As soon as you decide it’s time to move out of your current home and into another, the stress begins. After all, you know that you’re going to have to put your house on the market and wait. How long will it take for the right bidder to come your way? You can have a direct effect on the answer to that question by learning how to help your home sell faster.
As you might imagine, if you asked a dozen home sellers how to help your home sell faster, you’d get a dozen answers. And that’s okay! In fact, the more information and tips you can glean from people who have “been there, done that,” the better!
Below are 15 terrific ways to move your property. Each of the “how to help your home sell faster” tricks could be the difference between your home sitting idle for months or attracting interest from day one.
Repair Your Roof
When you’re about to sell your home and put a down payment on another, you probably don’t want to even think about roof replacement. However, the truth is that an unattractive roof will limit the bids you get.
Think of it this way: If potential buyers decide to tour your home, the first thing they’ll notice when they pull into the driveway is your dated, questionable roof. Think they’ll want to go through the trouble of buying a place only to call roofers immediately? Probably not, unless you reduce your asking price.
It’s probably best to just pay out the $5,000 to $10,000 to add a new roof, rather than lose much more because you resisted upgrading before advertising.
Declutter Every Room
Instead of spending all your time packing away your belongings, pay a bit of attention to which items you want to keep. Far too many people wind up moving unwanted clutter from one house to the next. Stop the craziness now and either give away or throw away the majority of what you don’t want.
Be brutal because this is one of those processes that requires more than a little objectivity. Is the love seat your grandma gave you 20 years ago really something that should move with you? Or is it time for it to be retired? And that prom dress from 1998? Maybe someone else could get a little use from it.
If you have a lot of higher-end things that you’re willing to part with but don’t want to donate, you could always visit a local consignment store. When the consignment business sells your merchandise, you’ll get some of the money. That’s useful because you can put the funds into other tips that you discover while investigating how to help your home sell faster.
Replace Old Doors
Your interior and exterior doors can last a really long time. In fact, they can hang on for decades. However, they’ll eventually begin to wear out or look outdated. Nothing brings down the look of a house than an ugly front door or one that seems to be a month away from falling off its hinges.
The good news is that buying a door replacement doesn’t have to cost a fortune. As long as your door frames are standard sizes, you can simply purchase replacements from your local home improvement retailer. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a knock-their-socks-off, one-of-a-kid front door, you could always get in touch with a specialty door manufacturer.
For interior doors, always make sure that the style is consistent with the rest of the house. If possible, you may just want to replace all the interior doors on a single floor. That way, they’ll look the same and not stand out in strange ways. It’s a sneaky but easy maneuver that will assist your efforts in figuring out how to help your home sell faster.
Remove All Obviously Personal Objects
Look around your house. Chances are strong that you have a lot of personal objects. Maybe you have your kids’ pictures lining the hallway walls. Perhaps your mantle is filled with mementos. Even your refrigerator has been personalized with papers, printed off pictures, magnets, and more.
When you’re living in a home, you tend to make it your own. However, when you’re getting into the nuts and bolts of how to help your home sell faster, you learn that homebuyers don’t want to see your stuff. In fact, when they walk into your house, they want to pretend you don’t exist. Instead, they spend their time trying to imagine how they’ll decorate it for their family, not for yours.
Though it can be hard to depersonalize every aspect of your house, especially if you have lots of bedrooms with tons of framed pictures all over the place, do your best. It can be tough to feel like a stranger in your house, but remind yourself that it’s all temporary. As soon as you buy a new place, you’ll be able to personalize it to the max.
Spruce Up the Garage
The garage is probably one of the last rooms in your house that you’re thinking about when you’re trying to figure out how to help your home sell faster. Here’s a secret, though: The garage could bowl someone over, especially someone who likes to spend time tinkering with tools on projects, cars, and other fun stuff.
What can you do to turn your garage into less of a cave and more of a castle? First, add an updated sectional garage door that isn’t all squeaky and old like your current one. Sectional garage doors are convenient and conventional. They also come in a variety of colors and textures. Consider buying one that looks like wood or complements the color of the rest of the house.
Secondly, take a long, hard look at the garage floor. Is it stained? Oil-marked? Pocked? A little epoxy flooring will turn it into an easy-to-clean paradise. Finally, wipe away all those dusty cobwebs and evict any critters that have made the garage their second home. You don’t want them around when people start touring your property. Rather, you want your garage to look as spotless and inviting as the rest of your revitalized house.
Upgrade Your Landscaping
No checklist covering how to help your home sell faster would be complete if it didn’t include a little curb appeal in the form of landscaping. Before you protest that you don’t have the funds to hire a private gardener or contractor to build retainer walls, put in a huge patio, or erect a gazebo, take a breath. You don’t need to go overboard to have a well-manicured, aesthetically appealing yard.
Begin the landscaping process as simply as you can: weed. Take a weekend and get rid of any weeds in your garden beds. If you’re not sure what’s a weed and what’s not, download one of the many apps that allow you to upload pictures of plants for evaluation. After you weed, consider planting new flowers or other flora to improve the look of your gardens or add a pop of color to an unadorned space.
During the time your home’s on the market, make sure you keep up with all the yard work like mowing and raking. It can be a challenge, especially if you’ve started to move into a new place before you sell the old one. Still, it’s worth the effort because your home will have a tidy appearance from the street.
Get Your HVAC System Up to Snuff
Your heating and cooling equipment may sit in the basement, but it’s hardly “out of sight, out of mind” to potential home buyers. Many buyers want to know what kind of HVAC system you’re offering, when it was installed, and how it’s been maintained. In other words, the time to get all that HVAC repair work done is immediately. And even if it’s not glamorous, it belongs on your “how to help your home sell faster” to-do list.
Even if you’re fairly certain that your HVAC unit is operating in tip-top shape, spend a little money to have a technician support your assertions. You may be shocked to discover that you have problems you didn’t know about, such as a leaky water heater or loose furnace blower belt. The technician can make repairs and improvements, and you’ll be able to tell possible buyers that they have nothing to worry about when it comes to the furnace, boiler, or air conditioner.
Repaint High-Traffic Rooms
When you’re considering how to help your home sell faster, give a little time and thought into repainting at least some of the rooms. You may not have the manpower or resources to paint everything from top to bottom, but chances are strong you could take a few days to repaint popular rooms. These could include the kitchen, den, master bedroom, master bathroom, and entryway.
Paint is relatively inexpensive but can give you a big return on investment. Freshly painted rooms tend to look more modern and seem pristine. Plus, it’s great to repaint if you’ve removed everything from the walls, only to realize that you’re left with lots of unsightly nail holes and scuffs. A few coats of paint make age disappear, as well as normal wear and tear.
Have Your Pipes Inspected
Before calling your real estate agent to get a listing set up, call a residential plumber. Many homeowners don’t realize that they have plumbing problems. They only know that their basements smell a little moldy, or that they sometimes hear strange dripping in the walls. A plumber can identify and diagnose concerns, offer troubleshooting advice, and make repairs.
Even the most solid pipes will eventually need to be replaced. If your home has copper pipes that are 30 or 40 years old at least, you’ll definitely want to ask a plumber if you should have some of them replaced. Nothing’s worse than a home buyer discovering a leak while looking around your home.
Pretend You’re Not a Pet Parent
It’s great to be a pet parent to a dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, or exotic animal. However, the people visiting your home when it’s on the market might not feel likewise. In order to make your house seem like it’s not a pet paradise, you may need to hide some of your furry, feathered, or scaled friend’s toys and equipment.
Does this mean you can’t show your house if your cat is still living there? Of course not. Just be discreet about the litter box and keep it clean. The same goes for your fenced-in backyard if your pooch uses it as a place to go to the bathroom. Homebuyers are attuned to smells and sights. A house that smells like wet dog won’t go far to impress a touring guest.
Secure Your Fire Alarm System
If you have a fire alarm system, give it a once-over. If you don’t, you might want to consider finding out if something like a fire sprinkler system installation project would be worthwhile. Sprinkler systems in higher-priced homes can help keep the value of the property higher, which is what you want to hear.
Be sure to take a test drive of your alarm system and stay up to date with your alarm service provider, if applicable.
Invest in New Kitchen Appliances
Are your kitchen appliances looking a little worn out? As much as you’d like to save money, consider buying all new appliances. Even if you don’t purchase top-line models, your kitchen will have a more contemporary feel.
While you’re at it, find out the price of new countertops. Some appliance sellers do countertop work, too, and may give you a discount if you use them for more than one project.
Upgrade Your Windows
It’s time to get real: Are your windows bringing down the overall ambiance of your house? Pursue the possibility of buying new windows. You can get many energy-efficient types for much less than you might expect to pay. And depending upon the time of year, the window installation company may offer you even better sales, just to get your business.
Purchase New Lights
Along with windows, you might want to install new lights, too. The more light you let into your property, the better. Consider wall sconces for dark hallways and stairwells, overhead lights with ceiling fans for wide and tall spaces, and outdoor lighting to show off your landscaping.
Remember to stock up on replacement light bulbs because you want all yours to work when showing off your home.
Stage for Success
As a final tip, always stage your home. This means moving furniture out of walkways, freshening up the carpets with a thorough cleaning, dusting all the bookshelves, and placing decorations like DIY flower centerpieces on tables and countertops.
Realtors know the value of staging, and just a bit of staging magic can help you as you implement tips and learn how to help your home sell faster.
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