Preparing Your Home For Sale
Here are some suggestions that will help you get top market value.
What more could you want than to get your home sold for top dollar in short order without any hassles? If you take a moment and read through the following suggestions before you put the property on the market, you’ll be on your way to a successful sale.
Our goal is to simplify, depersonalize, and de-clutter the home in order for it to show larger and brighter, giving a more spacious feeling to potential buyers. These steps will provide you with an advantage over the competition. Many items will need to be removed to storage and packed for moving. This is important and should be considered as merely giving you a head start on the move to your new home. It is important to attract as many qualified buyers as possible. In preparing your home for sale, it is eminent to envision your home through a “buyer’s eye”.
Fact is, people purchase what they see, not “how it’s going to be”. Now is the time to make your home as buyer-friendly as possible. It needs to be cleared from top to bottom in order to help it sell for the most amount of money.
With buyers, the first impressions count. A small investment in time and money will give your property an edge over other listings in the area when the time comes to show it to a prospective buyer.
The list of things below will help your home show larger and brighter and give a more spacious feeling to potential buyers, giving you an advantage over the competition. Check them off as you go.
- Start by airing out the home. Most people are turned off by even the smallest odor. Odors must be eliminated, especially if you have dogs, cats, or young children in diapers, or if you are a smoker.
- If it has been over a year since the carpets have been cleaned--or if they really need it—now is the time to do it. Bare floors should be waxed or polished, as well. Replace when necessary.
- Buyers hate dust! Clean and wipe down all stained woodwork including doors and cabinets with a wood maintenance product such as “Old English” or “Liquid Gold.”
- Replace or clean A/C filters. Clean all A/C vents and intake grids.
- Keep A/C set to a comfortable level.
- Use an air freshener in each room (Glade Oil “Plug-ins” work well, but try to avoid floral scents as they can be too strong, vanilla is pleasing to most) or fill the house with the pleasant aroma of cinnamon or other fresh scents. (I like the fresh baked cookies one!)
- Repaint walls, if necessary, in a neutral color such as antique white. Paint is your best improvement investment for getting a greater return on your money. Remember, presentation is key.
- Clear window ledges of all objects to give a nice glimpse inside and out.
- Ask yourself. Is there anything inside or out that “will not make the move”? If so, throw it out now. Don’t wait until you sell.
- Think positive. You are going to sell the house and move. Start packing small things up now. When the house sells, you will be glad you prematurely packed and it will make the house look great. The best things to pack are little knick-knacks, miscellaneous things that are not used in the practical sense.
- Keep it simple. Nothing should touch the floor unless it’s a piece of furniture. Remove all baskets, luggage, etc. The more floor space a buyer can see, the bigger the room will appear.
- Upgrade the wattage in all light fixtures to the highest level safety will allow.
- Dust/Clean all light fixtures and fans.
- Turn on all the lights for evening showings to welcome potential buyers.
- Dust blinds, windowsills, and plant and pot-shelf ledges.
- Remove any cobwebs inside and outside.
- Clean interior and exterior of all windows and glass doors.
- Take screens off before washing and leave off front of house.
- Keep all blinds/shades pulled up/open and draperies removed to allow maximum light.
- Steam clean if not replacing. If replacing, we can help you make choices that will be most appealing to buyers, preferably not loud colors.
- Clean all tubs, toilets, sinks; shower curtains and glass doors should be immaculate. No soap film or hair. Then polish the sinks with lemon or vegetable oil. Polish all hardware to a shine.
- Store unused shampoos, soaps, scrubbing implements, razors, etc. under sink.
- Store laundry hamper in closet.
- Store wastebasket under sink.
- Rugs/commode lid covers should be removed.
- Store cleansers under sink.
- Streamline counter - 1 or 2 decorative items only.
- Linen cabinets should be organized and items reduced.
- Use baskets to hold make-up and toiletries so that after use they can be stored under the counter.
- Bathtubs, showers, and sinks should be freshly caulked. The grout and tile should be clean and in good condition. There should be no leaks in the faucets or traps. Bleach discolored grout.
- Remove any wallpaper that is not “conservative”. No need to re-paper, just paint wall antique white.
- Decorate with towels (one or two colors).
- Keep all flat surfaces (counter tops, appliance tops, and furniture) cleared off as much as possible. Kitchen counters should have very little on them to show that there is plenty of available workspace. Keep appliances stored when not in use.
- Go over the kitchen as if you were a health inspector. Clean the oven, range (new drip pans) and the seal of the dishwasher door.
- Remove all magnets, notes, pictures, etc. from front and sides of refrigerator.
- Stow trashcan in pantry.
- Replace broken appliances and repair squeaks, drips or binds in cabinet drawers.
- Discard old food and leftovers from refrigerator. (Believe it or not, buyer look in the fridge!) If it hasn’t been used in months, put it away!
- Organize shelves and put away non-cleanser items.
- Keep area clear of clothes.
- Thin all closets dramatically and organize remaining items neatly on shelves and be sure to allow space between hanging items. At one very visible spot, leave space, so the rear wall of the closet/pantry will show when the door is opened.
- Leave a small empty space on each shelf to show potential storage space.
- Make sure that there is not too much furniture in a room.
- Select pieces that look best and put others in the garage or storage.
- Depersonalize your home by storing personal photos so that potential buyers may visualize their personal items in the home. Also, patch nail holes and paint. This is probably one of the most important things to a potential buyer!
- Clear away all magazines, books and unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house.
- Add lamps and lighting in dark areas.
- Open the curtains / blinds
- Set out some fresh flowers.
- Clean fireplace (where applicable) and remove any items that are in front of it.
- Create an easygoing, relaxed atmosphere in your family room. This is where most families spend their time so make it look GREAT!
- The master bedroom is the second most important-to-be appealing room in the house (after the kitchen and before the family room and garage).
- Define areas (sleeping, dressing, etc.) by furniture arrangement. Keep simply furnished.
- Be sure clothes are hanging up, not laying out in the room.
- Make the closets more appealing by storing off-season clothing elsewhere. Go ahead and pack them since you are moving!
- Here’s a challenge – ask children and teenagers to clean up their rooms, take down posters and open curtains.
- Thoroughly sweep down all exterior sides of house and eaves to clean cobwebs and dust.
- Remove window screens while selling your home and keep the windows clean. This will allow plenty of light to come in.
- Check for broken or missing roof shingles or tiles.
- Put away tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys, grills and building materials neatly in the garage.
- Keep landscaping neat and clean.
- Trim trees and shrubs.
- Rake rocks and pull all weeds.
Front Entry / Porch:
- Be sure front door area is clean and free of dirt, dust, cobwebs. We don't use our front doors much in Havasu, but your potential buyers will!
- Repaint door and trim if not pristine. Add new thick “Welcome” mat and keep it clean.
- Make sure doorbell is working properly.
- Clean and re-organize
- Sweep and clean—remove all cobwebs and any oil or grease from floor.
Super Critical Areas
- Front Yard
- Master Bedroom
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Buyers are looking for well cared-for homes that they can move into immediately. A buyer without an imagination will walk out without considering making an offer. Presentation is key.
Dealing With Showings
- For Showings, please be out of the house whenever possible, or at least plan to take a walk with the children or pets. Prospective buyers will feel more at ease if the house is empty, and they will be more likely to “try your home on”.
- Strong cooking or smoking odors can ruin a sale. Make sure your home is fresh for showings. Turn on all lights and leave soft music playing if possible.
Remember, potential buyers need to visualize their possessions in your home. The more open and uncluttered you can make it the better!
Current Lake Havasu Market Conditions
Below you will find REAL TIME market data for a six-month period of time, including Active, Sold and Pending single family homes in all of Lake Havasu City. You will be able to see important data like days on market, list to sell ratios and price per square foot.
This data is always up to date and you can come back anytime to see what the real estate market is doing in Lake Havasu City. Click Here to see pre-made Market Snapshot Reports, or create your own Market Snapshot Reports here.