I’m Thinking of Selling My House. Do I have to fix it up?

The answer: Maybe.

Look around you. Does your eye automatically go to that unfinished project? That wall that needs paint? That jam-packed closet? Those worn carpets you always meant to get to?

Of course these things will jump out at any prospective buyers, too. Always remember this as you go through your house and make your “To Do” lists. I have worked in hundreds and hundreds of homes, have bought and sold quite a few myself, and inspected many homes for buyers as well. It all comes down to the question of, “Can I see myself living here?” When you’re preparing your home for sale, try to get out of the buyers’ way. Make it a blank canvas so they can immediately see their future there. Do these things:

  1. Declutter. We all have the habit of creating those piles and piles of stuff. Some in closets, others right out in the open. Many buyers cannot see through this distraction. Clean it up, throw it out, move it. Whatever. Get it out of their heads. This doesn’t mean to make the house empty and cold. Just less personalized for you and more inviting for them.
  2. Finish your projects. You know you have them. Improvements that you started and then left for another day. Other people are most likely not going to have your vision of these things. You need to finish them up, or get rid of them and put things back the way they were before. You will benefit as well by not having it hanging over you, and your buyers will not have the distraction of the house seem to not be “move-in ready”.
  3. Curb appeal. Make the first impression of your house a good one. Clean up the yard and spruce up the landscaping. Repair any damage around the exterior of the house. Paint any bad spots that need it. It really does matter. Think of yourself driving or walking by a house that is for sale. You notice these things right away and say “Wow this looks nice. They really care about their home”, or you say ” Wow what a dump! It’s so sad that they let it go like that. ” Which one would you want to call me about to set up a showing?
  4. Clean. Not much to say about this. Clean the house from top to bottom. It matters. Also, be sure the house can be lit up to its max potential. Replace all broken or burned-out bulbs. Remove dark shades and drapes if you can. Otherwise, leave them open for natural light. If you have pets, make sure their presence does not affect the way the house feels. Pet odors and damage are never good.
  5. Have impartial eyes to look at things. This means someone like myself (Realtor and Handyman), a trusted friend, family member, etc. Listen to their comments and don’t take it personally if they give you any negative feedback. That’s what you want! Your goal here is to get the house looking presentable to your buyers. Focus on your goal and put all other feelings aside.
  6. Use your Realtor’s or your Handyman’s expertise. We do this stuff. We know houses and we know buyers. Our goal is to maximize your chances at a successful, quick sale. A good handyman spending a day or two around your house helping to repair things is a smart investment. Having your Realtor involved in advising on these things will also help him or her when they start to market the home. It’s a team effort. Use your team’s skills and enjoy the success you deserve!

Some or all of these things I have mentioned may seem like simple, common sense things. That’s ok. They are still vital tasks to do in order for you to accomplish your goal: Selling that house and heading on to your upcoming adventure in your next home!

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