Prepping Your Home for Sale

    After making the critical decision to sell your home, there are many more choices which you will need to make before you first place the for sale sign in the yard.  The one we’ll look at today is going to be prepping your home for sale.  This term is a general catch-all term that refers to finding all of those little items that would make your home stand out when compared with your neighbors in a negative light and then in the least expensive way possible, correcting them.

    These home preparations are your opportunity to spend a small amount of money before the property goes on the market but increase the potential sales price of the home by thousands of dollars.

    This technique works because most buyers are not looking for a home project; they are looking for a new place to live.  Most home buyers are trying to find a place where they can move in, and the experience of moving is a stressful and involved process.  None of these buyers are going to want to address many small maintenance items.  For those buyers who are willing to look past these faults, they are going to be harsh in their pricing and offer far less than the house would otherwise be worth.

    A recent home I had the opportunity to evaluate would have sold for $$180,000.  It was the right home in a decent neighborhood.  The structure of the house was solid, the floors were in good shape, and there were no significant issues with the location or nature of the home.  In every respect, it would be a great home into which anyone can move.  However; reviewing the home showed several vital issues that would likely make a buyer move past this home.

    The first issue was the yard had become overgrown, and the fence was in disrepair.  Mostly the wall looked like it didn’t need significant repair and likely if the yard was cleaned up and the climbing vines removed from the wall may not have required any repairs at all.

    Located in one room was a window AC unit.  Speaking with the owners, they explained they liked to keep the home temperature higher in the summer and only cool the places they were in, which was the reason for the window unit.  From a buyer’s perspective, this instead created the appearance that the home HVAC system was not working and the recommendation was to remove the window unit and keep the AC at a comfortable temperature while showing the home.

    Outlets in the home were older and still had the two-prong style.  This repair seemed like an insurmountable obstacle to the owner, but when we spoke with an electrician, we were able to get an estimate of under $2k to replace all the outlets with grounded plugs and install GFI outlets in bathrooms and the kitchen.

    All in all, everything was estimated to cost the owner less than $3,000, and from a conservative estimate, the home selling price would then increase by more than $5,000.  This $2,000 of profit is an example of how small projects can be used to improve the sales price of your home.

    Speak with your Realtor about what projects you can do with your home to increase its sales price.  They may also have recommendations about paint colors, furniture to leave behind, and how to keep the lighting bright.  In some cases, it can be worth your time and money to go one step further and hire a home stager.  These home stagers do the same job as a Realtor in this situation; however, they are specially trained in preparing a home for sale and can be a great way to make extra money during the sale.

    When I recommend a person to stage their home, I recommend Creatively Staged www.creativelystagedhome.com/  The work done by Jennifer is outstanding, and she has turned homes into works of art that sell quickly and for their full market potential.

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