Preparing Your Home For Sale

Preparing Your Home For Sale

The real estate market in the Pacific Northwest is competitive and prices have been increasing.  Buyers have been out-bid by other aggressive and savvy buyers or buyers with cash. Multiple offers are not on just any home; buyers are looking for ready-to-move in homes that are clean, updated, and priced right.

How would you like to see multiple offers on your home and over asking price?

Here are some suggestions on how to make your home stand out and go for top dollar from Realtors that have sold hundreds of homes over the last 20+ years!

EXTERIOR

First, walk outside your home. Turn around and look at your home with a critical eye as if you were going to buy your home right now and consider the following:

  • Does it need paint or a good washing?
  • Is there any moss on the roof that needs to be removed?
  • When is the last time your gutters were cleaned?
  • Do the windows need to be cleaned or replaced?
  • Is the front door appealing?
  • Is your address on the house easy to read? Could you use a new one?
  • Does the blacktop on the driveway need to be resealed or resurfaced?

LANDSCAPING

When potential buyers drive by your home, if they do not like the outside they won’t want to come inside so, it will be important that the yard and flower beds are taken care as follows:

  • Trim bushes away from touching the house
    • Especially important for wood siding
  • Weed all flower beds (pay a neighbor kid to do it)
  • Cut the lawn
  • Add fresh beauty bark in the flower beds
  • Rake up leaves
  • Sweep or blow down the driveway
  • Add some colorful flowers if it is the season to do so

KITCHEN

What is your favorite room in the home that will matter the most when buying a home? Most will say the kitchen. Let’s start in the kitchen:

  • Could the counter tops be replaced (pending finances)?
  • Wash the exterior of the cupboards
  • Add new knobs if necessary and finances allow
  • Clean out cupboards (get rid of what you don’t use and pack what you will be keeping)
  • Put in fresh liners in the drawers and cupboards if needed
  • Does the kitchen need paint?
  • Do you need brighter lights or new light fixtures?
    • Light and bright will win every time with prospective buyers
  • Wash or replace blinds and/or curtains
  • How old are the appliances and do they work?
    • All appliances need to be functional
  • Wash or replace flooring

LIVING ROOM/GREAT ROOM

You probably spend most of your time either in the kitchen or the living room/great room where the TV and entertainment is. Here are few suggestions:

  • Gas fireplace or wood – clean the glass doors and remove all ash
  • Wood stoves in Pierce County uncertified are not allowed any longer
    • Check with Pierce County on how to handle the trade-in or removal
  • Flooring – do the rugs need to be shampooed?
  • Does the room need paint?
    • If you have a favorite color other than white or neutral, paint it a neutral color
  • Remove all furniture you do not use
    • Can store or move to the garage to open up the room to appear larger
  • All valuables and collections should be removed and stored in a safe place
  • Family photos should be packed removed
    • You want the buyer to imagine themselves there, not your family
  • Wash windows
  • If curtains and blinds are staying, make sure they are clean
  • If needed, paint molding and trim

BEDROOMS

Not all homes have a master suite. Even so, the bedrooms should be clean, carpets vacuumed or cleaned, beds made every day, and no clutter. You can remove items from the walls and pack them up as well. Here are some suggestions/considerations for preparing your bedrooms:

  • Do the bedrooms need fresh paint?
  • Closets – are they cluttered?
    • Remove old shoes and clothes you don’t use any longer
    • Box up items you don’t use and are just storing
  • Organize what you are leaving in the closet
    • Sort shoes (put on a rack or in shoe boxes)
    • Stack purses in an organized way or box them up for your next home

BATHROOMS

A must for all sellers and what buyers want is a clean, well-lit, and organized bathroom. Here are some tips for preparing your bathroom:

  • Make sure the toilet is flushed and sparkling clean with the lid down
  • Remove all personal items from countertops and put them under sink or in a drawer
  • Wash the mirror
  • Check that all lights and all bulbs are working
  • Make sure the fan is working and cleaned
  • Clean or replace the flooring
  • Cabinets – clean outside and declutter inside
    • Buyers will look in them
  • Linen closet – remove old towels and linens that you don’t use
    • Can be donated OR used to wash the car or dog;
    • Remove extra linen you don’t use such as holiday towels and sheets
  • Do the walls need painting?

GARAGE

Last, but not least is the garage. Is it a place to park your cars or is it full of stuff? If you are packing up and need a place to store boxes, then by all means put them in the garage. You will need to store those packed up items somewhere and the garage is perfect. Let’s look at what should be done to prepare to sell:

  • Pack up tools you plan on donating or taking with you
  • Extra paint cans need to be taken away
    • You can use cat litter to dry it up before tossing in the garbage
  • Extra hazardous materials need to be taken care of and removed
  • Is there anything in the garage attic that needs to be removed, tossed out, or packed up?
  • Are the Christmas decorations in the garage and, if so, are you taking them, donating them, or selling them?
  • Pack up what is on the shelves
  • Get rid of or pack any gas cans or fertilizer
  • Sweep the floor in the garage (especially if attached to the house)

It seems like a lot to do – and it is – especially if you have accumulated over 10, 20, or more years of stuff! You can have relatives or friends come by and pick out what they want of what you want to get rid of. You can also have a garage sale for some extra money.

Keep in mind your Realtor, especially if you are 55+. An SRES will give you resources of professionals that can hold an auction for you (online or physical sale), house cleaners, and even professional organizers that will help with decluttering and sorting. You do not have to do all the work yourself, there are professionals to help you!

Start one room at a time. You have been in your home for years, so it will take more than a weekend to sort, organize, and prepare it for sale. Don’t get overwhelmed; seek out a Realtor that is knowledgeable in organizing and decluttering. You will be glad you did!

The real estate market in the Pacific Northwest is competitive and prices have been increasing.  Buyers have been out-bid by other aggressive and savvy buyers or buyers with cash. Multiple offers are not on just any home; buyers are looking for ready-to-move in homes that are clean, updated, and priced right.

How would you like to see multiple offers on your home and over asking price?

Here are some suggestions on how to make your home stand out and go for top dollar from Realtors that have sold hundreds of homes over the last 20+ years!

EXTERIOR

First, walk outside your home. Turn around and look at your home with a critical eye as if you were going to buy your home right now and consider the following:

  • Does it need paint or a good washing?
  • Is there any moss on the roof that needs to be removed?
  • When is the last time your gutters were cleaned?
  • Do the windows need to be cleaned or replaced?
  • Is the front door appealing?
  • Is your address on the house easy to read? Could you use a new one?
  • Does the blacktop on the driveway need to be resealed or resurfaced?

LANDSCAPING

When potential buyers drive by your home, if they do not like the outside they won’t want to come inside so, it will be important that the yard and flower beds are taken care as follows:

  • Trim bushes away from touching the house
    • Especially important for wood siding
  • Weed all flower beds (pay a neighbor kid to do it)
  • Cut the lawn
  • Add fresh beauty bark in the flower beds
  • Rake up leaves
  • Sweep or blow down the driveway
  • Add some colorful flowers if it is the season to do so

KITCHEN

What is your favorite room in the home that will matter the most when buying a home? Most will say the kitchen. Let’s start in the kitchen:

  • Could the counter tops be replaced (pending finances)?
  • Wash the exterior of the cupboards
  • Add new knobs if necessary and finances allow
  • Clean out cupboards (get rid of what you don’t use and pack what you will be keeping)
  • Put in fresh liners in the drawers and cupboards if needed
  • Does the kitchen need paint?
  • Do you need brighter lights or new light fixtures?
    • Light and bright will win every time with prospective buyers
  • Wash or replace blinds and/or curtains
  • How old are the appliances and do they work?
    • All appliances need to be functional
  • Wash or replace flooring

LIVING ROOM/GREAT ROOM

You probably spend most of your time either in the kitchen or the living room/great room where the TV and entertainment is. Here are few suggestions:

  • Gas fireplace or wood – clean the glass doors and remove all ash
  • Wood stoves in Pierce County uncertified are not allowed any longer
    • Check with Pierce County on how to handle the trade-in or removal
  • Flooring – do the rugs need to be shampooed?
  • Does the room need paint?
    • If you have a favorite color other than white or neutral, paint it a neutral color
  • Remove all furniture you do not use
    • Can store or move to the garage to open up the room to appear larger
  • All valuables and collections should be removed and stored in a safe place
  • Family photos should be packed removed
    • You want the buyer to imagine themselves there, not your family
  • Wash windows
  • If curtains and blinds are staying, make sure they are clean
  • If needed, paint molding and trim

BEDROOMS

Not all homes have a master suite. Even so, the bedrooms should be clean, carpets vacuumed or cleaned, beds made every day, and no clutter. You can remove items from the walls and pack them up as well. Here are some suggestions/considerations for preparing your bedrooms:

  • Do the bedrooms need fresh paint?
  • Closets – are they cluttered?
    • Remove old shoes and clothes you don’t use any longer
    • Box up items you don’t use and are just storing
  • Organize what you are leaving in the closet
    • Sort shoes (put on a rack or in shoe boxes)
    • Stack purses in an organized way or box them up for your next home

BATHROOMS

A must for all sellers and what buyers want is a clean, well-lit, and organized bathroom. Here are some tips for preparing your bathroom:

  • Make sure the toilet is flushed and sparkling clean with the lid down
  • Remove all personal items from countertops and put them under sink or in a drawer
  • Wash the mirror
  • Check that all lights and all bulbs are working
  • Make sure the fan is working and cleaned
  • Clean or replace the flooring
  • Cabinets – clean outside and declutter inside
    • Buyers will look in them
  • Linen closet – remove old towels and linens that you don’t use
    • Can be donated OR used to wash the car or dog;
    • Remove extra linen you don’t use such as holiday towels and sheets
  • Do the walls need painting?

GARAGE

Last, but not least is the garage. Is it a place to park your cars or is it full of stuff? If you are packing up and need a place to store boxes, then by all means put them in the garage. You will need to store those packed up items somewhere and the garage is perfect. Let’s look at what should be done to prepare to sell:

  • Pack up tools you plan on donating or taking with you
  • Extra paint cans need to be taken away
    • You can use cat litter to dry it up before tossing in the garbage
  • Extra hazardous materials need to be taken care of and removed
  • Is there anything in the garage attic that needs to be removed, tossed out, or packed up?
  • Are the Christmas decorations in the garage and, if so, are you taking them, donating them, or selling them?
  • Pack up what is on the shelves
  • Get rid of or pack any gas cans or fertilizer
  • Sweep the floor in the garage (especially if attached to the house)

It seems like a lot to do – and it is – especially if you have accumulated over 10, 20, or more years of stuff! You can have relatives or friends come by and pick out what they want of what you want to get rid of. You can also have a garage sale for some extra money.

Keep in mind your Realtor, especially if you are 55+. An SRES will give you resources of professionals that can hold an auction for you (online or physical sale), house cleaners, and even professional organizers that will help with decluttering and sorting. You do not have to do all the work yourself, there are professionals to help you!

Start one room at a time. You have been in your home for years, so it will take more than a weekend to sort, organize, and prepare it for sale. Don’t get overwhelmed; seek out a Realtor that is knowledgeable in organizing and decluttering. You will be glad you did!

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