This month we’ll focus on pre-preparation, the things you need to do before you begin working on your house. Next month we’ll take you through prepping your home for showing, and in December, we’ll examine the finer points of home staging to wow your prospective buyers.
Pre-Prepping For Your Home Sale
Before you dive into preparing your home for sale and your Denver move, here are the steps to take to make sure you make the best use of your time and money.
Take A Hard Look
After you’ve lived in the same place for a while, you stop noticing things--like the kids’ fingerprints in the wet paint that dried to a permanent mark that you never got around to touching up. You’ve long ago forgot the dust on the ceiling fan, the dents in the wall behind the door handles, the missing tile in the bathroom, and the grease spots on the backsplash in the kitchen. But the things you’ve learned to overlook are precisely the things that buyers will notice. These details add up to the difference between a home the buyer can see themselves in and a space that looks like a giant to-do list.
Make A List
Make the to-do list, so the buyer doesn’t have to. Go through each room and look at it with fresh eyes. Is the room move-in ready? Are the windows, doors, and fixtures clean and in working order? Is the paint or wallpaper dirty, mismatched, outdated or chipping? Is the flooring clean, and finished? Do the rugs need to be cleaned or replaced? Is the floor in good condition? Let your eyes roam every inch of each room, so you can see your house the way a buyer does.
Now that you’ve analyzed the inside, it’s time to walk outside. Your prospective home buyers are going to drive up to your home and get a first impression before they set one foot inside. It’s important you get a handle on your house’s curb appeal (or lack of) before anyone else does. Get in your car and drive up to your house from either side of the street. Notice as you approach your house what pops out at you first.
Now get out of your car and look at your home from the street and from the driveway. What stands out? What pulls your eye? Is it the overgrown trees and shrubs or the big welcoming front door? Look at the overall curb appeal of your home--the big picture, and then work your way in towards the front door and garage.
How does the lawn look? Is it neat or sloppy? Is the grass lush or tired? What is the state of your landscaping? Does it look manicured, or forgotten? How about the outside of your house? Is the paint and siding color doleful or delightful? How does your house look as compared to other homes around it? Is it a sore thumb or a beacon of beauty?
Your roof, windows, doors, and garage doors should be scrutinized in particular. These are big-ticket items that home buyers don’t want to think about, so you do it first. Walk all the way around your house and write down if any of these items need painting, fixing or replacing.
Make sure to write down everything that needs to be done on the outside of the house too. It doesn’t matter if you’ll actually do these things or not. Having a complete list will give you the opportunity to choose which tasks will fit your time and budget while making the biggest impact.
Computerize Your To-Do List
Now that you’ve gone through your home from top to bottom and written down everything you see that could potentially turn off a home buyer put your list into a computer spreadsheet. (When you get to the point of budgeting each task, you’ll be glad you have it on a spreadsheet.)
Sort the list by the time and money involved with each task. Pull all the items into the first column that are easy fixes that just require time. Items that you can do yourself but that require more time and a small monetary investment, put those in the next column. (For example, replacing a door knob, small window pane, or wall outlet would go here) Your third column is reserved for the jobs you need to hire out, such as painting, carpeting, drywalling, etc. that are potentially within your budget. (You’ll figure out the specifics on that later.) The fourth column is the really big jobs that will require a substantial investment of time and money to accomplish. (These are items like new windows, siding, new kitchen cabinets, etc.)
Talk To Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent should be able to do a walk-through of your house and give you feedback on which items on your list are essential and which aren’t for your Denver house sale. Together, you can assemble a plan for how much time and money to put into prepping your home to get the most return on your investment. You can then tick off the items in each column that make sense to complete and of which to let go.
Next month, we’ll take you through our list of home prepping tricks to help you get your house ready for sale.
Looking for the best Denver mover to help you move once you’ve sold your house? Great Plains Moving and Storage has been moving people over 100 years. Give us a call for a free estimate.