Are you thinking of selling your home

In the next 3 months, 6 months, 5 years?

Here’s what you need to know!

5 years out:

A well maintained home will be your best asset. Take good  care and it will reward you.  

If you have large ticket items nearing the end of their useful life, consider replacing.  

Replace old systems now so you can enjoy the benefits of them while you still live there. We had a 22 year old Hot Water Heater.  It still worked, but had a very limited future as the average life span is 10-12 years. We took our time, found the best price and reasonable plumber to install.  Same with the 24 year old furnace and a/c unit.  We replaced both and were able to enjoy enhanced performance, lower monthly bills, and sell with newer systems. 

Look at your roof. A newer roof is highly desirable to buyers-gives them so much peace of mind.  When you replace ahead of time you can control your costs. 

Decor:  2-5 years from selling -decorate for you!  Enjoy how you like-your fun paint colors, sports teams, political leanings, ceilings—go for it!  Your home should be the place you find peace, fun and beauty and others opinions do not matter at this time. 

6 months away from listing:

Now is the time to get serious and take a hard look at your home. Have a pre-listing inspection from a professional company. Usually costs less than $500. You might be surprised at what turns up.  We did not use our tub and it leaked when turned on. We would have never known. Loose railings, rotten wood trim, door sticking, non-working outlets-all can be easily fixed with a day or two’s work by a handyman.  These same items become quite costly when your buyer requests the work be done by a licensed plumber, electrician , etc.  We don’t recommend fixing everything, the buyers inspector will still need to find items, and now you are aware and prepared. 

Now is the time to really evaluate your selling motivation and time frame. Serious sellers will do the work necessary to get top dollar and under contract quickly. Saying you *might* move, leads to long days on the market, low motivations, months of carrying costs and lower net proceeds. 

Note any items that have yellowed, show extreme age, or are broken.  Old smoke detectors, doorbells, home alarm systems, intercom systems, rings around can lights, etc should be removed/replaced.  Take down the old intercom system and repair the wall. These items call attention to the age of the home.  At all times our goal is to position your asset as the buyers desired “new” home.  These are not expensive repairs, and can usually be done by the homeowner with enough lead time. 

Start packing!  Sentimental items, personal items, favorite decor, extras you want to keep can be pre-boxed and stored out of sight. This can be time-consuming and emotional work.  Going through the memories found in closets, drawers, cabinets and old boxes is best done when you have time and energy. Throw away and donate all that does not fit with your new planned lifestyle. 

Landscape-start cleaning up!  Trim any overgrown bushes and remove limbs that are too near the home. Start planning your curb appeal now. Grass that needs help, clearing weeds, blowing leaves etc.  Your yard should appear like an inviting, easy to maintain, place to enjoy.  Our dogs had enjoyed the backyard for years to the detriment of the grass. We seeded and watered, seeded and watered over and over for several months to get the beautiful green lawn we had on listing weekend.  Cost was just a bag of grass seed and an increased water bill.  

Final phase- 2 weeks to 3 months:

Clean the windows about 2 weeks before listing. Wow!  What a difference shiny clean windows make. Estimated cost $200-400

Driveway/deck clean and pressure washed. So amazing the difference a new looking driveway makes to the curb appeal of your home. 

Inside:  PAINT!  If you have a very limited budget and can only do one thing PAINT!  It is like new car smell for your home. Paint the whole inside, including closets and utility rooms. You might think, “ but the buyers are not going to like the color I choose and will want to repaint it”. That is true. An all over neutral color will allow buyers to envision their new paint color choices. Old paint screams to buyers “immediate work must be done on this home for me to enjoy living here”. A neutral allows them to move in and take their time enjoying selecting decor for their new home. For sellers, paint is worth $50 in the can and $500 on the wall!   Giving a paint allowance is not the same-buyers will not choose your home If it feels like more work than the other options on the market. 

Declutter and depersonalize. Zero out of pocket cost and extremely important. Buyers chose your home to be their favorite because they see themselves enjoying their life there. If your memories, opinions, and sports teams are flooding the space buyers will not be able to see themselves there.   Now is the time to neutralize the decor. Staging is meant to appeal to everyone. Decorating is meant to appeal to the one family that lives there. 

To truly get top dollar, we recommend vacating the home and having a professional stager.  The staging company brings all furniture, decor, and accessories to make your home and look and feel like a new model home.  Costs range from $1000-3500.

If you plan to still live in the home,  we have our stager meet with you to consult how to have your home show the best. They recommend the neutral paint colors, what furniture to store and what to display, how to best accessorize the assets of your home etc.   We keep a lot of on-trend accessories that we can use to supplement your items-rugs, lamps, pictures, plants, jars, etc 

Paint the mailbox and review the home from where you drive up and it first appears. Get rid of any old gardening items, excess planters, garden art etc. Trim the trees and any overgrowth. Consider Fresh paint on the front door and new door lock. New door hardware can be purchased for about $100 and can be replaced by the homeowner. 

Week of listing:

Inside deep clean of the house

Fresh pine straw in the flower beds

Mow and edge the grass as needed 

Depersonalize and decluttering even more. 

Neutralize odors and be aware of cooking smells 

Touch up and paint nicks and scratches needed 

New welcome mat by the front door. 

We would love to help you prioritize a list tailored to your home!  The number one tip for selling your asset for top dollar is to consult with a professional realtor who knows your local market!   The Rice Settlage Team is here for you!!  We can help the most when we consult as early in the process as possible.  Call to make an appointment so we can get started today!

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