The past two years have affected our lives in ways we could not have ever predicted, and the housing market is no exception. Chronic supply chain issues combined with a skilled labor shortage and an increase in remote work leading more people to look for homes away from large cities has created a shortage in available housing. This is great news for you if you’re getting ready to put your home on the market. But just because there have been a surplus of bidding wars, homes being sold before they’re even listed, and offers of thousands over asking price does not mean there is no work to do. After all, your home is one of your largest investments: if there are small improvements that can make a large impact, you don’t have anything to lose, and maybe some extra dollars to gain.
The number one action you can take when getting your home ready to sell is a freebie: sort, simplify, and send to the (proverbial) curb. Whether you plan on having an open house or an online listing with photographs, in order for people to be interested in your home, they have to see it. To get your home ready for public viewing, start with a paring down what you have, or at the very least what you have out. Closets crammed to overflowing will make people question the amount of storage in your home. Countertops that are not visible due to clutter will make potential buyers hesitate at the thought of a small kitchen. Garages with piles of extra equipment will hide just how spacious it really is. Sort out what you have, simplify down to what you need, and send out the rest. A yard sale, dump run, and a donation to your local thrift store is a good place to start with paring down possessions. This first step in getting your home ready will not cost you anything but elbow grease and time, will make a huge impact on what your home looks like for photographs, and has the added bonus of giving you less to pack and move.
The second step you should take is addressing the outside of your home. This is the first thing people will see when looking at your house as their potential next investment, and while we were all taught not to judge a book by its cover, the reality is that we all do. And first impressions matter. Start with freshening up basic upkeep: clean out the gutters, weed the garden beds, rake up leaves, sweep cobwebs off the porch, really just tackle all of those little projects that have been pushed aside and make the outside of your home look wellkept. If budget and time allow, move on to larger outside projects: does the landscaping need filling in? Would painting the front door a new color lighten up the entire look of the house? Is there any damage that needs addressing? Consider your home with a critical eye, and prioritize what makes the most sense in terms of cost (both time and money) and potential benefit.
The third suggestion I have is to go back inside your home and assess what needs updating. This should be the last step because this is the time where you need to consider how much time you have to get the work done and what your budget is. It may seem like a good idea to spend $1000 to make $10,000, but if it puts you under temporary financial hardship, then it is probably not worth it. Knowing your (healthy) boundaries and the mental or physical capacity is more important than anything else you could do.That being said, here are some starting points to consider: Accent walls in your favorite color may look better painted back to a neutral that matches the rest of the walls. That semi-broken appliance that your family has just made-do with could probably use replacing. If the flooring is dirty and stained, rent a carpet cleaner or hire a professional floor cleaner. Look around at what you would expect to be updated or redone if you were the one looking at your home for the first time. And if that sort of visualization is difficult for you, ask a trusted friend or neighbor; sometimes fresh eyes can really give new perspective on how others might view a space.
Getting your home ready to go on the market can feel like a massive undertaking that is more of a pain in the neck than anything else. But it is worth it. Making your home as enticing as possible to buyers, while also lightening your load as you get ready to move is nothing but a win for you. Start with a single room, or if that is still overwhelming, just a single closet or drawer. Before you know it, your whole house will look refreshed and ready for new owners, and you will be ready for new adventures.
This article is sponsored by Veterans First. Helping veterans secure the home of their dreams through VA loans. If you’re getting ready to place your home on the market that means that you will soon be on the hunt for your next home! For a lender that understands the sacrifices and unique needs of our country’s service men and women visit Veterans First!
Did you enjoy reading this article? Visit our blog page to read other similar articles.