You’ve been considering building your next home and you’ve even picked out your subdivision and floor plan.
But you’ve got one. Big. OBSTACLE.
You need to sell your current home.
Like anyone else, you want to get the most money for your home and you want to sell quickly. Here are some tips as you get your home prepped for resale.
1. List in the Spring.
Your chances of selling quickly increase if you list your home when others are looking to purchase. Springtime has always proven to be the best time to sell your home. Timing is everything in the real estate market.
Prepping to have your home on the market in February allows you several months to find a buyer. Most people are out looking in Spring so that they can make their purchase and be closed by the end of summer – especially if they have school aged children, like many buyers who are looking for neighborhoods like Ashwood Park or Highland Woods. If you list in February and you find a buyer in May, 30 days to close puts your closing in June. That gives your family and the family purchasing your home plenty of time to move, get settled and make some friends in the neighborhood before school starts!
Don’t wait until the last minute to list your home. If you find a buyer and one little thing goes wrong, you will be scrambling to meet deadlines. You are likely to end up frustrated and stressed. Give yourself plenty of time.
Since you are listing in the Spring – and Chicago winters can be brutal – start with the interior details while the weather is poor and then move to the exterior once you can get outside. Remember, first impressions are everything. Buyers will judge the book by the cover when it comes to a home so don’t forget to do the exterior items when the weather breaks!
2. Pack away your personal items.
This seems to be the single most difficult thing for families to do, but also one of the most important! However, you want to help the next homeowner “move in” during their visit at your home. It’s difficult to make them feel like the space is theirs when you have photos of Grandma on the wall and dog toys on the floor.
With that said, take down anything that reflects your personal family. Photos, wall hangings that have sayings, toys, pet paraphernalia, even religious books or plaques. While those things are incredibly important to you, they might not be to the next family. You don’t want anything to deter someone from making an offer due to personal preferences.
3. Neutrals are the way to go.
This doesn’t mean that you have to paint your whole home! But painting could be a consideration if there are strong colors that are not popular in today’s market.
Many times, you can neutralize your home by removing “pops” of color or statement pieces. Consider:
- Removing throw pillows / blankets that are bold colors or patterns.
- If your couches happen to be the bold item, purchase couch covers in a neutral color to tone them down.
- Remove stylized art or décor.
- Replace bedspreads with a simple white blanket for showings.
- De-cluttering can also make the space feel larger – take out end tables, large lamps or other pieces that may take up a lot of real estate on the floor.
- Take down heavy drapery to help flood the space with natural light. And then make sure that windows are clean!
4. Clean up pantries, closets, basements and garages.
People will be getting in your personal space during showings to see if your home fits their needs. Cluttered spaces can make them feel like the home doesn’t have enough storage. “Clean house” and get rid of things that you’re not using.
Pack out-of-season clothing, jackets and shoes and move them into the basement or storage so that closets appear more spacious. Not only will it help with the way your current home looks now, it will also get you that much more ahead of the game when your home sells!
Utility closets and pantries should also be straightened up. Make sure that you don’t have bits of cereal or pasta on the shelves or floor (it always seems to be cereal or pasta!) or lint / dust in the bottoms of the closets.
Organize your garage and basement too. Even though you may be moving things into those spaces when you’re organizing, try to sweep the floors and arrange things so that they look tidy. Investing in a storage rack or two might make sense if you have enough things to fill it. You can bring it with you to keep things organized in your next home as well.
5. Curb appeal makes the difference.
As mentioned above, the outside of your home needs to be welcoming – it is the first thing your potential buyers will see. The more “well maintained” that your home looks compared to surrounding homes, the better. You want to stay on top of maintenance, cleaning, etc. Buyers appreciate well-kept homes.
- Make sure that you have cleaned your windows and that you have removed any cobwebs and dead bugs from stoops, gutters, doors and light fixtures.
- Speaking of light fixtures, make sure they have working bulbs in all of them.
- Keep the grass cut regularly, trim back bushes and weed the flower beds. A fresh layer of mulch and some bright colored flowers can also help with curb appeal.
- Power wash your front stoop or back patio / deck to make all materials look as fresh and new as possible.
If your home does not get showings within 2-3 weeks of being listed, ask your agent to get buyer feedback and consider making some changes based on what buyers are saying.
Be motivated and aggressive if you are serious about getting into your new Overstreet home! Don’t get discouraged if the first few buyers don’t make an offer. Take all feedback as constructive criticism and make sure to list your home to show off your home’s best assets! Hire a professional photographer and create a brochure that highlights the positives your home has to offer. (Your realtor can help you with those things).
Let’s get started! Call Overstreet Builders today at (630) 226-0460 to list your old home so that you can move into your new one!!