If you’re planning to sell your home, there’s no room for old, creaky floorboards or sticky doors. Today’s buyers expect more, and you should too. In the second installment of our 10-part series, “The Complete Guide to Selling Your Home,” we’ll explore the steps to prepare your home for sale, ensuring it shines above the competition.
Understanding What You’re Selling
First things first, assess the condition of your home. Over the years, minor issues may have become familiar quirks to you, but potential buyers may view them as red flags. To make your property stand out, you must identify these problems and make necessary adjustments.
Tally the Age of Key Items
Prospective buyers will ask about the age or last repair of significant items in your home. Gather paperwork and maintenance records for essential components, such as:
- Roof: 15 to 30 years
- Central Air Conditioning Unit: 15 years
- Electric Water Heater: 14 years
- Gutters: 30 years
Being informed will help you answer confidently and accurately.
Do Your Own Walk-Through
Take the initiative and conduct a thorough walk-through of your home. Look for common problem areas like wood rot, water stains, leaks, and uneven flooring. Test the functionality in every room. Even something as simple as broken cabinet handles should be repaired.
Don’t forget the exterior. As real estate agent Darbi McGlone points out, the outside is where buyers make their first impression.
Consider a Pre-Inspection
Although you can spot many issues yourself, a professional home inspector might uncover flaws you’ve overlooked. While it costs $300 to $500, having a home inspection report at hand can boost buyers’ confidence.
Strategically Renovating Before Sale
Once you identify areas for repair or upgrade, prioritize your investments. You might be tempted to focus on cosmetic details, but remember, buyers might have their preferences. Instead, aim for less personal and more universally appealing improvements.
A study by the National Association of Realtors® suggests upgrading hardwood floors for the highest return on investment (ROI). Other promising upgrades include new insulation and a new roof.
Utilize tools like the Renovation Calculator at My Home to determine and prioritize improvements for maximum ROI and marketability.
Conclusion: Preparation Makes Perfect
As you approach the new normal of selling your home today, preparation and attention to detail are key. Recognize your home’s flaws, even the ones you’ve grown accustomed to, and make necessary adjustments. Focus on strategic renovations that will appeal to a broad audience.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our series, where we’ll dive into choosing the right real estate agent to help you navigate the market. With the right approach, you’ll not only sell your home but make it a successful and rewarding experience.