible to be smart about it. This is the first in a series of blog post about the exciting, but overwhelming, process of moving on.