The Sacramento-area real estate market has been booming, and sellers are taking advantage. Regardless of what’s happening in your local market, spring is always the hottest time of the year to sell your home. As with anything in life, preparation is key, and taking time to get your home ready for the market will maximize its market value.
Here are some of the most impactful things a seller can do before marketing their home for sale:
- Declutter your home. It seems cliche, but decluttering your home is one of the most essential pieces to the selling puzzle. You must pay special attention to personal and polarizing items, but it’s not just about taking down pictures and removing a few excess decorations. Several areas of the home can be decluttered, including cabinets, closets, garages, sheds, and don't forget about the front and rear yards. Minimizing the distractions and keeping a buyer’s attention on the home and its possibilities are critical to fetching top dollar.
Some ways to declutter your home include:
- Have a moving sale
- List items on an online marketplace
- Donate to charity
- Rent a storage unit
- Freshen the paint. Painting your home isn’t cheap. Not everybody can afford to paint the entire interior and exterior of their home, but freshening up your home’s paint can be a tremendous value-add, and I highly recommend it if you have the wherewithal.
Focus on touch-ups, get rid of vivid room colors, knock down peeling paint, brighten baseboards, windows, and door frames. Make sure you use touch-up paint with the same sheen as what’s already there. Your local paint store can match for you.
If you change any colors, like that bright accent wall, make sure you replace it with a light, neutral color.
- Spend time outside. The outside of your home is your representation of the outside world, and your home’s curb appeal is a buyer’s first impression. Take a weekend or hire a landscaper to mow and edge the lawn, shape the bushes, remove dead branches, and plant flowers. Also, power spraying the driveway, walkways, patios, and decks around the house are often overlooked but can make a big difference. Spending time on the outside will create more interest and a desire to see more.
- Light up the home. When buyers walk through a home, they want to be able to see the house. You can never have enough light. Add canned lighting, floor or table lights, and replace light bulbs. Also, if your home has exceptional natural light, open up the blinds and curtains and let it in!
- Perform and provide inspections upfront. Getting key inspections knocked out before listing your home can benefit the seller and the buyer. Sellers often don’t see deficiencies in their homes because they live with them every day, and they become “normal.” Additionally, there can be issues with a home that aren’t immediately evident. Taking the initiative to have the house checked out can take the sting out of a buyer’s inspections and can produce a list of maintenance items a seller can perform before listing the home.
Having inspections upfront takes some of the uncertainty out of purchasing the home for a buyer. Providing inspections also weeds out the less serious or scared buyers and makes it less likely that a buyer will have a large list of repairs in the middle of escrow. A seller can perform maintenance, do Section 1 Clearance repairs, fix plumbing leaks, replace electrical outlets, wire proper junction boxes and conduits where necessary, tune-up the roof, replace sprinkler heads, jet the sewer line, clean gutters, or repair fencing issues, among other things.
- Consider staging services. Home stagers are worth their weight in gold. Getting an outside perspective on your home’s decor and placement can have an incredible impact on your home’s desirability. Professionals can maximize your home's space and flow, giving buyers ideas to use a home's area different from the occupant's.
- Have it professionally cleaned. The cleanliness of a home can be a real deal-breaker for some buyers. Presenting a sparkling and odor-free home will ensure a seller does not eliminate the most sensitive buyer. Additionally, using essential oils and diffusers can be an effective way of masking all sorts of odors.
These seven tips can go a long way to making your home market-ready. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market this Spring. Take advantage of the next few months to get your house in tip-top shape and improve your chances for a quick and easy sale.