Making the decision to sell your home can be a stressful one, especially if you’ve lived there for many years and have acquired lots of belongings. The thought of packing, cleaning, repairing, and updating may be overwhelming, and if you’re on a fixed budget, it can bring on anxiety pretty quickly. That’s why it’s so important to find simple ways you can prepare your home for sale, and believe it or not, there are plenty.
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No one wants their house to linger on the market; generally, when a home takes longer than a month or two to garner interest, it gets harder and harder to sell. There are many things you can do to help your house get some attention, however, and they won’t break the bank. From sprucing up the front yard and doing a deep clean both inside and out to knowing what buyers want, your home will attract buyers who are ready to move in.
Here’s how to get started.
Declutter and Depersonalize
Not only should your home be free of clutter, it’s best if you make an effort to remove anything too personal, such as family photographs, trophies, or movie collections. You might pack these up or simply store them while the house is on the market so that buyers can more easily visualize themselves living there. Take one piece of furniture from each room and put it into storage to make the spaces look bigger, and remove half the items from every closet. You want the rooms to be open and inviting rather than cramped and overfull.
All buyers know that a clean house attracts buyers, but few realize the importance of a good deep-clean. This means steaming the carpets, waxing the floors, cleaning furniture and draperies to get rid of odors and stains, and washing the walls and baseboards. These are things that often get overlooked when a seller is preparing a home, but they can make a big difference to a buyer. Don’t be afraid to hire a professional for this task if your time is limited; in Brooklyn, you can expect to spend $115 - $245 on a one-time house cleaning.
Make the Exterior Shine
Since the outside of your home is the first thing buyers will see, it’s imperative to have some curb appeal. This means keeping the lawn trimmed, planting colorful flowers (or using hanging baskets on the front porch), making shrubs look nice and neat, and keeping the gutters cleaned out. Prune hedges and trees, add lighting to the porch, paint the front door, pressure wash the siding, or install a new mailbox to spruce things up. It’s also a good idea to wash all the windows until they sparkle.
Check Up on Maintenance
In the flurry of activity that occurs when you put your home up for sale, it can be easy to lose track of things you normally do once or twice a month, such as replacing furnace and A/C filters, cleaning window screens, and checking out the roof for loose or missing shingles (especially important during the spring and summer, when high winds and storms are more likely to cause damage). Make a checklist, and don’t forget these tasks when doing your regular cleaning.
Preparing your home to put it on the market takes time, so give yourself several weeks to avoid feeling rushed and pressured. Assign tasks to the whole family so they’ll get done more quickly, and check them off the list as they’re done so you can stay organized. With a good plan, you and your loved ones will sell your home in no time.