So you want to get your home on the market and get top dollar. How can you best take advantage of today's seller's market? It is late January here in Central Oregon and inventory is low—not just because inventory has been low for two years, but also the seasonality of real estate. People flat out prefer to move during the warmer months, and once school is in session the real estate market tends to slow in a transactional sense. The holidays come through and slow things down even more; now is the calm before the selling season kicks into full gear. With that in mind, what can one do now to prepare their home for the upcoming selling season?
There is lots of conventional wisdom out there about de cluttering and really clearing out a lot of items and things to give the home a more spacious feel. You want to clean out all your closets, cabinets and storage areas to really show off the space in your home, not just the main rooms. Buyers open closets, pantries and such, so you want those areas free of mess, too. If you have young children, this can be a serious challenge at times. Removing photos and personal items is another common thing that is often mentioned, and I certainly agree with, but what else can one do?
The simplest thing one can do once the house is decluttered and personal items removed is give the home a deep cleaning. Go through the home room by room and get the place sparkling! If you have pets, I would highly recommend using an O-zone cleaner to remove all pet smells as any offensive odor (to the buyer) can bring down the overall perception of a home's value. This step may require you to rent a storage unit or find some other way of storing your extra stuff while selling your home.
Perhaps the most important thing we like to do with most of our sellers is a pre-inspection. It's just like the inspection a potential buyer is going to do, but the seller is inspecting their home prior to listing it. The reason our team is such proponents of this is that it removes one of the biggest hurdles in selling a home. With a pre inspection done, any discovered issues can be fixed prior to going on the market. Another benefit of the pre inspection is it allows homeowners who are not licensed and bonded contractors to complete the repairs. One of the biggest problems right now is finding contractors who are willing and able to come do small jobs that only take a couple of hours. Anyone who has faced challenges during the inspection period knows what a headache this can bring. You now have parties to a transaction trying to renegotiate based on an inspection report. This renegotiating can cause both sellers and buyers to dig in their respective heels, and sometimes, deals can terminate. It is a much more pleasant experience selling a home knowing no major issues are going to come up during the inspection period.
Your home is clean and de-cluttered, all smells are removed/mitigated, and all your home inspection items have been addressed: now, the most stressful part of this process will be getting out of the house for showings and reviewing offers!