Selling your house can be a daunting experience, whether you’re a couple selling for the first time, or further along in the housing market, with kids making demands on your time and patience. If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, there are certain steps that you should consider taking to make your house “market ready”. As a good realtor, I always provide my clients with plenty of input and feedback, to guide them towards the best possible presentation. Here are a few first steps you can take, even if you’re not in any rush to get to market. Spreading out the work makes it a little easier to get it done, so it’s never too soon to start.
1. Clear the Clutter
We fill our homes with things that reflect our personalities. And some of us have big and colorful personalities that require a lot of reflection. Sometimes, you can’t see the clutter for the sentimental value of all the things that make your place yours. Well, if you want your home to be someone else’s, getting ready to sell means clearing out the clutter, as much as humanly possible. Less clutter equals more space, which is always a good thing, and the less of your personality there is piled up in every corner, the more a potential buyer can picture themselves making your home their own. Even if you’re not ready to sell, there’s something liberating about decluttering your home, as the popularity of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. If you’re not sure where to start throwing stuff away, Marie has some excellent tips on making the experience less traumatic.
2. Fix the Front
Take a long hard look at your own front yard. It’s something you’re so used to seeing that you probably know it like the back of your hand, yet fail to see any of the scratches or scuffs that it has accumulated. In people, scars add character, but when it comes to making a good first impression, you have to be willing to consider things like repainting the front door, paying for landscaping or rolling up your sleeves and doing some yard work yourself. The California drought has takes its toll on many gardens that were planted at a time when water was a little less in short supply. If it’s in your budget, you may wish to consider revamping your entire front lawn to less water-dependent landscaping. Sunset Magazine has a good guide to low-maintenance gardening and there are plenty of other articles online, like this one from Marin Magazine, to help you rethink your garden. And remember that it’s always good to talk to a realtor before making any major investments to bring your home into sellable shape, as we can guide you on whether the cost is worthwhile.
3. Showcase the Kitchen
Most of us realtors will tell you that the kitchen is one of the things that sells a home, and a dated looking kitchen can be a real turn-off to some buyers. If your cabinets are looking the worse for wear, consider painting them and swapping out old handles for something more modern. But keep the colors as neutral as possible. You want to present a bit of a blank canvas that sellers can project their own aspirations onto. The internet is full of “how to” videos and other DIY tutorials. This article from the DIY Network is a good place to start. Even if you’re not ready to overhaul the kitchen just yet, planning a small clean up project every week is a good way to start moving things in the right direction so you’re not left trying to do all of these important steps at once.
If you’d like personalized advice on how to get your home ready to sell, I’m here to help.
Contact me via email, or call me on (415) 606-1466.
Marin County Real Estate Agent
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Telephone: +1 415.606.1466
Fax: +1 415.479.5067
DRE #: 01914618