10 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Your House Ready to List in January
It's November and we are about to start the holiday season in earnest. KEZ starts playing Christmas music non stop, we have a few more days in the high 80's to complain about the heat, and some of us start thinking about where we want to live next year. Here are 10 quick and easy things to do that will make life easier when you are ready to list your home:
1. Clear off your walls
When buyers start looking through the internet at homes, one of the most frequent complaints is that they cannot envision themselves in the home because the picture is too busy. There is a fine line between showing how a family has loved living in the home and having a prospective buyer gloss over your listing because it is too busy.
2. Organize your pantry and linen closets
Your pantry door is going to be opened every time that your home is shown. The more organized that it looks, the larger the pantry will look, and who doesn't want to see a large pantry to envision how much food storage is there. Inevitably, buyers are going to start looking at how much storage is in the house. When your closets are organized, it can make it look like you have the storage that they need.
3. Get your doors ready to be opened
With a can of WD-40 and a screwdriver, you can get your doors ready to be opened. Use the WD-40 to spray the hinges and get rid of any squeaking. Open and close the doors three times to ensure that the WD-40 has taken effect. Spray the top and bottom tracks of your sliding glass doors to ensure that they open and close smoothly. Last, spray your garage door tracks and wheel bearings, you will be surprised at how much quieter the door becomes! After you've worked on the hinges, grab your screwdriver and tighten all of the handles. If you have knobs in your kitchen and bathrooms, tighten those up as well. Doing both of these shows a buyer that your home is well taken care of and that they won't have extra work to do after they move in.
4. Clean your windows and blinds
A bottle of Windex and some paper towels go a long way in getting your home ready to list. Clean all of the blinds, pull them up as high as they can go, and wash the windows, tracks, and casings. Any buyer that walks through the house will see clearly into your outdoor living spaces.
5. Declutter your living spaces
Take a few minutes and stand in the middle of each room of your house. You should be able to see 80% of the floor space that is not taken up by a bed or a couch. The more that a buyer can see in a picture makes it more likely that they will contact their agent to view your home. Keep centerpieces on tables to a minimum, keep end tables and nightstands clear of everything except a lamp. Make sure that any cables or cords are hidden as much as possible. Again, the easier it is for the buyer to envision their things in your house, the easier it will be for them to add your home to their search.
6. Power wash your garage door and patios
Power washing your garage door and front and back patios is a quick and easy way to brighten the curb appeal of your home. Additionally, if your front door can take it, power wash that as well. Buyers that are walking up to the front of the house notice when it is clean. Having each patio and walk way free of dirt and debris is another subtle way of showing prospective buyers your home has been taken care of.
7. Declutter your backyard
Buyers today value outside space as much as indoor space. As much as decluttering your inside living space helps a buyer to envision themselves living in your living room, your outdoor living space is just as important to declutter. Make sure that the first view that the buyer sees when they look in the backyard is one that makes them go there first before looking anywhere else in the house. Pick up all kids toys, sports equipment, and pool toys. Power wash the outdoor furniture and stage it just like your would the inside. A backyard that is clean and picked up in photos is much more likely to make the list of yes's than no's.
8. Rethink your garage
Organizing your garage can a big impact on the sale of your home. A clean and organized garage shows buyers where they can put their stuff and still be able to park one or two of their cars in there. While I would bet that you are a bit like me, and have stuff everywhere in the garage, a couple of hours out there organizing can make a big difference when a buyer walks through.
9. Clean out your rain gutters
Even with the amount of monsoon rains that we have had this year, your gutters could still be full of dirt and debris. A ladder and your hose will ensure that an inspector won't find any debris and have you clean it out after the buyer's home inspection.
10. Walkthrough like you are the new buyer
Start at the sidewalk and walk in just like the new buyer would. If you notice something out of place or needing some extra cleaning, take care of it so that your home is presentable and ready to list in January for top dollar.