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4 Tips to prepare your house for sale this fall

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It's Fall. Leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, and it's time to prepare your home for sale. Now is a good time to start thinking about how you can freshen things up and spruce up your house before putting it on the market this Fall, or even early 2022! Here are four tips that could help.


Tip 1: Make your house smell good.

It's not just about how your house looks, but also about how it smells. Find a way to make it smell fresh and clean! Before you stock up on fresh baked cookies, good-smelling candles, or air fresheners, do everything you can to eliminate the source of any foul odors.

Take time to search for signs of mold/mildew in bathrooms, basements, and/or crawl spaces. Make certain to eliminate the mildew, as well as whatever situation led to it in the first place.

If you have pets ask someone who doesn't live in the home to stop by and be honest with you about any lingering pet odors. Give the carpets a thorough cleaning, and open a window or two to let fresh air in. Fresh smells are important to give the impression of a clean house!


Tip 2: Make a list of what needs to be fixed.

Buyers willing to pay a premium price are looking for homes that are well maintained and free of deferred maintenance. Take time to look at your home like a buyer would. Repair anything that might need it, like a leaking faucet or clogged toilet. Make sure your appliances are in functioning order so they turn on and off without issues. Have a professional HVAC contractor give your heating and cooling systems a thorough checkup. Check to see if all your windows and close smoothly. Replace smoke/carbon monoxide detectors Clean out your roof gutters and extend your downspouts so they move water away from the foundation. If your deck, porch, or patio is showing signs of wear and tear then take some time to give it a quick makeover.

Don't forget to examine your front door closely. This is the first impression of your home, and while an agent is working the lockbox, buyers will be staring at your front door. Add some fresh flowers or a welcoming sign, so buyers know they are entering a safe and inviting place.

Your goal is to identify anything that deters a potential buyer from making an offer to purchase your home.


Tip 3: Be prepared to show your house.

Potential buyers need time to do their due diligence, which means they might request a showing at an inconvenient time for you. Make sure that you are always ready and able to accommodate showings by having the following items ready to go each day.

Have a lighting plan that shows your home in its best light. Leave lights on so buyers don't have to search for light switches. Replace burned-out light bulbs and make sure you have a uniform light color (wattage/lumens). Put fresh sheets on your beds, straighten up, clean bathrooms (especially mirrors and toilets), and remove dirty dishes from the sink.

Use storage bins to quickly move anything you plan to store in your garage, basement, attic, or anywhere else that might be closed off during a showing. Make sure it's organized and ready for moving (piles of things don't count as organized).

Taking the time to prepare your plan ahead of time will eliminate the stress of putting your house into showing shape when the time comes.


Tip 4: Price your home strategically for maximum effect.

There are a lot of factors to consider when pricing your home, and we can't list them all here, but we'll tell you some factors to consider.

Firstly, the time of year and how the macro market is performing. Listing inventory, buyer activity, pricing trends, days on market, list price to sales price ratios, and current mortgage interest rates and lending guidelines are all critical factors to consider.

In addition, the current condition of the house should be considered: how much work is needed to make it move-in ready? Is it better off as an investment property or as a primary home? How does it compare to the average house in your price range and area? Is there a price point that moves more quickly than another? Is there a logical price break between market segments?

Most importantly you need to decide if you are pricing for the maximum price and looking to negotiate, or are you underpricing the market to create a floor and look for a bidding war?



The tips above are meant to be quick points of guidance, not exhaustive lists. To get more information about the real estate market in your area and for help strategically pricing your home, contact your local agent, or reach out to us today. We're here to work with you and make sure you are well prepared when your home hits the market.