I have had a lot of clients recently ask me about selling their home vs. keeping it. This is something that’s always a dilemma and something I have personally dealt with, as well. With the housing market as dynamic as it is and sellers typically getting top dollar for their house, more and more clients are reaching out asking if I can help them get their homes ready to sell. That answer is, of course I can, but the real question is, should you? So, for the next 4 weeks we are going to look at what to do to get your house ready, what you really are looking for in a new house, what it will cost to make the move and most of all, what are you gaining by making this move.
Even when the market is hot, you still have to do a few things to get your house prepared to sell. A house that is just dumped onto the market tends to sit for a while and won’t receive the best offers. Even in a great market, the effort you put in is rewarded! First thing, make a list of everything you love about your house and a list of all the things you wish it had that it does not. You’ll use this list when you start house hunting.
Whether your house is young or old, it will be compared to the new kid on the block -- new construction. Fresh paint, new kitchens and baths and most of all an open floor plan. How does a home built, 10, 20 years ago compete? First and foremost, you have to make your home look less lived in. I often suggest packing at least 50% of what you own to make the home look open and spacious. Decluttering will help you no matter what your decision is in the end- to love it and stay, or leave it and sell.
Next, an honest look at your walls, ceiling and trim. Nothing shows age more than banged up and chipped trim, dirty doorways and light switch plates that are missing or cracked. If you haven’t painted in the last 5 years, you’ll probably need to plan for that as well. Another big reason you’re probably going to have to paint are changing color trends. Right now, the color trend is tan, taupe and gray. These tones are cooler than when we loved the red, green and gold color family. When people are searching online and see gray house, gray house, gray house and then a yellow, it sticks out like a sore thumb, and may not be considered, even though it’s a great house.
Honestly look at your kitchen and baths. If you need an unbiased set of eyes look to bring in a friend who can tell you the truth, or an interior designer. People bring me in to look at their homes and respond honestly, and then create the look that will sell their home. Kitchens and baths sell the house. If yours are dated, what can you do to make it feel fresh and current? Look at Pinterest, Instagram and houzz for inspiration!
Last thing to do a deep cleaning. This is very different from your weekly cleaning, because we all clean weekly …wink! A deep cleaning is dusting every corner, cleaning every window and the blinds, floors, baseboards, light fixtures…. Get the picture. I highly suggest bringing in a team. If you don’t have one, ask your friends for a referral, this will be worth every penny.
Just from these small steps you’ll see a huge difference in your home and your space. Ask yourself honestly, does your home seem better, or are you set on making the move? Lots of things to consider before you take the plunge!