Travis Franzoy, Lead Inspector
TREC-Licensed Home Inspector #20858
Gold Medal Inspections
10210 Grogans Mill Suite 240
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Selling Your Home
You’ve made the decision to sell the home into which you’ve invested part of your life and money. Regardless of the reason for selling, it’s important to remember the potential buyer will not usually appreciate how much time and love that you have invested in your home over the years. Or, perhaps you've been busy with other things and haven't had the time to give proper attention to the maintenance of your house. In either case, you need to know the present physical condition of your house in order to get it ready for sale.
Getting your home ready for the marketplace involves several major areas of attention and all will be important if you want to get a fair price. There are some simple steps towards a quicker, more profitable sale.
A real estate agent should lead you through the process of determining the selling price of your home. By doing a “Comparable Market Analysis” (CMA), the Realtor will help you learn the selling prices of houses like yours located near yours or in similar neighborhoods.
Getting Home "Market Ready"
A few simple things done in advance can equal more dollars on a contract:
Clean, clean, clean. This is a crucial selling point. When the buyer comes to look at your house, they will be looking at everything. If potential buyers see that your home is dirty they aren’t likely to give your house serious consideration. A thorough “Spring cleaning” will make a house shine and will remove stale odors. This includes cleaning your oven and inside of the dishwasher. Bathrooms are a must for cleanliness. When a house smells clean it sometimes equates in people’s minds to “new”.
Look at counter tops, dressers, desks, etc. How much clutter is there on the surface? Put everything away in a drawer or pack it away in a box. Even though people aren’t buying your furniture they still want to see an uncluttered view of everything.
Straighten your closets and get rid of clutter so that buyers can see how much space there is.
How long has it been since the house was painted? Do the walls need repainting or would touch ups work? Fill, sand and paint any holes or cracks in walls. Are there nicks and scratches along the baseboards and edges of the walls? A quick repair will have them looking like new.
If something is broken, fix it. The future buyer wants to see a home that is ready to move into…not one that is going to require a lot of their time fixing it up…unless that’s what they were looking for. The main concern on whether to fix things up or not will depend on how fast you need to sell your home and how much lower you are willing set your selling price to offset these fix-ups.
“Curb appeal” isn’t just the name of a television show. Those two words pack a heavy punch when buyers are looking. Many buyers just drive away without keeping a set appointment once they see the outside of a house. The buyer’s first impression is, “If this is the way the outside looks, the inside must be worse.” Make sure the lawn is kept mowed and edged. Trim the bushes. Clean out the gutters. Trim trees. Repair cracks. Plant some flowers. Repair screens. Clean leaves and stains from roof and pressure wash the sidewalks and driveway. It can take years off the appearance of your home. Even if you can’t afford to add some colorful plants and bushes make sure that everything looks manicured. It’s a sign of on going care.
Setting the stage for the sale
Let go of any personal feelings that you have regarding your house. You’ve made the decision to sell and now it’s a marketable product and needs to be viewed that way.
Look around your home as though you are a potential buyer. What are the best features of your home? Showcase them. Play them up. Think of each room as a window display for a store because that’s how the buyers are going to view it.
Do you see a lot of personal items displayed such as pictures, awards and such? Depersonalize your home as much as possible so that the buyer can view it as their future home. Pack up personal pictures, awards and anything that identifies it as your home.
If there is too much furniture in a room, see about storing it for the interim. The idea is that you want people to be able to see how much space each room has and that can’t be done if furniture is blocking all of the walls.
Show off your hardwood or ceramic floors if you have them. These are high selling points with buyers.
Set the mood to entice potential buyers further into your home. Have the lighting highlight architectural features of your home. Scents in the home work wonders. Try the tried and true smell of cookies baking. It is suggestive of “Home”. Just make sure when you are using a scent that it’s not overpowering and suggestive of trying to hide other odors.
Make arrangements in advance, if possible, to have pets stay elsewhere during a showing of your property. This will help buyers who are afraid of animals and could possibly save you from a potential lawsuit should your animal become frightened and bite someone. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you can’t leave your pet with a friend, at least put them in a kennel/cage in the garage or some other out of the way place in your house.
You’re now ready to open your doors to the public. You now have a product that is ready to sell and bring you the highest dollar. Now when buyers pull up in front of your home, it is welcoming and they will want to see the rest of your home.