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Blog November 2, 2021

The Only Guide You’ll Need When Preparing Your Home for Sale

Posted in Finding a Home
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Americans tend to invest tens of thousands of dollars on renovations to sell their old homes as quickly as possible. While selling a property is no easy feat in today’s economy, preparing your home for sale will certainly make the process significantly easier. Take a look at what you have to do to close a deal without having to lower the initial asking price.

Why Is Preparing Your House for Sale so Important?

Homeowners planning to move to a big city or one of the best coastal towns will have a lot of things to do before the relocation can even begin. For starters, anyone who’s not a millionaire will probably have to sell their old place before moving to a new home. However, the ongoing recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic has significantly reduced the number of potential buyers, so you can’t sell a house just like that in this economy.

With the abundance of housing options available, many buyers have also become much pickier than they were pre-pandemic. Thankfully, learning how to prepare your house for sale will help you close a deal much more quickly, allowing you to move to a new city sooner rather than later.

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Hiring a Good Real Estate Agent Will Help a Lot

Selling a place for a good price is rarely easy, so it’s best to hire a professional realtor to assist you even if you’re not relocating for the first time. Local real estate agents know what potential buyers like, which will undoubtedly help you make the property more appealing and easier to sell. Handling sales goes beyond making the property more attractive, though. If you dislike dealing with important documents or need someone to bargain on your behalf, simply hire a good seller’s agent to handle the whole transaction for you, and don’t worry about a thing.

Additionally, those planning to move to another city in an entirely different state will also have to hire long-distance movers. These professionals provide all sorts of long-distance moving services, allowing you to move efficiently and without all the unnecessary stress that comes with a DIY relocation. After all, it’s much easier to ship a car than drive all the way across the country. Before we get to how you’re going to move to another state, let’s take a look at all the essential tasks that should be on every Preparing Your Home for Sale Checklist.

A good seller's agent can help you close a deal much more quickly

Make All the Necessary Home Repairs

Although selling a place in a hot real estate market won’t require much preparation, closing the deal won’t be nearly as easy for those living in the suburbs. If you’re wondering, “how should I prepare my house for sale?” start by making some necessary repairs and improvements. After all, fixing all the major problems will allow you to sell the property much more quickly. Depending on the current state of the place, you might want to add some of the following tasks to your to-do list:

  • Make sure all doors are windows are working correctly,
  • Fix or replace leaking faucets,
  • Replace cracked floors and tiles,
  • Fill in cracks and holes in walls and repaint them in neutral colors,
  • Fix or replace faulty switches, sockets, and lighting,
  • Make sure all the kitchen appliances are working correctly.

How Much Should I Spend to Prepare My House for Sale?

While almost everyone can manage simpler tasks like changing a blown lightbulb, more complicated renovations take significantly more time and skill to execute correctly. If you don’t know how to do something, it’s much better to hire a professional to assist you with the repairs than risk doing more damage in the process.

However, be aware that these renovations are not cheap, as Americans invest $21,000 on average when prepping their homes. While this sum also covers hiring a real estate agent, it’s still a lot more than what you’ll have to spend on cross-country moving services from any West Coast or East Coast movers. The good news is that sprucing up the place will allow you to set a higher asking price, helping you recuperate the investment.

Making some necessary repairs will allow you to raise the home's value tremendously

Declutter Anything That Could Put of a Potential Buyer

Once all the necessary repairs have been made, it’s time for some decluttering. Start clearing up the place room by room, removing anything that could put off potential buyers or lower your chances of selling the property for the asking price. Considering you’ll have to start boxing things up sooner or later, this will allow you to get a lot of items off the packing list way before the actual move.

For example, feel free to pack sculptures and paintings, as well as most of the small, fragile items. Although you might feel great about a piece of artwork, decorations often draw much attention from the home’s features. This is precisely why you want to remove most of the clutter from every single room. If there are a ton of things in the kitchen cabinets and drawers, focus on boxing up silverware and dishes you’re not using often. Likewise, instead of leaving a mess in the closet, pack shoes and clothes neatly so that buyers can quickly see all the creative storage ideas you’ve installed.

Donate Everything You’re Not Planning on Keeping

People tend to hoard all kinds of stuff, often forgetting about the items they stashed somewhere on the property. If you never made a household inventory list, you’ll be bound to find some things you don’t want to pack and move to the new place. Instead of throwing everything out, it’s better to donate all the unwanted stuff to a charity organization. There’s a Goodwill in every major city, so you can easily find a donation center near you without having to travel a long distance. If they can’t accept all the goods, you can also try The Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity.

Keep All the Excess Items in Storage

If you still have a ton of things left after sweeping the place of all the clutter, it might be time to rent a storage unit from professional cross-country movers. This will allow you to remove all the problematic items from the property even before you have to move. If you need more incentive to store some of your belongings, remember that packing furniture and other larger objects in advance will also make the relocation preparations a lot easier.

How do I prepare my house for sale and move? By packing all the things that stick out

Clean the Place From Top to Bottom

While removing the clutter will undoubtedly open up the place tremendously, it will also emphasize all the spots that haven’t been cleaned recently. Once all the unnecessary items have been dealt with, get ready to clean the place spotless. The cleaner the place looks, the better your chances of impressing potential buyers. Think of it as cleaning before moving out of the apartment, so be sure to clean every single nook and cranny until the entire home sparkles. Some of the tasks you’ll have to deal with include:

  • Dusting,
  • Wiping,
  • Scrubbing,
  • Sweeping,
  • Deep cleaning,
  • Washing,
  • Vacuuming.

When it comes to cleaning, remember that the general rule of thumb is to go from top to bottom. Depending on the size of the property and its current condition, it can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to clean everything thoroughly. If you can’t handle everything yourself or don’t have all the necessary supplies, it might be a good idea to hire a professional cleaning company to assist you.

Don’t Forget to Ventilate the Place, Particularly the Kitchen

Although it’s evident that the property needs to be cleaned, many forget to ventile the place properly. Food leaves odors that can remain in many everyday household items long after the meal is prepared, especially if your kitchen doesn’t have a good ventilation system. The best way to get rid of all the smells is to simply leave the windows open for a few hours and let the draft do its thing.

woman cleaning new apartment Be aware that cleaning often takes longer than you initially anticipated

Staging the Property Is One of the Best Tips for Preparing Your Home for Sale

Now that most things have been taken care of, you only have to stage the place for potential buyers. While there might not be anything wrong with the property at this point, there are several things you can do to make it even more appealing. For example, rearranging the furniture can completely change how the property looks, giving it an entirely different feel.

However, not everyone can be a decorator, so you might want to hire a professional stager to help you out. It’s also good to consult your real estate agent, as they will know what a typical local buyer is looking for. If you need some great preparing your home for sale tips, take a look at the video below.

Be Sure That the Front Door Area Looks Great

If you’re living in the suburbs and trying to sell a big house, don’t neglect the front door area. This is, in fact, the first thing a potential buyer will see when coming to the property, and we all know how important a great first impression is. If you haven’t put a lot of effort into keeping the curbside neat, there will be plenty you’ll need to do before showing the place to a buyer. Besides removing the dirt and excess decorations, some landscaping will undoubtedly make everything look a lot better.

Removing Your Family Photos Will Depersonalize the Place

Another thing to keep in mind is that you might need to remove some personal items from the property before you put it on the market. While you should try to present it as an excellent place to live in, displaying your family photos across the entire house will deter many buyers. After all, they won’t be able to see themselves living in someone else’s home. Simply take them down or pack them with the rest of your family’s belongings.

Having a well-kept curbside is already half the work

With a Little Effort, You’ll Sell the Place in No Time

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot to make a place more appealing. Do some research, hire a good real estate agent, and you shouldn’t have a problem selling the property. Additionally, if you’re relocating in a hurry and can’t do everything we mentioned here, try to be open about everything that needs improvement. A buyer will usually conduct a thorough home inspection before signing the contract anyways, and keeping things from them will give them room to negotiate the price.

If you decide to sell the house or the apartment before relocating, start looking for a long-distance moving company right away. A last-minute move is very hard to pull off, so you’ll want to hire some good East Coast or West Coast movers to assist you with the preparations. After all, their packing service will help you box everything up in a matter of hours, allowing you to vacant the property as soon as the purchase agreement is signed.

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