Y ou’re moving on, or at least you’d like to if getting rid of the old house wasn’t holding you back. If only a buyer would come, take a tour, fall in love, and sign on the dotted line. But don’t be fatalistic, as it’s up to you to make that happen. Of course, doing so takes a bit of effort if you want to highlight the best features of your property. As a busy parent, you may not have much time on your hands, so here are the essential projects that will bring you success.
Scope Out the Market
Know what you’re up against, as buyers aren’t going to look at just your home. The place to start your research is pending sales data for similar properties, rather than closed deals, as that indicates what’s happening right now on the market, says a writer with personal finance website the Balance. This also shows what buyers are looking for and helps you adjust the pricing. If you’re in the area, how does your home stack up?
Do Basic Repairs
Do some simple repairs throughout your home, particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms, as these have the highest chance of damage, says real estate company Opendoor. Things to tackle first include sinks, faucets, toilets, and showers in addition to major appliances. Next up come surfaces throughout the interior, meaning walls, ceilings, and flooring, which require a thorough inspection before patching up holes, gouges, and scratches.
Mind the Landscape
It’s the first thing buyers notice, so make the best first impression. That starts with something anyone can do: mowing the lawn. Once that’s finished, give overgrown trees and bushes a trim while pulling up and discarding anything that’s dead or beyond saving. Now that your landscape is neat and clean, have a look at your neighbors’ and make a comparison. Is yours up to snuff?
Too much stuff makes your house look cramped, while open spaces give the impression of greater space and freedom of movement. Japanese organization expert Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of decluttering has gained so-called “Konverts” around the world with its brutal simplicity and efficiency. Hold an item in your hand and ask yourself if it makes you happy. If not, it should go in the trash or to Goodwill.
“Preparing your home for sale is a bit like designing a stage for a play. Everything is in just the right place, perfectly arranged, and comfortably set,” says a writer with real estate website the Spruce. You could hire a home stager to help you out, but doing it yourself is an option as long as you keep a few things in mind. You’ll need to rearrange furniture to create space and allow visitors to move around freely, then add plants in attractive containers for a bit of color before lifting the lighting by opening blinds, curtains, and shutters to the maximum.
You must get rid of every stain, remove every odor, and scrub the inside of every appliance in the whole house. If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. There is a system, however, that allows you to finish the project in a week, and it’s so simple, it’s genius. Start off with the kitchen, then move onto the bathrooms for the second day, followed by the bedrooms and other areas of your home. Breaking it down into steps makes everything easy.
Keep It Spotless
There’s no guarantee you’ll sell the house after finishing the deep clean, so you need a routine to keep it from getting too dirty in between visits. Schedule regular tasks that you can complete in the morning and evening without getting overwhelmed and do larger jobs weekly. You can even write your schedule in a notebook or your smartphone to avoid falling behind. If you have any last-minute showings, make sure you tidy up, let in enough light, and get rid of any odors.
Give yourself time to finish these projects, making regular progress in between cooking dinner and caring for your family. A little effort each day will see you through to a successful home sale.
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