After a rocky start to 2022, the housing market has seen some dramatic shifts. Demand for homes has dropped significantly, particularly with rising mortgage interest rates and an uncertain economic outlook for the coming months.
That’s not to say, though, that now is a bad time to put your home up for sale. Low inventory and demand is still seeing good properties sell quickly, but buyers are becoming more picky. So how do you get your home ready for sale in this climate?
We’re here with a few tips for how to prep a house for sale to turn your property into a more attractive commodity that will pull in serious buyers and help you stand out from the rest.
How To Prepare Your Home For Sale
Make Necessary Repairs
No matter how long you’ve lived in your home, there will be regular wear and tear that needs addressing before you list the property for sale. Yes, some buyers are attracted to a fixer upper. But for the majority of homebuyers, they’re looking for a ready-to-move-in home with only a few cosmetic updates needed.
If you have any serious structural or utility-related repairs that need to be made, these should be your first priority. Particularly in older homes or those that have had DIY work completed in the past, ensure that everything from plumbing to electric is up to code.
Go room by room to note anything that needs correcting as you prepare your home for sale. Appliances should be in good working order, plumbing should run smoothly, there should be no signs of water damage anywhere, and wallpaper shouldn’t be peeling from the corners of walls.
Repairs can be expensive, so it may be worth considering a home equity loan to help cover the costs. While it can seem like a hassle when you’re looking to move out of the home, the money you invest upfront can ultimately help you get a better sale price and close quicker.
Work On Upgrades
As important as repairs are, you shouldn’t forget about upgrades when preparing your home for sale. New features like upgraded kitchen appliances or bathroom counters and fixtures can all add value to a property when it hits the market.
Another key upgrade to consider is anything that makes your home more energy efficient. As utility bills continue to rise, buyers are looking for homes that have good insulation, heating and cooling systems, and windows and doors that prevent energy leakage.
While a home equity loan can also help with these changes, don’t forget to look into any programs run by local authorities. Some local governments offer subsidies or cashback programs to residents installing more energy efficient utilities, systems, or building materials in their homes.
Don’t Forget Exterior Changes
First impressions make a big difference, so invest time and money into your home’s curb appeal. You may have a well-maintained yard, but it’s certainly worth considering hiring some professional landscapers to tidy up your lawn, flowerbeds, and any patio or deck spaces you have.
Remember that young families are primarily focused on finding a clean and safe space for their pets and children to enjoy, so you want them to see that straight away.
Besides landscaping, take some time to really look at the outside of your home. Does the roof look in good condition? Could your garage door or front porch do with a coat of paint? Check off some of those low-hanging-fruit items that won’t take too much time or money to correct, but will make a difference when it comes to selling your home.
Getting Your Home Ready For Buyers
While buyers know that you’re still living in the house, a crucial part of preparing your home for sale is to take you out of the equation. Prospective buyers need to imagine themselves living in a space, which is difficult to do if it’s crammed full of your personal belongings.
Declutter Your Stuff
The first place to start before selling your home is decluttering. It’s surprising how much we can all accumulate after only a few years living somewhere! Go through every room, cupboard, and closet with trash bags in hand, ready to store, throw away, or donate items you no longer need.
Moving can be a costly experience. Selling some of your unwanted items can go a long way to helping your moving budget, especially if you need to take out a storage unit to store some of your personal items while trying to sell your home.
Depersonalize The Space
Once you’re ready to get your house on the market, it’s time to pack away your personal pictures and knick-knacks. Anything that’s unique to you and your family like photographs, college diplomas, even toys and pet items, should be stored out of sight to keep your home looking tidy and minimal.
For items that you still need ahead of a move but could be off-putting for a potential buyer, get a plastic bin to put these pieces in ahead of home showings. Stash this away in a closet or in the garage for the time being so that it’s still accessible, but keeps your space clear.
Stage Your Home
If you’re still living in your home ahead of a sale, you’ll need to keep bigger items of furniture in place. But staging your home to give it a “show home” feel with the furniture you have can be helpful for prospective buyers.
Keep your dining room simply staged with the table and chairs, with maybe one or two other small pieces of furniture like a sideboard or bar cart. Think about rearranging your couch and any chairs to create a comfy and inviting seating arrangement in the living room. Kitchen surfaces should be kept clear with small appliances in cabinets.
Bedrooms should have minimal furniture and stay as tidy as possible. Visitors will want to inspect closets, windows, and any attached bathrooms so it’s vital that they have a clear pathway around each room.
Before you finish up, make sure that your entryway is clear and tidy. This will be the first place your prospective buyers come into and the last area in the house they’ll see before leaving, so it needs to grab their attention for all the right reasons.
Preparing A House For Sale With Pictures
Once you’ve cleared and tidied the house, you’ll want to hire a professional home photographer to capture your space. Your realtor should be able to recommend someone to you, or may even have a photographer in-house.
High quality photos are a must when buyers are relying on online listings to begin their home search process. Your realtor will use the pictures to put together information about the property, along with listing them alongside the written details on sites like Zillow.
Make Your Next Big Move
When you’re looking to sell your home and buy somewhere new in Bucks County PA, contact the team at First National Bank.
Our lenders will work with you to find a mortgage that works for your financial situation and secures funding for your next home. We’ll also work with you to take out a home equity loan to make upgrades or improvements on your existing property as you get ready to sell.