Are you trying to get your home ready to sell for spring, but have no idea where to begin? In this video, I go over 8 tips to help the process go a little smoother.
How to get your home ready to sell (2021)
I am going over 8 essential tips to get your house ready to sell.
With home sales projected to rise upwards of 7% in the year 2021, the market is still in the process of its big comeback after a disastrous 2020. With the given increased demand in housing due to a severe shortage of inventory in 2020, more millennials are also entering the buyer market which pushes sellers to make a few tweaks to their homes to cater to the abundance of buyers entering the market.
Getting your house ready to sell can definitely be a ton of work and cause a lot of stress. That’s why I wanted to create this list of 8 tips to help the process go a little smoother with a lot less Advil.
Number 1 - It’s absolutely crucial to price your home at the right price, that’s why it’s important to have real estate professionals like myself on your side to ensure you’re getting the best price for your home. If you’re on a time constraint, it’s important to price your home competitively so the home isn’t sitting stagnant on the market. When a home becomes stagnant, potential buyers look the other way because they assume that if a home is on the market that long, there’s obviously something wrong with it, and for the buyers who don’t turn away, they will throw low ball offers at you saying their reasoning is the lack of interest on the home. That’s why the pricing of a home is very important.
From my experience and other co-workers' experiences, the favored statement from a homeowner when selling their home is, “ we can always come down on the price, we can't go up.” Yes, that may be true, but doing 2 or 3 price adjustments doesn’t exactly make a home look appealing either. When a home is priced correctly, there’s a higher chance that a multiple offer scenario will occur. In this situation, numerous buyers are bidding on the same home and often results in buyers paying well above the asking price regardless of what the home appraises for.
Number 2- If there’s one trend that will surely follow us from 2020 for years to come, it’s the importance of having a dedicated workspace in the comfort of your home. With CoVID-19 forcing so many people to work from home not only temporarily, but permanently, buyers are seeking homes that utilize space for an at home office as well as a gym space for working out. So if you have an unfinished basement, den, or spare bedroom, consider transforming the space to boost your home’s value.
Number 3 - I'm sure you’ve heard this tip a million times from any real estate professional in the world, BUT I can say it’s a very important one and I'll tell you why. Declutter your home, make it neat and organized to allow your spaces to look spacious. Make a visit to the salvation army, garage sales or even look at facebook marketplace or craigslist for relatively cheap shelving units that can help store some of your clutter. No that doesn’t mean stuff your closets with all your belongings, organize them, because when a buyer takes a look in a cluttered closet their imagination of their belongings fitting in those closets won’t exist.
A lot of homeowners that I talk to about selling their home tell me they have 30-40 years of stuff in their house that they need to find time to go through and sell or donate before they can even consider selling. Clutter is a huge problem in a lot of households, so do yourself a favor and take a day or two and really buckle down on what should stay and what should go. It’ll make for an easier move with less things laying around.
Number 4 - I don’t want you to take what I'm about to say wrongly, but consider putting away any and all religious or political memorabilia. Especially with the most recent election and inauguration happening a short time ago, many people have extremely strong feelings about the matter and the last thing you’d want to do is have potential buyers pre-judging your home because of your beliefs. Not only is it just religious and political belongings, it’s good to depersonalize your spaces because the more personal your home is, the less buyers can imagine themselves living in that home. Again, I don't want you to take this personally, I just want to help you increase your home’s appeal so it will sell at top dollar.
Number 5 - Especially in Michigan after the unstimulating winter months, it’s nice to drive through a neighborhood and see all the freshly mulched flower beds, trimmed bushes and watch as the flowers start to bloom again. That’s why boosting your curb appeal is so important, especially in the spring. Take a walk around your house, ask a neighbor for an honest opinion, and begin to create a more welcoming home. Spruce up your landscaping, paint your front door, change out the light fixtures on the porch, or even replace or fix up your mailbox if there’s a need.
Number 6 - If there’s one turn off about a home that any real estate professional can attest to, it’s the smell. If you have pets, be sure to double up on the scents to ensure they don’t run away any potential buyers. A lot of professionals will recommend to homeowners to bake a pan of brownies or cookies in the oven to fill the home with a scrumptious aroma, but it’s safe to say you’re probably not going to make a batch every single time there’s a showing on your home.
So be sure to do the obvious and clean the areas that need attention, open the windows to allow any potential odors to escape, and consider getting a scent dispenser from your nearest hardware store that sprays on a timer. They are always relatively appealing to a home’s décor, so I would recommend placing it near your front door so the first thing a potential buyer smells is amazing and the scent will linger in their nose for quite awhile. You can also invest in an oil diffuser to disperse natural oils throughout your home, as lighting a candle and leaving the home is definitely a risk you don’t want to take. The smell of cat pee is horrific, but an overpowering scent can be worse and could potentially cause a little suspicion that you’re trying to hide something.
Number 7 - You may not be caught in the last tip, but yes you do leave your home when a buyer schedules a showing on your home. Before you pack up your pets and put your children in the car to run away for 30 minutes to an hour, be sure to keep your home clean throughout the time your home is being shown. And yes, you should take your pets with you because there’s nothing worse than a dog doing its job of constantly barking at strangers during the whole entire show or a cat sneaking around that you have to worry about not accidentally letting outside.
A lot of homeowners mistake the deep clean stage for being just for the listing photos and not anything else. So be sure to take a final walkthrough before you leave each time to ensure the home is neat and tidy at all times.
You can start by cleaning the dishes, clearing the sink out, dusting and mopping the kitchen and bathrooms, along with cleaning the windows to allow for all the natural light to beam through your perfectly clear windows. Not only is keeping the home clean crucial during the showing stage of your home, so is the presentation. Consider turning on all the lights inside and out, as well as opening up all the blinds to create the best first impression for buyers.
You might be wondering, why is it necessary to turn the lights on and open the blinds before the showing? Can’t they turn the lights on and open the blinds themselves. You’re right, they can but When you turn all the lights on and open the blinds it helps with curb appeal especially during evening showings, it allows the potential buyer to see the home’s features clearly.
Not only are those both good habits to make before leaving for a showing, so is opening all the inside doors in the home. This allows for the home to feel more spacious and seamless instead of closed off. Also, don’t forget to put away your valuables or take them with you, the real estate agent just has to turn their back for a few seconds and your apple watch just got a new owner.
Number 8 - Doing the minor repairs and adding a little bit of a special touch goes a long way. From replacing old kitchen cabinet hardware and burnt out light bulbs, to patching walls, cleaning your gutters and throwing on a coat of paint, this creates a more welcoming atmosphere and makes potential buyers feel like you truly went out of your way to maintain your home.
The more maintenance items you can get out of the way before selling, the better. It’s very easy to overlook these items in your home, but when a stranger steps foot in your front door, it’s all they are going to notice. You may overlook the condition and age of your face plates, outlet covers and cabinet handles, buyers will just look at it as something they need to add to their grocery list.
You can also consider adding accent items to add a little contrast to any space in your home such as indoor plants, welcome mat, accent walls or simply adding a few pillows to the catch to boost the room's appeal.
Here is the big question, what is your biggest pet peeve or turn off when viewing a home? Throw your answer in the comments.
Andrew McManamon is a Michigan REALTOR® with Signature Sotheby’s International Realty and provides real estate services to Buyers, Sellers and Investors throughout SE Michigan including Livingston County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, Genesee County & beyond. Andrew has become one of the rising stars of Michigan real estate agents. Prior to his real estate career Andrew was responsible for managing a senior living facility in Brighton, Michigan as a dining supervisor and an activities assistant. Andrew’s passion to help people is unlike any other, and he continues to strive to be best resource he can be. Andrew graduated from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan with a double major and currently resides in White Lake, Michigan.