What do you need to do to prepare your house for sale? I'm often asked this question and it has become a more and more important questions in the past few years. Why? I believe because a lot of buyers are watching HGTV and seeing hearing what the experts are saying. This changes their perception and perception is reality. Buyers now view homes and if they aren't in tip top shape with minor repairs completed, painting refreshed, carpets clean or replace and kitchens and bathrooms spotless they are discounting them.
So as a seller here are a couple of recommendations. Firstly, hire a staging company. They will charge you a fee but they are experts and they can quickly and efficiently review your home and make specific suggestions on what you should do. If you are going to hire a professional stager be prepared to implement the changes they suggest and expect to spend some money to do so.
If paying a stager is not in the budget or not something you want to do then do it yourself. Remember to be critical and look at your home as potential buyer. Stand on the street in front of your house with a pad of paper and pen. Look long and hard! What do you see? Is everything in good shape, look for flaking paint, damaged siding, loose shingles, sunken paving stones, make extensive notes. Do this throughout the house and then sit down with your notes and establish a game plan for repairs. Hire experts for the tough to do jobs or jobs you don't have the skill to do yourself. Some of the hardest houses we have sold have been those prepared by the seller who didn't have the skill to complete the work. It's important to remember that your are selling an asset of great value. If you were going to sell a car you would wash it, vacuum the interior and wax the exterior. When selling your house the same is true. If it costs you several thousand dollars to prepare your house but it then sells for top dollar and quickly it has been worth the effort.
Don't overspend. Buy quality but not top of the line. You want it to look good and durable but don't go crazy. We recently sold a condo townhouse were the owners called and asked us what they should do. We recommended painting, hardwood floors (not laminate) and new carpets. They spent the money and sold the unit in 4 days for several thousand more than the most recent sale in the complex. There were 3 other similar units on the market that are still for sale and for substantially less. Buyers will pay extra money for a house that shows well and is in good repair.
If you are thinking of selling call your Realtor and ask them to visit your house and make suggestions. They are a neutral third party who should have extensive experience and knowledge. They will want to help you because it will make selling your home easier and it will help put more money in your pockets. If you don't have a Realtor we would be happy to provide you with help. Good Luck and Happy Selling!