Prepare Your Home Properly Before Putting on Market

Posted by Steph Kaye on Monday, December 29th, 2014 at 2:29pm.

     
Taking the time to properly prepare your home before putting it on the market can help get  a higher price and increase buyer interest, making for a faster sale. Taking a big-picture look at what to do to get your home ready to sell will help ensure that you make the best decisions and stay under budget.

Things to Consider: Start with the outside of your home, since that is what potential buyers will see first. Aim for nice landscaping, a nicely cleaned exterior, a driveway and walking path in good repair, a well-lit porch and an eye-catching front door.

Make a list early on of all of the repairs your home may need, from the tiny (changing a lightbulb) to the major (new roof) before deciding what to get done. Understand that the cost of most repairs and upgrades will not be recouped in the sale price, so focus on taking care of the minor repairs and tackle bigger projects only if you feel you must.
 
Remove clutter and organize what’s left. Any real estate agent will tell you that getting rid of clutter and excess personal items is the first thing you should do to make your home look its best to potential buyers. Less stuff will make your space look larger, which is almost always a positive thing. Overflowing closets and drawers tell  buyers that there is not enough storage space in the home, while neat and orderly closets help buyers envision living an organized life in your house.

If you need to move a lot of furniture and accessories out of your home while it’s on the market, think about renting a storage unit. The cost could be worth it if it means your house shows better and sells faster (and hopefully for more money).
 
Who to hire: The professionals you hire to help prepare your home for sale will depend on how much work your home needs and on how much work you plan to do yourself. Consider these:
  • Real estate agent: This is the first pro you will want to hire. Your Realtor should be able to give you an honest assessment of what your house needs to position it well on the market.
  • Handyman: Hiring a handyperson for a single day is often enough to take care of a whole list of small repairs.
  • Electrician: Get that broken doorbell and porch light fixed, and update interior lighting.
  • Cleaning service: Getting your house sparkling clean is a low-cost way to make your home look its best. A professional house cleaning team can make your house shine in a single day.
  • Painter: A fresh coat of paint indoors and out is a surefire way to make your home stand out.
  • Landscape designer or gardener: Landscaping consistently makes the list of things that can influence a home sale. If you do not have a green thumb, it could be worth it to invest in pro services from someone who does.
It's good advice is to spend as little as possible on your home to prepare it for sale. Small changes and upgrades will give your home a boost in perceived value without you having to dip into your savings.

  • Expect to pay $50 to $85 per hour for a handyman and $60 to $100 per hour and up for an electrician.
  • Home staging consultations (you implement most of the changes) run $150 to $500, but it can cost $2,000 and (way) up for full-service staging and furniture rentals.
  • Should you decide to rent a storage unit, expect to pay about $100 per month for a 10- by 15-foot unit.
  • House painting generally costs about $2 to $4 per square foot.

Best time to do this project: The best time of year for home sales is summer, so it’s a good idea to set late spring or early summer as a goal date to have your home ready to sell. You can start preparing your home to sell anytime, but sooner is always better than later. 

If you can, begin preparations the year before you plan to sell to give landscaping time to fill in, and to give yourself ample time to get work done. As an example, you could plant spring bulbs in the fall, take care of interior house repairs in winter and finish up the rest of your projects in spring to ready your home for its first open house in early summer. 

If you would like information on your local real estate market, or are first time home buyer not working with a Realtor and would like to schedule a consultation with a qualified Oakland County and Macomb County Realtor, please complete the Lang Premier Properties contact form to have a real estate agent contact you.

Lang Premier Properties are Birmingham Realtors specializing in Oakland County Real Estate. Stephanie is an agent with Max Broock in Birmingham, Michigan. See what past clients have to say about Stephanie Lang.  Lang Premier Properties looks out for your best interests when you purchase a new custom luxury home. We always recommend working with an experienced luxury real estate agent when buying a new luxury estate. you would like information on homes for sale, or are first time home buyer not working with a Realtor and would like to schedule a consultation with a qualified Oakland County and Macomb County Realtor, please complete the Lang Premier Properties contact form to have a real estate agent contact you.

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