Whether you are downsizing, relocating, moving in with family or into a retirement community, there is one thing that must happen first. You must sell your home.
This can be a daunting task to consider, much less accomplish, but with the right mindset and proper preparation it can be done. First, set yourself a timeline. When you have a clear understanding of when each task must be completed, you can easily prioritize your list to accomplish your goals. Second, ask for help. Friend, neighbors, colleagues, family, or all the above can be great resources of support and assistance during this time.
To more easily understand the scope of selling your home before a big move, consider the Three R’s:
Remove, Repair, and Refresh!
Remove: Begin by removing anything you no longer need or use. First, search for items that are trash and simply need to be thrown away. Next, search for items that still function, but no longer serve your needs. Set these items aside in a donation box. Make sure to research your local garbage service dates and local trash dump hours. Some areas have specific days for large item collection, so you will be able to place the broken-and-beyond -repair- table right at the curb. Other areas require that you call and schedule a pick-up of those large items, so planning and having a timeline is crucial. The same goes for donated items: some companies will come and pick up your donations, but others are a drop off service only. Plan accordingly. Another idea for removing items is to have a garage sale (or donate to someone else’s sale). You can lighten your load and add a little cash to your wallet at the same time, or make a kind donation to someone else.
Repair: Once you have removed all unnecessary items from your home and you are left with only what you will be taking with you, it is now time to get the home ready for potential buyers. Focus on the repairs that will be worth making. Kitchens and bathrooms have the highest potential for problems, so look there first. Ensure that plumbing and appliances are in good, clean, working order. Check the cabinets and surrounds for leaks, mold, or easily fixable grout or sealant issues. Flooring, walls, and finishes in all rooms should be in good condition. Patch any holes in walls, clean or refinish worn down or broken flooring, and repair or replace broken light plates. Let’s be clear, we are focusing on repairs, not upgrades. There is a clear distinction between the two. Repairing what is broken keeps your current home value relevant, whereas upgrading boosts the value of your home. You can determine if you want to stop at repairs only and leave the upgrading to the future homeowner by asking your realtor for their professional advice.
Refresh: Now that your home is free of clutter and in working order, let it shine! Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to freshen up the look of your home, both indoors and out. Tidying up the landscape is also a big bang for your buck. You can’t deny the importance of curb appeal. Sometimes, it can be as simple as cutting back hedges and planting a pot full of colorful flowers. Remember that for all of your hard work, the end goal is that a new family can enjoy your home, while you get the biggest bang for your buck. Finally, home staging can make or break the sale of a home. Help potential buyers to visualize themselves in the space. Set up furniture in a way that makes the most sense for each room and take down any items that are too personal.
In the end, selling your home is a large undertaking, but it can be simplified with the Three R’s.