You’ve agreed to sell your home, found a fantastic real estate agent, and are hard at work making repairs and upgrades to ensure your home stands out. However, you’re undoubtedly aware that preparing to sell your home is a significant undertaking. There’s a lot to do before selling your home for sale, from home improvement projects to get it staged.
Even with a to-do list, many people are prone to forgetting essential tasks during the process. Fortunately, to assist you as you prepare to sell your home, we’ve compiled a list of the top items most home sellers overlook that could cost you the sale. So, before you put your house on the market, keep these 11 things in mind:
1. Arrange and declutter the closets and cabinets.
You may have decluttered your home, cleaned your desk and other surfaces, and put your antiques and personal belongings away, but have you tackled your closets and cabinets?
Potential homebuyers are likely to look in your closets, kitchen drawers, and cabinets during a home tour, so you’ll want to highlight what your house has to offer in terms of storage. Begin by decluttering your closets, cabinets, and drawers, ensuring that you only keep enough belongings in each to illustrate the space’s potential. Consider it an extension of your home staging for your storage areas.
There’s a lot to do to get your house ready to sell before it goes on the market. If you’re frustrated or don’t know where to start, consider hiring a skilled organizer to help you organize your home so you can concentrate on more critical tasks.
2. Remove odors and clean stains
Minor stains, scratches, and other flaws should be regarded as badges of honor for a well-loved home. However, when it comes time to sell your home, these minor blemishes will stand out to prospective buyers, so make sure to address them right away.
Begin by going outside and re-entering your home as if you were a potential buyer taking a look around for the first time. After that, walk around each room and make a list of any flaws you find. It’s possible that you’ll be shocked by how quickly your to-do list expands.
If you have pets, your home will likely have an odor that you can no longer detect. Deep cleaning your home is a surefire way to get rid of these odors, but doing easy things like opening the windows for a few hours per day can also help (especially if there are any chemical smells lingering). Plug-in room fresheners will also help to infuse a fresh fragrance throughout your home. However, don’t go overboard with artificial scents, as this can cause customers to wonder what smell you’re trying to hide.
3. Change the light bulbs
Small activities, such as replacing a lightbulb when it burns out, are often overlooked when preparing a home for sale. Walk around each room to ensure every lightbulb is working to prevent potential customers from being distracted by these minor flaws. Don’t forget to double-check that all of the exterior lights are turned on. Open houses or home tours can occur when the sun is setting or when it is already dark, so make your home shine both inside and out depending on the time of year.
Within and outside your home, make sure all of your light bulbs are the same color temperature. For new homebuyers, a soft-white light LED bulb may build a bright yet friendly atmosphere.
4. Pay attention to the tiny details, such as trees, mirrors, and rugs.
Consider each room’s unique characteristics as you prepare to sell your home so you can maximize the value of each space.
Greenery can be used in your house
Nothing brings a space to life like a bit of greenery. A potted tree can make a big difference in a living room, but even small house plants around the house, such as on a desk or by a bedroom window, can make a big difference.
Mirrors will brighten even the smallest spaces
You can find that a particular room feels a little cramped as you prepare to sell your home. Consider hanging a mirror to brighten the room. Mirrors can make small spaces seem larger by creating the illusion of depth, and they can also work wonders in darkened areas by reflecting light into places that don’t get a lot of natural light.
Rugs may bring personality to an otherwise uninteresting room
Using rugs to stage your room is an easy way to add character to your home. Bear in mind, however, that rugs should be used to complement a room rather than to serve as the focal point. If you have an odd space in your house that you’ve never quite found out what to do with, a rug might add some personality while leaving the area and its potential to the buyers’ imaginations.
5. Make the most of your outdoor room
One of the most effective ways to make an excellent first impression is to improve the curb appeal. However, it would help if you did not overlook your other outdoor areas, such as your front porch or entrance, back entrance, side yard, or backyard. You want to make the open spaces around the house more appealing to prospective customers to see themselves living as much outdoors as inside.
Simple touches like potted plants at your front door or fresh beauty bark around the base of your hedges and trees will make a big difference. Consider building a DIY fire pit or staging your deck with outdoor dining furniture if you don’t already have a dedicated outdoor entertaining area. It’s a smart idea to invest in your backyard landscaping if you don’t intend on doing an extensive outdoor renovation before selling your house. Your outdoor space is just as critical as the interior of your home.
6.Get aerial photography from a specialist
When it comes to selling a home, listing images are practical marketing tools, and homes with professional photos are known to sell for more money and spend less time on the market. Aerial photography is another excellent way to make your home stand out from the crowd.
Drone photography will showcase your entire property while also providing a scenic view and capturing the surrounding environment. An aerial shot will quickly bring the full scope of your property into perspective and make for eye-catching listing images for prospective buyers.
7. Don’t overlook the gutters
In some areas, such as Houston, TX, where rain is less frequent, clogged gutters are a red flag to potential buyers. If you don’t have time to clean your gutters when preparing your home for sale, consider hiring a professional to clear and inspect your gutters so that this minor mistake doesn’t derail your efforts to sell your house quickly.
8. Paint the crown molding and baseboards
While it’s popular to paint your home’s interior a neutral color to cater to more buyers, many sellers overlook their baseboards and crown molding when getting their home ready to sell. While the crown molding might only require minor cleaning and maintenance, your baseboards have most likely seen a lot more use, particularly if you have children or pets. Clean your baseboards with basic dish soap and water to remove these unappealing blemishes. Consider refreshing them with a new coat of paint if they have had years of wear and tear.
9. Pay attention to the floors
If you’re thinking about what repairs to make before selling your home, a floor makeover could be one of the best investments you can make. The floors are one of the first things buyers notice when they walk into a new house, so make yours stand out. If your carpet is reaching the 10-year mark, it is most likely looking tired and in need of recarpeting. Recarpeting your floors will make a big difference in the appearance of your house, making it look new and ready for new owners. To cater to most homebuyers, you’ll want to use a neutral color, similar to what you did for your walls. However, if your carpet is just a few years old, having it professionally cleaned will help you breathe new life into it.
If you have hardwood floors, refinishing them will restore them to their former glory. This will include sanding the floors to remove the old finish and stain, then refinishing with the desired color, and sealing with one or two coats of sealer.
10. Gather all of your paperwork
When you’re having your house ready to sell, make sure you have all of your important documents in order. You’ll want to collect all of your warranties, manuals, service logs, and records of any home maintenance you’ve had performed. These documents are necessary for various purposes, and different parties may need different ones before you can sell your home.
Home inspectors will go through your house with a fine-toothed comb during the home inspection process. They’ll let you know if your boiler or water heater hasn’t been serviced in years. Gather all of your service records in advance of selling your home, so you’ll know if anything needs to be serviced.
However, title companies need some detailed documents to sell your house, in addition to the paperwork your agent and the home inspector would like to see:
- Mortgage loan information, which will show any outstanding mortgage balance and pay-off balance (if there is any)
- Final purchase and sale agreement
- Title report
- Property tax information, including the most recent tax statement
- Homeowners insurance information
- Lease agreement, if you’re currently renting the property
- Any notices or documentation that relates to the property
- Warranty paperwork, permits, service documentation, instruction manuals, dates of home improvement projects, and age of the roof, furnace, hot water heater, HVAC, and all the other major appliances.
11. A home inspection prior to sale
When you’re ready to sell your home, the final – and arguably most significant – step is to get a pre-sale home inspection performed. Although not needed, it is a proactive approach to determining the worth of your home and fixing any repairs or problems before listing it for sale.
If you wait until the buyer conducts their own home inspection, you can face delays in the closing process as repairs are completed or as repair costs are negotiated with the buyer. These factors can influence the asking price because buyers can request discounts to cover any fixes, so you’ll want to keep the number of factors that may cause the buyers to back out to a minimum. When it comes time to negotiate with prospective buyers, having a pre-listing home inspection will put you in a better spot.
How Houston Premium Homes Makes Selling A Home Easier
Selling a house is both an art and a study. The Houston Premium Homes family has earned its reputation as Houston’s Top real estate team by always putting our clients’ interests first and making the sale process simpler to navigate at every step of the way.
Your Houston Premium Homes real estate agent is your trusted advisor and selling specialist and will relieve you of the burden by handling all the people and moving parts to ensure you get the results you want.
Houston Premium Homes Realty Group is a one-stop-shop real estate business and is just part of the reason why so much care and attention is emphasized with each and every client.