Spring is usually the time people choose to put their homes on the market. If our phones are any indication, this year’s market is heating up early! If your plans include selling your home, we would like to suggest you follow these seven important steps. We call them the “Seven D’s!”
Declutter. You should aim to remove at least a third of your home’s contents before letting prospective buyers tour it. This includes all areas of the house, including closets, kitchen drawers, storage areas and garages. Every area needs to appear open, so the home looks spacious. Store the boxes and extra furniture off-site.
Detail. Take the time to give your entire home a deep cleaning. This includes all the grout in the bathrooms and kitchen, vacuuming the register covers, scrubbing the woodwork, and washing windows inside and out.
Depersonalize. Take down most, if not all, family photos. Most Realtors agree that buyers can be put off by seeing too many pictures of a home’s occupants; they need to be able to picture themselves in the home instead.
Defend. There could be many people walking through your home, so pack up your valuables and store them somewhere other than at the house. Password-protect any computer system in the house. Keep any prescription drugs in a bag or box that you take with you when you leave the house for a showing or an open house. If you have any firearms, either remove them from the house, or make sure they are locked up in a gun safe – and keep the key with you.
Document. Collect the maintenance records for your major appliances (furnace, heat pump, water heater, septic system, etc.) and make copies available to prospective buyers. And if the systems are overdue for maintenance, make the appointments to have the work done. Also, have copies available of invoices for major renovations or improvements, including any warrantees that will convey.
Describe. Does your home have any unusual features that might not be immediately identifiable? Potential buyers may not be familiar with home automation control panels, or custom-built home theaters. Consider making signs to post next to these items explaining what they are, to prevent confusion.
Dress Up. Make sure your house is looking its best for any showing by doing a little staging. Set the dining table for a formal dinner. Have a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter. Set up the family room with a board game in progress. To get inspiration for staging, just leaf through interior design magazines or search the web.
And finally, before you list your home, get a professional home inspection. This will help identify potential problems in the house that a buyer’s home inspector will include in a report. Many issues can be quickly and easily addressed (such as loose toilets or stuck windows), making your home more attractive to potential buyers. A pre-listing home inspection from Inspections by Bob will provide you with the information you need to get your home ready to sell by showing you what items should be addressed.