Advice for Parents Who Need to Get Their Home Ready to Sell
(And Keep It That Way)
Selling a home is a full-time job from the time you begin prepping for the sale until you move out. If you’re a busy parent, it may feel impossible, but getting your home ready for sale and keeping it in tip-top shape is doable. There are several ways to make sure your home is ready and that it stays ready. Here’s how to get started.
Unless you’re a realtor or an interior designer, you may not have all the knowledge you need to know what helps your house sell quicker and for the best possible price. Professionals can stage your home and highlight all of its strengths. Additionally, they can help you identify tasks you can do (e.g., painting, refinishing floors, upgrading lighting, refreshing cabinets) to help sell your home. The average cost for a professional staging is $980, and the high value they bring to the table can make it well worth the investment.
Declutter and Organize
Less is better when it comes to selling your home. Buyers need to be able to walk into a house and picture themselves living there. If you have knick-knacks and photos everywhere, it creates a mental block for buyers. For the benefit of landing a sale and the eventual move that follows, start by implementing the below steps to declutter and organize.
Make a plan to declutter and clean each room and space.
For each room, sort belongings into four categories: keep, donate, toss and store.
If you’re storing belongings, considering storing them at a friend’s or family member’s house or use low-cost storage facilities.
Clean as you go — a deep clean.
For the items that you’re keeping, use organizing bins (you can find bins at the Container Store for around $1.99 and up) to give each room a neat and clean look (will also be great for a quick cleanup before last-minute showings).
Rearrange furniture to maximize the space of each room.
Bring in as much natural light as possible and add lamps to the darker corners.
In order to get the most value out of your home, do repairs before you put the house on the market. Apply a fresh coat of paint, fix leaky faucets, change out light bulbs, fix any broken windows or doors, and repair any dings on the walls. Easy fixes will help you land a sale quickly and won’t break the bank. If you have any larger repairs that need to be done, consider whether making the repair will add more value to your home than the cost, and if so, make the repair. If the repair would be too costly, then forgo the repair and sell the home “as is.” If your roof is in disrepair, this is definitely something you’re going to want to take care of before putting your home up for sale; just make sure to do your research to find a reputable roofing company in your area.
Make All Rooms Universal
Again, all buyers want to be able to see the potential in homes. In that regard, it’s the goal to make each room as neutral as possible so buyers can envision themselves living in your house. Children’s rooms and playrooms can be difficult to sell to buyers, especially if they don’t have kids. Remove all kid-themed wallpaper and paint all colored rooms (pink, baby blue, purple, etc.) a neutral color. As a busy parent, you may not have too much spare time to make these repairs, but a handyman can do the work for you at a reasonable price.
Store toys in closets, baskets, or under beds, and convert all playrooms into neutral spaces. Many kids struggle with moving; so to help them with the process, get them involved. Allow them to sort their toys, pick out storage options they like, and help you redecorate.
Your home doesn’t have to be perfect to sell. You can’t make all buyers happy, but by preparing your home for sale by getting an expert’s advice, decluttering, cleaning, organizing, making repairs, and making your home neutral, buyers will see the value. As much as possible, get the whole family involved and make it a team activity to keep the home ready for showings.
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