How to Get Your House Ready to Sell
When a homeowner decides they want to sell their home or condo it can become a very stressful time in their life.
Between finding an agent to list the home, choosing a sales price, and getting the house ready, it’s a crazy few months.
If you plan ahead and follow some basic guidelines your life and the home selling process will be much easier.
The biggest thing is deciding you want to sell, once you’ve done that the rest will fall into place.
Buyers Can Be Picky
But always remember to be patient when attempting to sell your house, rushing the process can cost you frustration and $.
Buyers can be picky, and when people spend $500,000 or $1 Million or more on a home, they expect the best.
What is Best Time to Sell a House in Orange County CA?
Many homeowners ask this question, and the generic answer is that the best time of year to sell a house is during nice weather.
In most areas like Orange County, the best month to sell a house will be in the month of May.
Researchers at Zillow found that homes listed between May 1st and May 15th sold on average, about 18 days faster than homes listed during other months.
Sellers also saw about 1% higher selling price during that timeframe in May.
Of course there are many factors that play into this equation, mainly nice weather which gets homebuyers out and about.
More people simply shop for homes when the weather is nice, so depending on where you live obviously the climate will vary.
Some basic tips to choose the best possible time to sell a home or condo would be –
- Don’t sell if you are expecting a new baby
- Don’t sell during the Holiday season
- Don’t sell during summer as many people are on vacation
- If possible hold the open houses on weekends when weather is the best
This 10 Step Outline Can Really Help You Save Time and Stress
1. Checking Your Curb Appeal Is a Great Place To Start –
If a buyer won’t even step out of their real estate agent’s car because of the exterior, then it’s hard to sell them the house.
Follow some basic tips to help make your house presentable, because selling a house can take a while.
- keep the sidewalks clean
- ask your immediate neighbors to keep their front yards looking nice
- mow the lawn
- paint any faded trim
- make sure the house address is visible on curb or house
- plant yellow flowers as yellow evokes a buying mood
2. You Need To “Let Go” Of Your Home
This sounds easy to most of us, but some people become emotionally attached to the house they live in and it’s hard for them to sell.
- Remind yourself that it’s just a piece of property, a product you own, and that you need to move on
- Remember you can always keep the memories and good times that happened in the house
- Literally walk the home and say goodbye to each and every room
- Be sure to make the key mental decision of “letting go” of the emotional connection and focus on the future
- Practice visualizing the process of handing over the keys and paperwork to the new owners
- Celebrate the fact you’re selling your home
3. Rent a Storage Unit In Town
It’s well known that most homes will show better to potential buyers with less furniture and clutter in the house for sale.
- Remove any pieces of furniture that block access to walkways or block visibility of windows, natural light, etc.
- If you have some custom antique furniture, put it in storage to avoid it getting damaged and the house will appear larger.
- Assuming you’ve cleared and packed the items from your bookshelves, then put the shelves in storage.
- The goal is to just leave enough furniture in the house to it’s livable and the potential buyers can see themselves living there.
- The furniture in the house should accentuate the property and rooms, not block or hinder the buyers imagination.
4. De-Personalize The Inside and Outside
When potential homebuyers and their realtor tour your house for sale, they don’t want to see old family heirlooms and graduation pictures all over.
Most buyers will look at many homes for sale with their agent, and you don’t want to distract them with anything while they are at your house.
Buyers should be able to imagine their family photos on the wall, or their kids school awards on the fridge, and if they can’t it’s a tough sell.
Don’t make the buyer think about your family while touring your house listed for sale, instead you want them to say “I can see my kids in this playroom”, etc.
5. Remove Your Favorite Items
Many homeowners intend to take custom items like chandeliers, or window treatments with them when they sell, but during the sales process they leave it all up.
That can be a mistake, again potential buyers prefer to imagine where their items will fit in to the property, and if your chandelier is going with you, remove it now.
Another major issue with leaving items in place is that buyers might think they come with the house, and then later when you tell them it’s not included it’s dramatic.
So again, pack all of your stuff ahead of time and make the house an “empty canvas” that has just enough items to look lived in.
After living in a house or condominium for just a few years, it’s amazing how much stuff (or junk) we end up having.
A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used an item in over 2 years you probably never will use it again – so maybe sell it?
- Remove all statues and books, or photos from the wall and bookshelf
- If you don’t use it, then donate it or sell the items before listing your house to sell
- Give your kitchen counters a good deep cleaning, and remove all the items that you don’t use daily
- For household items that you need daily, store them in a little box somewhere that is out of sight
7. Make Minor Simple Repairs
Just fixing little things like a leaking sprinkler in the front yard can make a potential home buyer feel much better about making an offer.
From a buyers perspective they figure if they can see things that “are broken” then imagine all the other issues with the property they can’t see.
- Patch little holes in the walls
- Fix broken tiles or tears in carpet
- Fix a leaky toilet or faucet
- If a light bulb is burned out, replace it
- If a door doesn’t shut correctly, spend the $5 to fix it
8. Clean and Rearrange Closets and Kitchen Cabinets
When buyers walk houses they will look everywhere and anywhere to get a vibe, basically to decide what the “bones of the house” are like.
Even though your closets and kitchen cabinets are not major structural issues – LOL – to a potential house buyer they might see it as “a sign” of other problems.
If your house seems disorganized and gross, then you can’t be mad at a potential homebuyer for thinking your overall property is full of hidden problems.
- Line up your shoes
- Stack your cups and plates neatly
- Hang your shirts and clothes neatly in the closet
- Make sure brooms, pots and pans, etc. are put away properly in their place
9. Give The House a Good Deep Cleaning
People don’t like to buy used things (especially a house) that appears dirty or broken.
Either hiring a good cleaning company or do it yourself, but either way make sure the stuff listed below is done.
- Clean the fridge on the inside and outside
- Clean out cobwebs
- Wash windows inside and outside
- Rent a pressure washer and clean the exterior and walkways
- Replace old rugs and hang fresh clean bath towels
- Clean the mirrors, sinks, and toilets
- Put air fresheners all over the house
10. Ask A Friend To Tour The Property – Get Their Honest Opinion
Getting a friend or family member to tour your property can go a long way in getting honest feedback.
Have somebody give you real feedback on the stuff listed below.
- Stand outside at the front door, is the home inviting, would people want to walk in?
- Loiter in the entryway for a minute and get a sense of smell, is it good or bad or neutral?
- When you look out the windows into the yard does it create a desire to go outside?
- Does the house seem available, or does it appear the owners are still there and it’s not welcoming?
- Is the furniture placed in a way that it makes sense and gives a buyer the change to picture themselves moving in?