Sweat Equity to Get House Ready to Sell
I love simplicity and preparing to sell your house doesn't have to be complicated. It is simple, but it does require a lot of work. Often times it is a lot of work that we push off because we can live without doing it, or we just don't have the time, or most likely we want to spend our precious time doing other things. I came across this blog and found it to be very short and sweet and to the point. 5 Ways to Prep Your Home for the Spring Selling Season. It was written in 2015, but even four years later it is still spot on. Preparing a home to sell isn't more than just work. There are five things that she points out that need to be done:
1) Spring Clean Your Home - This applies to any time of year, not just in Spring. If you are putting your home on the market, you want it to look clean. No dust bunnies on the floors or tops kitchen cabinets. No spaghetti sauce splashes by the stove. No white dingy marks on the front door from pushing it closed. Make the carpet look like new by steaming it. Wipe down the windows inside and out to let the natural sunlight in. Make the house sparkle!
2) Spruce Up Landscaping - Ugh outside! It is my nemesis. More specifically weeds are my nemesis. They just never seem to go away! So you want to make the property appealing. Cut the grass and use an edger to get crisp lines. Get rid of the weeds. Put out fresh mulch. Trim bushes and maybe add some new plants with color. Power wash the sidewalk and driveway and house, if needed.
3) Start Packing - If there are things you know you no longer want, get rid of them. Have a yard sale. Donate them. Sell them on Craigslist. Start boxing up off season clothes. Pack up half of the kids toys. The idea is to cut back on the clutter in the house. Make it easier to keep the house clean for showings. Counters and other surfaces should be clear of things. Everything needs to be boxed up or put in a cabinet or closet. Just don't make the closets too messy or stuffed either. Buyers will look there, too!
4) Incorporate Fresh Colors - Let's pause for a moment and talk paint. She doesn't mention it in her post, but I don't think you have to go paint the whole house. I do, however, believe that you need clean walls. No scuff marks. A magic eraser can be your best friend here. I also think bold wall colors need to go! They should be toned down.
5) Do All the Little (or Big) Repairs You've Been Putting Off - As if the others haven't been enough work, this is another one that just has to be done. All those little things that you keep on your "honey do" list need to be marked off. That way buyers can walk into a home that has been well maintained and little that they need to do.
What I love about this is none of these really take much money, just a bunch of elbow grease. Think about it this way. Putting in the sweat equity will recoup you thousands of dollars when you go to list. Homes that show clean, decluttered, and well maintained sell faster and for more money. These tips aren't just for Spring either. They apply year round. (Well except maybe the part about mowing the lawn.) Just remember the property still needs to be priced right! A good agent will help you that.