Selling your home requires prep work

Last week was all about the importance of hiring a realtor and what a realtor can bring to the table when either selling or buying your next home. This week I would like to highlight what you will learn as a seller when selling your home.

Most likely you have lived in your home for several years, making modifications as needed along the way. Now as you survey your home, expect to invest a lot of time cleaning, organizing, and making some minor repairs. My first suggestion is to work with a stager. This is a person who specializes in making homes not necessarily more suitable for you, but more “sellable.” It may be a bit humbling walking through your home with a stager.

One of the first things a stager may point out is wall colors. White and bold colors may have worked for your family as a backdrop for the individualized themed rooms, but remember, your goal is to sell.

Next the stager will tell you the benefits of de-cluttering and having a house tidy and organized with only a minimum amount of furniture in each room. This makes the space appear larger and more enticing. Be prepared to clear out almost everything, especially personalized items like family pictures. Expect to be parking in the driveway as your garage will become a haven for these items. In a sense, it is not your home anymore. The walls should be almost bare except for a strategically placed mirror or two to help buyers see themselves living here. Remember, the goal is to sell.

However, de-cluttering will reveal a myriad of nail holes, cracks, etc. which will require filling and fixing. Don’t think removing a few items is all you need to do here. This will take more time than you think. You’ll find large items, like that sofa you raised your kids on, may not be as easy to remove as it was to bring in when it was new.

Then there will be some cleaning projects that will be frustratingly stubborn. A cleaning service may be the answer here. There will be projects that won’t come clean with just a sponge, soap and water, especially if you’ve lived there for many years. Then fix those nagging problems. The ones that didn’t bother you too much, like that leaking faucet or that loose handrail. Expect to spend time here, too, or hire a handyman.

Remember, everything will take longer than you think. It can take days filling nail holes, sanding, and applying two coats of paint in most rooms. You will realize that you’ve collected way too much stuff and boxing alone may take days. A garage sale can be your friend. The mission is to make the home look large and inviting. It will be a challenge to keep it that way once you accomplish this.

This is why it is beneficial to hire a realtor who can give you current market advise, has the resources to get you the most exposure, tells you what is selling and, most importantly, helps you remember that the goal is to sell.

If you have questions regarding available inventory to purchase or sell, or the latest short sale incentives to sellers, contact Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of Mason Real Estate DRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR), Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource certified by National Association of Realtors® (NAR) at [email protected] or (951) 296-8887.

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