Getting your Austin Area Home Ready to Sell
I’ve bought and sold my fair share of homes personally. I have also bought and sold plenty of homes for my clients. As a real estate broker and investor, I can tell you first hand there’s nothing that I’ve seen that helps to sell a home quicker than having a nice clean home that’s move-in ready. It’s really the easiest, least expensive and most logical thing to do to get a home ready to put on the market. Generally for less than $500 and a day’s worth of your time you can have your property looking in tip top shape. My strategy is to show potential buyers a property where all they have to do is move in. I feel this keeps the purchase price much higher when a buyer’s “to do list” on a potential home purchase has nothing on it.
A Clean Home Sells!
When a buyer walks into a home and sees dirty air filters, cracks in the walls and base boards, dirty carpet and moldy bathrooms, all that’s going through their mind is “look at how much work I’m going to need to do to get this place in shape”. I can tell you this is also reflected in their offer price. The best thing to do is to take away the buyer’s ammunition that they’ll use to justify a low offer price by getting your home clean and move-in ready.
Home Maintenance Makes you Money
Here’s a quick and easy way to knock pages off the home inspection report, buy several tubes of good quality clear caulk to use on the exterior of your home. I like Dap Dynaflex 230 clear. Also decide on a color of caulk that works well for the inside of your home. Then caulk/seal everything inside and out where old caulk has separated, new cracks have appeared or areas that may have never been sealed in the first place. Historically inspection reports include pages and pages of recommendations and suggestions on sealing the interior and exterior of a home. By caulking cracks, joints and wall penetrations inside and outside of your home, you will help keep numerous caulking/sealing comments off the inspection report and make the property look much nicer and well taken care of. Also be sure your caulking is clean and neat. A bit of caution, a sloppy caulk job can cause the opposite response than you’re looking for from buyers.
You may also want to consider a seller’s pre-inspection of your home.
Here are my recommendations to get a home ready to put on the market:
Interior of Home
- Always have the carpets cleaned.
- Appliances cleaned inside and out.
- Baseboards, door trim and window sills dusted and caulked. No cracks showing in corners and at joints.
- Fill nail holes in walls, repair nail pops and touch up paint.
- Change air filters and clean grills.
- Remove and replace old moldy silicon caulk around tubs, showers and sinks.
- Clean windows inside and out.
- Clean, dust, mop the entire home. Don’t forget about the ceiling fans.
- Clean dirty or stained grout.
- Use a stain marker to touch up scratches on stained wood such as cabinets, wood floors, handrails, etc.
- Repair whatever is broken. Especially if it can be seen when showing the property.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs.
- Remove clutter.
Exterior of Home
- Caulk around all windows, expansion cracks and wall penetrations. You are sealing to prevent water penetration and drafts.
- Sweep and/or pressure wash porches and driveways.
- Clean cobwebs from soffits, light fixtures, windows and so on.
- Mow and trim lawn and trim landscaping/hedges.
- Clean gutters.
- Freshen up mulch.
For those of you who are too busy or not able to do these things yourself, you can easily hire someone to do the items I have listed above. Some handyman services do nothing but get homes ready to sell. The end goal is to have a clean move-in ready home that potential buyers won’t view as a project which should keep your sales price much higher. Need to get your land or rand ready to sell, please read “Tips for getting your ranch or land ready to sell.”