Steps to prepare your home.

1.  Clean out your home.

  • As soon as you decide to sell your house, thoroughly clean it from top to bottom. Don’t forget rarely-cleaned areas such as baseboards, blinds, roof gutters and window wells. A clean home will help an appraiser see your house in a better light and value it more highly, as well as appealing to buyers.
  • Because of familiarity, you’re likely to overlook some aspects of cleaning that scrutinising potential buyers won’t. If you want to make the best possible impression, shell out some extra cash to hire a professional cleaning service, at least for an initial deep clean. Don’t underestimate the power of a spotless canvas.
  • Clear up clutter while you clean. Make your home look more spacious by getting rid of any unnecessary junk (hire storage space if you have to). You’ll see a big difference in how your closets look, as well as your garage, porch and bathroom. Buyers want to feel like they’re purchasing sufficient space, and clearing out more of your stuff helps them see themselves in your home. If you can’t bear to part with anything, consider moving the items to a storage unit temporarily.

2. Have your property evaluated?

  • As much as you’d like to set the price of your home as high as possible, you have to be realistic. Many for-sale-by-owner listings fail to sell because owners persist in thinking their home is worth more than the market will offer, or because they have already settled on a set amount of money that they want and refuse to budge. Having a professional, third-party assessment of your home’s worth will help you get comfortable with a price range, in addition to providing you with a solid reference point if a buyer or realtor accuses you of setting the price too high.
    Don’t just rely on the property tax assessment. Many property tax assessments are out of date, and they don’t necessarily reflect the current real estate market.
  • Look at comparables. Comparables are what other similar homes in your area are selling for, or better yet how much they have sold for in the last month. Using this method of how to sell your house what price range your home will fall in. Always use comparables when arriving at a realistic assessment of your home’s value.
  • Hire an appraiser. A certified residential appraiser will come to your house, measure the property, take notes and photos, research information about any land parcels, and assemble a list of comparable sales in your neighbourhood to determine the value of your home. A visit from an appraiser will cost you far less than the services of a real estate agent, and the value the appraiser sets will be more accurate. Many banks keep a list of reputable appraisers they contact for refinancing or mortgage loans; ask your local branch manager to refer you to an honest, qualified professional. Once you receive your copy of the appraisal, make a second copy and store it in a secure location. Keep the first copy on-hand to go over with serious buyers.

3. Have your home inspected?

Many standard real estate contracts are going to give the home buyer the right to inspect the property, so be prepared.

  • Have your home inspected before you advertise? Under a general inspection, you might be obligated to make major repairs to appliances, plumbing, septic, electrical and heating systems, etc. You can expect your home’s roof and foundations to be inspected, as well. Follow the recommendations and make necessary repairs. Additional inspections requested by the buyer are customarily at their expense.

4. As much as possible, get your home in move-in condition before you put it on the market.

  • Buyers of homes are inherently lazy. If they feel like they’ll need to do extra landscaping, plumbing, appliance and electrical work before they can enjoy the house, they’ll walk when it comes to buy, even if the rest of your house is an absolute steal. So make it easy for them. Hire a handyman or general contractor to get the home as ready to move into as possible.

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