Yesterday I posted an article about seller cleaning. Today the goal is to provide a basic checklist that will help the seller fulfill their part of the contract and also provide a satisfying move in experience for the buyers as well.
Even though most know about when they need to be packed up and moved out, there is the added part of cleaning. Many do well cleaning to leave thier home, some are in a rush and don’t put alot of effort into it and other’s as mentioned yesterday just have a different version of clean.
Here is a checklist you should plan on doing for your move out day (some items can be done as you pack):
- Wipe down cabinets on the outside and clean the shelving off on the inside
- Self Clean the oven inside and clean off the outside
- Clean inside and out of the microwave
- Clean the inside and outside of the refrigerator and freezer
- Sweep and mop all floors
- Vacuum all carpets
- dump all garbage cans
- Dust off remaining attached shelving, window sills, anything that appears to be dusty
- Wipe down the walls that larger furniture may have been in front of they can be dusty as well
- Clean out the sinks
- Clean the tubs and toilets
- remove lint from dryer
- Sweep garage
There is also the detail of items being left ie: lumber, paint, freezers, old vacuums, lawn mowers, or other large objects that you decide you cannot move like sofas, large hutches or pianos. If you have not already confirmed through the realtors that the new buyers want the larger objects you should remove, sell or dispose of these items.
Lumber and CURRENT paint cans can be left. However, not 20 cans that have been used over 30 years. I am sure none of you have done this, or had it done to you ( toungue in cheek here). There are places oil and stains can be taken to for safe disposal. Acrylic, waterbased paints should be opened to dry out. I do suggest the paints you should dry out well before you list your home so they are not an issue and already thrown away.
Hopefully this will help you at some point and or help a friend if you share this.
You know you are going to list your home in a week, a month or two. You have a plan, just a few more items to do in the house and in the yard, then you will contact the real estate agent. Is this really the best way to get the most for your home??
You have heard the market is moving fast, there is low inventory, you are ready to sell now and there isn’t much to it other than cleaning and some lawncare. You should be able to sell for top dollar fast and easy, right?
Unfortunately, many are used to selling this way in the past. Things have changed and even though in some areas of our state things are selling so rapidly people think a nice clean home and mowed lawn will give them their list price, this is not the case in every location.
Each home sells in a price range based on location, property conditions, upgrades etc. Not all homes in your neighborhood or local area are created equal. Home values on many popular sites have a large error factor in both directions. Your home may be worth more or less than what you see. Real estate agents have the tools to get accurate information.
Your home may be very clean and organized, and you want to sell rapidly for that list price you hope to get. There are small things that can be done to increase your home value, and even small investments that will get you much more in return.
Working with a real estate agent at least 1-2 months in advance to listing allows you to get a clearer more accurate picture of values in your area. Your real estate broker can walk through your home and evaluate the condition, suggest upgrades and help you learn some other items that will increase actual value and perceived value. In addition, real estate agents can help point out some items that will help your home pass inspection.
Working with a full-service agent can provide the following:
*The right price for the condition of the home
*Things that will greatly increase the perceived value: fresh paint, carpet cleaning, staging.
*Things that you would have done if you stayed: new flooring, upgraded countertops or backsplash in kitchen and bathrooms. These items if you work with your agent can be done with some expense, however, the return at closing will allow you to pay it off and reap the extra money from the upgrades.
*Staging whether it is accessory staging, or full home staging make the house stand out.
*Quality professional photography is a major factor in getting people to come visit your home. Let’s be honest you have all seen those dark, fuzzy, sideways photos on listings. Close-ups of the interesting chandelier and a decorative tile in the bathroom should not be the focal point of your photos.
Like homes, not all agents are created equal. Meet with them, see if they provide you with the data to help you navigate the home selling/buying process for our current market.
Do they communicate well with you from day one, are they available, do you feel that you can understand what they are talking about? Do you feel they would do the best job for you?
Don’t take on the selling process on your own, let the professionals help you since they have the knowledge and experience. Meet early with the real estate agent of your choice to get the highest value for your home.
The great debate on what will add value to your home. Will the investment be worth it? Is it better to sell it the way it is and let the new owners change it? Paint? wood/laminate flooring? or other projects?
Let me tackle the question on selling without making the updates. There are things to consider so ask yourself some questions.
1. If you were looking at this home with fresh eyes in it's current condition would you buy it at the price you plan to sell at?
2. Was this a project you had been thinking of doing before you had thought of selling?
3. Have you consulted a realtor in your area on features that are hot buttons for buyers?
4. If you are looing at a few projects do you have the time to get them done before selling? Possibly scale back to only 1-2 Key projects.
Some will find that there home value when selling in this current market is good and they are satisfied, but hope to get higher offers. Some projects like flooring and fresh paint for the minimal investment can really add alot of value and the benefit of a higher listing price, without just hoping for higher offers. A little effort, a little investment, for more interest, and a quicker sale can be yours and is worth the energy, time and money.
So what projects do this and are there some that won't add to the value? Depending on where you live, these projects could vary. It is best to talk to a realtor to find out what is adding more value to list prices and what buyers are talking about. Then make your decision.
Below is a before and after photo from lumber liquidators blog. They are proponents of real wood flooring. However, you can get spectacular results with wood laminate as well and depending on your budget and what you want either would be a great option.
For those in the Pacific Northwest, give me a call to come out and I will help you decide if doing these projects would add value to your home when you sell.
This is an excellent article I read in RE Magazine regarding the top 10 reasons sellers should stage their homes: http://www.warealtor.org/resources/REmagazine/winter-2016
written by Lisa Poundstone: http://www.designsmartstaging.com/
Preparing to sell can be very overwhelming, especially if you know you have projects such as a remodel or repairs that are needed. The following are tips that may help you prepare and move through the process and avoid stress.
- Write a list of what you need to do:
- Mini makeover in a bathroom-countertop/ sinks/ faucets
- Replacing a patio door whose seal has lost integrity
- Replacing broken fence boards and sanding decks
- Fresh topsoil
- Earthquake straps for water heater and drip tray
- Carbon monoxide detectors (check to see requirements for you style of home)
- Painting and organizing and de-cluttering .
Small projects you want to start as soon as possible- pay attention to the small details:
Tip- start with one smaller room, or the space that is used less often.
- Donate items you haven’t used in 12 months
- Throw away items that are broken and damaged
- Shred and dispose of paperwork that is no longer needed
- Consider a temporarily storage facility – This will show how much space your home has.
- Dust Blinds
- Wash curtains
- Wash windows
- Make sure all lightbulbs work
- Dust baseboards and trim
- Clean appliances
- Carpets cleaned
- Straighten contents in closets
- Air out rooms-open the windows, or use a home scent such as vanilla ( you don't want something overwhelming)
2. Decide when you would want to put it on the market- this is your ready to list date.
- Call contractors if needed to get quotes and timelines and start scheduling.
- Get costs on items needed for repairs and DIY projects.Set your timeline to get work done before your ready to list date.
3. Call your realtor to schedule a time to discuss when you want to list your home.
- 1-3 months before you sell is best so there is plenty of time to get ready. You will be well informed and avoid undue stress.
If you find that you need help or suggestions of who to call for help, contact your real estate agent. Typically, they have a list of resources for you to use plus great tips and ideas that will help you along the way.
As you get closer to your ready to go date you will want to consider staging your home to show.You may want to bring in a professional home stager or get tips from you agent.
Remember, you are not alone in this. Your real estate agent is there for you to help you along the way to preparing your house to sell.
Have a great day,