Getting your property ready for sale always can seem like an overwhelming task. There are things to be put into storage, the constant cleaning, trying to view your home through the eyes of a buyer and analyzing it from every angle. What deserves your attention and what can you afford to ignore?
Nowadays sellers are used to the idea that minor home repairs will have to be made if they want their property to sell – the competition is simply too fierce, and buyers want the best. In this article we’re going to show you five areas you should address when getting your property ready for market.
Starting with the basics, the structure and features of the building or apartment are the first considerations in a buyer’s mind. They will be thinking such things as: ‘how new is the water heater?’, ‘how thick are the shared walls?’, ‘how energy efficient are the windows?’ and ‘how old is the roof?’. It’s your job as a seller to calm as many of these fears as you can without being dishonest.
In most cases it will not be necessary to give the structural and mechanical aspects of your property a full make over, but if any of the big-ticket items such as water, electrics, windows, walls, flooring or heating are a risk – it’s time to get them fixed.
Having a fully functioning property and having receipts to show any previous or recent work will go a long way to building trust with potential buyers and increase the chances of the deal going all the way.
First impressions are everything, and houses are no exception. Brushing up on the cosmetics is low hanging fruit when it comes to impressing buyers. They want to know that effort has been made to make the property as liveable as possible, they want a neutral canvas on which to picture their future lives and they want to have a glimpse of the potential each room holds.
But before we get into the rooms, let’s talk about the front door. As this is the calling card of the property and (especially with apartments) the first thing a potential buyer will see of their new home, it is worth investing in. Buyers are looking for a clean, modern, and above all secure front door; clean it, paint it, replace it, do whatever it takes to make sure buyers feel happy with it. Also, don’t forget to remove any current resident names or door hangings for the duration of the viewing.
It is worth taking the time or getting a decorator in to give each room a fresh coat of paint. Neutral colors provide the perfect backdrop to which buyers can mentally add their own furniture and wall hangings. If you’re unsure which color to pick or are afraid the shade you choose may not be to everyone’s taste, then use a classic eggshell white. It looks fresh, is as neutral as can be, and is easy for the buyer to paint over after the sale.
Cast an eye over your light fixtures, fans, and light switches. These are relatively cheap to update for the purposes of a sale and could make all the difference. Make sure they also adhere to a neutral look and feel with a simple, clean design.
The kitchen has been the heart of the home for generations, and for most buyers it is the deal breaker. To confuse matters not all buyers want the same thing from a room which has so much expectation put onto it. Is there enough space? Are there enough surfaces/outlets/cupboards? Where will my microwave go? Can I entertain guests? Can I cook whilst the kids are in here? Is there a pre-fitted oven? And many more… Here’s what you need to do to give your humble kitchen a fighting chance.
Firstly, updating your cabinets to a modern and practical design will go a long way to creating a good feeling in the space. Make sure there are as many clean and clear surfaces as possible. Update your appliances and add a few popular touches such as herbs, clean and colorful tea towels, bright lighting, and fresh fruit. Then let the viewers decide if they can live with it or not.
Bathrooms are surprisingly uncomplicated rooms when it comes to buyers. They want three things in general: cleanliness, space, and everything to work. If you can’t improve on the size of your bathroom, you can at least remove any grout on the tiles, update the tap and shower head fixtures, make the room seem brighter with fresh paint and mirrors, and replace any cracked tiles. Make sure any pluming or heating issues are resolved before the viewings start. See Point 1 above.
One of the biggest and easiest improvements you can make to your home is hiding in plain sight. Well, underfoot. Improving the flooring of your property can add value and increase sentiment in the minds of your potential buyers. If you can only afford to make one major change to your home (other than making sure the pluming and electrics are optimal), then this would be it. Laminate flooring is the easiest way to improve the look and feel of your floors, and their slide and click installation makes it easy for homeowners of any level to install – no need to hire a contractor.
New flooring can totally transform the look of your space and give it the x-factor buyers are looking for.
BONUS TIP: REPRESENTATION
Getting a home ready for sale, knowing how to stage it for today’s competitive market, marketing the listing to the right buyers, qualifying those buyers, and finding the right building contractors to make necessary improvements is a lot for even the most self-reliant of people to take on. That’s why hiring a RE/MAX Agent is your one-stop shop for selling your home. Our agents provide an end-to-end service, from listing your property and pre-qualifying buyers, to recommending moving professionals and following-up after your move in date. RE/MAX Agents also use the latest in 360-degree digital photography, video tours and virtual showings – not only making the process safe for everyone involved but making it easier to expose the property to over 140,000 RE/MAX Agents globally.
Get in touch with your local RE/MAX Agent today and feel the difference of listing with the world’s most recognizable real estate brand.