Get Your Home Ready to Sell in 6 Easy Steps
Like buying a home, selling a home is a process. There are things you'll need to learn and steps you'll need to take in order to maximize the value of your home and attract the attention of buyers. Here's how you can get your home ready to sell in 6 easy steps.
1. Get a sense of the local real estate market
It's probably been a few years since you bought your current home, which means your local real estate market has most likely changed. Real estate markets go through cycles. You'll want to find out where your local market is in the cycle to gauge how similar homes in your area are selling and how hot the market is.
Local real estate listings are a good place to start. Sites like Zillow and Trulia show listings in your area that are similar to your home in terms of square footage, number of rooms and upgrades. Find out how much they are listed for and how long they’ve been on the market. You can also see purchase prices of recently sold properties.
2. Increase value and equity with curb appeal
No matter what your local market situation is, there are steps you can take to maximize the value of your home. First impressions matter to potential buyers, so think about increasing your house’s curb appeal. It could get you a quicker offer, help you sell your home for more money and help your home stand out in a competitive buyer’s market.
Curb appeal projects can be quick and inexpensive compared to bigger projects like kitchen and bath remodels. Start with cleaning up your front lawn, trimming trees or shrubs, cleaning out gutters and touching up paint. You can even go a step further by adding new landscaping. For your biggest return on investment, purchase a new front door, new garage doors, or consider residing your house. If you're not sure where to focus, look for clues in your local market listings or ask your real estate agent.
3. Give your house a deep spring cleaning
No matter the season, your house needs a deep and thorough cleaning before you put it on the market. You might even consider hiring professional help to get your home in the best shape possible. In addition to your regular cleaning routine, dust and vacuum behind and under furniture, wipe down baseboards, deep clean carpets, and dust light fixtures. Kitchens and bathrooms in particular should be sparkling clean. You may also want to re-caulk sinks, showers and tubs, and think about pressure-washing the exterior and sidewalks. Don't forget the windows – clean them inside and out.
4. Stow away personal effects
A house is a home, which means you likely have many family photos on the walls, kids' art projects on the fridge, as well as many other personal touches. When you sell your home, potential buyers will try to picture themselves living in the space as they walk through. It's easier to help your buyers imagine this is their home by stowing away your personal effects. Depersonalization makes a big difference. If you find you're running out of room for storage, consider a short-term storage rental for personal effects and bulky seasonal items you don't need taking up closet space.
5. Refresh with new paint
How long has it been since you painted? If you can't remember, it may be a good idea to refresh your walls with a new coat of paint. That's particularly true if your home has a bright or personalized color palette. Buyers tend to prefer light, neutral colors, which helps them picture themselves living in your home.
Paint is relatively affordable, and you can do the work yourself. The payoff is the opportunity to make your house look new, vibrant and clean. That creates a great impression for the potential buyers who will tour your home.
6. Talk to the professionals
Finally, make sure to talk to the professionals when it's time to get your home ready to sell. A real estate agent will help advise you every step of the way. You'll be able to get a professional opinion about comparable properties and what your home is actually worth in today's local market. You'll also be able to estimate your bottom line, taking into account potential sales price, mortgage payoff, taxes, fees and closing costs.
You'll want to seek out a lender for questions related to your mortgage, home sale and your next home purchase. It's a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage on your next home before you start looking, and your lender will be able to help you with all the details.
If you're not ready to sell
What if you're not yet ready to sell? The great thing about many of these tips is they can help improve the value of your home even when you're not looking to sell. By investing in some curb appeal, spring cleaning and fresh paint, you may be able to increase the value of your home. That, in turn, could let you tap into your equity for a cash-out refinance, home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). These options could let you consolidate high-interest debt, pay for college or reinvest in your home with bigger home improvement projects.
If you are interested in getting a new home loan or looking to get a cash-out refinance, call one of our knowledgeable loan officers at (800) 210-8849.
This is for informational purposes only. This is not intended as legal or financial advice.