Prepping Your Home for the Market: Cleaning and Condition

Prepping Your Home for the Market: Cleaning and Condition

Are you ready to put your home on the market? This is an exciting — and also an apprehensive — time for you and your family. There are many reasons a home can move quickly or stay stagnant. Price, obviously, is one of them. Location is another. To a degree, you can control the price, but you will need to list your house with a cost that allows you to pay off your mortgage and is competitive with similar homes in your area. Location is a factor you can’t really control; but there is one you can: condition.

It may seem like a no-brainer that you need to improve the condition of your home before you put it on the market. However, you may not know how deep you can, or should, dig when it comes to prepping your home for sale. Homes that sparkle and shine tend to sell more quickly and for a higher price; homebuyers can imagine themselves living in your house and making it their own. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ways you can prep your house to sell at the right price and the right speed.

Update Kitchen and Bathroom
According to Keller Williams realtor, Carol King, an updated kitchen and bath are at the top of buyers’ wishlists. Investing a lot or even a little into updating your kitchen and bathroom can make a big impact on selling. Take a look around and take note of items that are out of date, such as old, dingy tile or appliances that have been around for decades. Some fixes to consider include:

Replacing the hardware on cabinets, towel holders and doors.
Refinishing floors.
Painting or updating backsplashes.
Purchasing new appliances that are trending with buyers.
Updating lighting fixtures, like installing wall sconces, softer lighting around mirrors, and lighting under cabinets.

Stage the House
Making your house appear like a blank slate is often called staging. Even though you think that yellow is bright and cheerful for your walls, you have no idea what negative association a potential buyer might have with it. In order to help them see themselves living in your space, repaint walls to a white or beige. It may seem boring or not flashy enough, but neutral tones will appeal to a wider range of buyers.

Neutral tones aren’t the only way to help buyers see your home has theirs. Reducing clutter, like stacks of kids’ shoes by the front door or your dog’s bed in the living room floor, can limit how your personal life impacts the buyer’s image. Likewise, you may want to consider taking down some of the family photos or eclectic pieces of art that may influence buyers’ opinions.

Deep Clean Those Nooks and Crannies
Your house needs to shine. It needs to be so clean that potential buyers almost feel like no one even lives there. That means you’ll have to create a daily routine for keeping your home more than tidy. You may even want to consider hiring a professional for a one-time deep cleaning. In Staten Island, NY, the average price for a one-time interior house cleaning ranges from $116 to $199. If you choose to do it yourself, don’t forget to clean these often-forgotten spots:

Baseboards
Window sills
Ceiling fans
Grout between tiles
Window blinds
High up windows
Corners of ceilings
Under the couch
Trashcans
Microwave and toaster oven
Closets
Garages
Sheds

Cleaning your home and making smart improvements will not only help your house sell more quickly, but it can also help ensure you get your asking price. While the market temperature does impact the selling experience, the condition of your property plays a crucial role, regardless of whether it is a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market. When in doubt, place yourself in the buyer’s shoes and imagine how they will feel when they see each room for the first time.

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