Preparing a House for Sale


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Selling a home can be a daunting task. You need to prepare your home, determine an asking price, find a buyer, and prepare and sign the sales documents. Most Americans choose to work with a realtor because realtors usually perform most of these necessary steps. Preparing the house for sale, however, is usually up to the homeowner to do, but realtors can give valuable advice.

Most home sellers choose to fix up their home before selling in order to get a better price for the home. Buyers are looking for the best value for their money and usually choose homes that are in the best state of repair. This means that before trying to sell your home, you should try to fix things that are broken and clean and paint things that need cleaning and painting. Items that you fix can be small, such as doorknobs and light fixtures, or they can be large such as a new roof. Your realtor can give you good advice about which things you should repair. Not all repairs are necessary. Generally, you only want to perform repairs where you will recoup your money upon selling the home.

Young Man Painting Wall

Besides wanting a home in good repair, buyers usually prefer to buy a clean home. This means you should thoroughly clean your home before putting it on the market. Painting will also make the home look and feel clean. Most realtors recommend painting the interior walls of the home a neutral color such as off-white. Clean, bright, fresh walls are more inviting than dark, dingy walls filled with fingerprints and smudges. With fresh neutral-colored paint potential buyers will not be turned off from your home simply because they don’t like the colors. Also, with a light neutral color, buyers can more easily imagine the room with their own belongings inside. Light neutral colors are unlikely to clash with belongings the buyers already have. Light neutral colors also make rooms appear larger.

Another important way to make the house you’re trying to sell look cleaner is to remove all clutter. This means you should clear off tables and countertops, empty and organize closets, and possibly remove extra pieces of furniture.  You should also remove family portraits and anything else that is very personal. Remember, you should make it very easy for buyers to picture themselves in your home. If they see your family portraits, the home will feel like your home and not their home.

House for Sale Sign

In addition to preparing the inside of the home, it’s important to make the outside of the home attractive. As with the inside, the outside should be clean and neat. The front door should look clean and be in good repair. The doormat should be clean and not tattered. Windows should be washed and the whole house may need to be painted. Ask your realtor for advice. Besides a neat and clean house, neat and well-maintained landscaping is important. This means the lawn and gardens should be free of weeds, and trees and bushes should be trimmed. Also, be sure to remove weeds from cracks in the driveway and sidewalks. Planting flowers is another nice way to make your home look beautiful. A home that is beautiful on the outside will entice buyers to go inside and take a closer look. So, go ahead and make the outside look great. Draw those next homeowners inside.

If you decide that repairing and cleaning your home is too much trouble, and you just want to get rid of it as soon as possible, you can always sell it “as is” and set a lower asking price. You may attract buyers who are looking for a lower price and don’t mind doing repairs and cleaning themselves. If your home requires a lot of repairs, it may be marketed as a fixer-upper. A fixer-upper is a home that must be fixed up or repaired by the buyer. In brief, if you’re trying to sell your home, spend some time preparing it before you put it on the market. Your home will be more inviting to buyers and will be easier for you to sell than if you don’t prepare it. Good luck with your sale.