Selling your house can be a busy and frankly stressful season- trying to keep the house spotless, preparing for complete strangers to walk around, and working through contracts, negotiations…the list goes on and on. Well, your mortgage advisors at Gagliano Mortgage want to make things a little smoother with this list of things to do before (or during) putting your house on the market. We want your house to sell quickly and without a ton of back and forth about repairs and changes. Here’s what we suggest:
- Update or Clean Up Your Landscaping
First impressions are everything. Make sure landscaping is clean and your lawn is well maintained. We know that selling your house can be a busy time, so consider hiring a landscaping company (if you don’t already use one) to make some minor improvements and get your yard looking perfect for real estate pictures.
- Clean the Exterior
Like we said, that first impression is critical. Some may not even look through more pictures of your house online if the exterior is looking worse for wear. Most of the time, a quick cleaning will do the trick. Clean out gutters, take clutter off the front porch, pressure wash the sidewalks and steps (or hire someone). Good real estate pictures can draw in more buyers and keep them drawn to your house when they come for a showing.
- Buy a New Welcome Mat
A welcome mat serves as just that, a welcome. Make sure yours is inviting! You can go with something simple or pick one that matches the season- something floral for Spring, Fall colors for Autumn, etc. This, once again, goes back to first impressions.
- Depersonalize or Stage Your Home
Yes, you live in your house, but you want the potential buyer to feel like they could live there and make it their own. It’s hard to do that when someone else’s family is smiling down at you from every frame on the wall. This can be tough to do for some, since your personal touch is what you love about your home, but remember that you’ll be able to set up and decorate your new home soon! For now, choose generic wall hangings and decor to make the house more staged. If you want, you can hire someone to stage your house for you. This whole process may include temporarily storing your furnishings and decor to bring in staging materials and furniture.
- Organize and clean
Keep your house as clutter-free and clean as possible. Easier said than done with kids, right? Well, you won’t be there for showings, so take that time to throw loose odds and ends into your vehicle and let your kid take several toys with them.
- Make Your House Smell Good
Fresh-baked cookies are always inviting and a good idea. Fresh flowers add a nice touch and smell too. At a bare minimum have a candle, wax warmer, or oil diffuser going to freshen up your house with welcoming and warm smells. Smell greatly affects people’s perception, so this one is especially important.
- Make Repairs
Go ahead and tackle minor repairs like replacing anything broken. Patch any unsightly holes in the sheetrock, have a leaky roof repaired or replaced, and take care of anything else that you know could be an issue. Don’t know what needs repairs (if anything)? Consider a seller’s inspection, which is a home inspection that alerts you to any problem areas or anything that needs extra attention. The goal is to attract serious buyers, so things like a new roof, new porch railing, and new flooring are particularly good. Making bigger repairs or replacing damaged/worn areas can also help you list the house for more money and not have to deal with people backing out of contracts.
To Paint or Not to Paint…
Ah the big debate. Some say you should tone down wall colors to appeal to more buyers. Others say, don’t worry about it, since they will likely repaint after they move in. So, the decision is yours. If you’re using a realtor, they may make a compelling argument to help you decide what’s best for your situation.
Brightly colored walls in the kids’ bedrooms and bathroom might throw off some buyers, especially if they’re not wanting to do much work before they move in. However, many buyers can see a space and imagine what they want it to look like. If you decide to repaint your little one’s rubber duck themed bathroom a neutral color like light gray, the next owners may decide that they want a dark blue bathroom and repaint it again. It saves a whole bunch of time, money, and effort to simply let them repaint the room how they want it instead of painting over what you just repainted. Do you see the predicament? At the end of the day, it’s up to you and your realtor to decide to paint or not paint.
If you’re about to (or have) put your house on the market, then you’re probably looking to buy as well. Just as you hope to attract serious buyers, you’ll need to prove yourself a serious buyer to other sellers. A preapproval through Gagliano Mortgage is one of the best ways to do that. We are privileged to be your mortgage advisor in Birmingham, AL. Apply now!