If you are thinking of selling your home, chances are you're caught up in a mass of emotions. You may look forward to moving or be dreading a cross-country move. You may be reluctant to leave or eager to start anew.
Remax Alliance Nadine Kirk and Jim Kirk
“Sellers can get so focused on the big picture and the next chapter of their lives that they forget to keep some very important ‘small stuff’ in mind,” says Nadine Kirk, real estate agent with her husband, Jim, in The Kirk Team RE/MAX Alliance, Castle Rock, Colo. “Selling a house involves lots of important detail work. And to get maximum value, it’s important to sweat the small stuff.”
“Take a breath and don’t panic,” says Nadine.
Here’s what many people forget when prepping their home for sale:
1. It’s a house, not a home
“You need to start thinking of your house as a marketable commodity,” Nadine explains. “Your goal is to get others to see it as their potential home, not yours. If you do not consciously make this decision, you can inadvertently create a situation where it takes longer to sell your property.”
The first step in getting your home ready to sell is to "de-personalize" it.
Put family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs in a box. Rent a storage area for a few months and put the box in the storage unit.
2. Clear out the clutter
And, yes, that means the junk drawer. Even if you’re used to piles of books or stacks of old tennis rackets, buyers won’t be impressed by them.
“First impressions count when you’re showing a house,” Nadine says. “Overcrowded shelves and drawers will make prospective homebuyers uncomfortable at the very least.”
Clearing out excess is one of the cheapest ways to freshen up your house for a showing, and it’ll make things easier for the eventual move. Grab some boxes and get clearing room by room. Whether you remove an extra table or the old seashell collection, the house will be brighter and fresher for the organizing.
3. Paint is your best friend
Painting can be the best investment when selling your home. It is not a very expensive project and often you can do it yourself. However, choose colors based on what would appeal to the widest possible number of buyers, not your own preferences. An off-white color is usually best for making rooms appear bright and spacious.
4. Smells actually smell
It’s easy to get used to odors that come with having pets, but prospective homebuyers will immediately notice any unusual smells. Those with cats should be sure to empty kitty litter boxes daily and use odor-controlling products to line the litter boxes. If you have a dog, keep the pet outdoors as much as possible. Any sleeping areas your canine friend uses should be cleaned thoroughly or moved during a viewing. You might also try sprinkling carpet freshener on the carpet on a periodic basis.
5. Stick to your budget
Repair or replace if necessary, but do not spend a lot of money on anything. Remember, you are not fixing up the place for yourself. You want to move. Your goal is simply to have as few negative impressions upon those who may want to purchase your property.
If possible, use savings to pay for any repairs and improvements. Do not go charging up credit cards or obtaining new loans. Remember that part of selling a house is also preparing to buy your next home. You do not want to do anything that will affect your credit scores or hurt your ability to qualify for your next mortgage.
Need some expert guidance? Nadine Kirk knows the market and has 25 years of real estate experience. The Kirk Team RE/MAX Alliance, is a listing broker with deep ties to the Castle Rock area.
Ask Nadine for a free market analysis of your home and connect with an expert in Castle Rock real estate.
The Kirk Team RE/MAX Alliance
Nadine and Jim Kirk, GRI, CRS
719 Wilcox St.
Castle Rock, Colo. 80104