How to Sell Your Old Home – Part 1

Selling a house doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes weeks of careful preparation and planning to ensure that you’ll find the right buyer. From updating old rooms to prepping for open house, follow these proven techniques to learn how to sell your old home!

Before Your Home’s on the Market

Update and Repair Your Home

Tour your home with a critical eye inside and out. Stand in the doorway of each room to see it from the buyer’s perspective. Updates should be completed before your realtor takes photos, as buyers will see the property first online. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Get a home inspection to resolve any major issues buyers will uncover and leverage to negotiate a lower sales price.
  • Invite an accredited staging professional to provide a professional opinion of your home’s features and make recommendations and updates buyers expect.
  • Make necessary repairs throughout the home.
  • Plan on hiring a professional for home improvement projects. This can save you both time and money.
  • Determine what décor updates are necessary – from flooring to removing wallpaper or giving a room a fresh coat of paint – to offer buyers a neutral palette for their own furnishings.
  • Rooms that were repurposed to work for your lifestyle may need to be staged to their intended purpose. For example, that third bedroom that serves as your home office or gym should be transformed back into a bedroom.

Upgrade Your Kitchen and Bathrooms

Buyers are looking at the kitchen and baths and these rooms deserve special attention. Homeowners who update these most frequented rooms recouped the most at resale. Consider the following:

  • Upgrade your laminate countertops to granite and replace outdated appliances.
  • Update outdated light fixtures.
  • Consider giving older cabinetry a cost effective facelift.
  • Declutter and organize pantries and linen closets to show off storage space.
  • Remove small appliances and personal items to maximize counter space.
  • Replace old caulking and remove any stains from the sinks or tubs.

Clean, Declutter, and Depersonalize

Buyers will be distracted by clutter or personal belongings. Determine what you can live without while your home is on the market to help buyers envision themselves living in the home. Contemplate doing the following:

  • Clean windows, carpets, and flooring.
  • Begin packing extra decorative items and collectibles.
  • Consider renting a storage unit. You can often get the first month free, which may be all you need if your home is staged.
  • Reduce the number of personal photos and paintings in every room.
  • Clear off your dining table and add a simple centerpiece or candles.
  • Make sure closet doors open smoothly and interiors are neat and organized.
  • Cluttered basements or garages indicate to buyers the home doesn’t have enough storage.
  • Hold a yard sale, consign, or donate items you don’t plan to bring to your new home.

Assess Your Home and Take Photographs

Whatever your home’s best features, make sure your buyer sees them in the best light. Rearrange the furniture where you must, in order to expose and show off architectural details for your ‘wow’ factor. It’s crucial that you take quality photographs of your home since many buyers will first see it online. Check out our blog on staging and photography tips for a more in-depth conversation on taking photos of the home you’re trying to sell!

When you take time to update and prep your home before it hits the market, you’ll discover that selling your old home can be much easier than you imagine. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the “How to Sell Your Old Home” series to learn about tips for the open house phase of selling your old home!

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