Prep Your Home
Your home is the star performer in this show. Even the best marketing and promotion efforts will fall short if your home isn't appealing to potential buyers.
There are a number of things to consider when getting your home ready for market. By addressing these items early - before the sales effort begins - you can insure that your home will show its best side to buyers.
Many sellers do not realize the extent of their potential liability after the sale. While local laws vary considerably, a seller is generally required to disclose any deficiencies of which he or she is aware. This is the problem - how do you prove exactly what you did or did not know? Our disclosure checklist can provide a starting point by helping you determine which items are disclosure issues. A pre-sale inspection by a reputable inspector can be an ideal way to protect yourself against disclosure related claims after the closing.
Inspections are for buyer's, right? That is a popular perception, but the truth is that a pre-market inspection can be a very valuable tool for a seller. Since the buyer is probably going to have an inspection anyway, why not find out about any problems upfront so you're not taken by surprise a few weeks before the closing date? A pre-sale inspection can also help protect against potential seller liability - if the inspector didn't find a problem it is a reasonable assertion that the seller did not know about it either.
Clean, Clean, Clean
A home for sale can never be too clean. In addition to a complete scrubbing you may want to do a little rearranging to insure that your home shows as well as possible. Review our home cleaning checklist for some ideas on where to start.
Most major home improvements don't make sense for sellers, however there are notable exceptions to this rule. Required repairs, or other deficiencies that must be disclosed, will likely make it very difficult to sell your home (and you'll probably end up agreeing to correct them anyway) - so it may be worth dealing with these items before hitting the market.
Unlike major improvements, many small home projects can be very good investments for the seller. Generally, the best projects to consider are those that are fairly low in cost yet provide a major impact to the look of the property. Check out our list of 10 improvements for sellers for some ideas.
Get Your Agent's Input
Have your agent take a close look at your home and give you some suggestions on worthwhile cleanup and improvement projects. Your agent knows from experience what appeals to buyers and can also offer the viewpoint of someone outside your family who does not see your home everyday.