Getting your Austin Area Home Ready to Sell
I’ve personally bought and sold my fair share of homes. I’ve also purchased and sold plenty of homes for my clients. As a real estate broker and investor, I can tell you firsthand there’s nothing helps to sell a home quicker than having a nice clean home that’s move-in ready. In most cases it’s really the simpliest, least expensive and most logical thing to do to get a home ready to put on the market. Generally for less than $500 and a day’s worth of your time you can have your property looking in tip top shape. My goal with residential listings is to show potential buyers a property where all they have to do is move-in. I feel this keeps the offer prices higher when a buyer’s “to do list” on a potential home purchase has little or nothing on it.
A Clean Home Sells!
When a buyer walks into a home and sees dirty air filters, cracks in the walls and base boards, dirty carpet and moldy bathrooms, all that’s going through their mind is “look at how much work I’m going to have to do to get this place in shape”. This is usually reflected in their offer price too. The best thing to do is remove the buyer’s ammunition to justify a low offer price by getting your home clean and move-in ready.
Home Maintenance Makes you Money
Here’s a quick and easy way to knock pages off the home inspection report, buy several tubes of good quality clear caulk to use on the exterior of your home. I like Dap Dynaflex 230 clear. Also decide on a color caulk that works well for the inside of your home. Then caulk/seal everything inside and out where old caulk has separated, new cracks have appeared or areas that may have never been sealed in the first place. Historically, inspection reports include pages and pages of recommendations and suggestions on sealing the interior and exterior of a home. By caulking cracks, joints and wall penetrations on the inside and outside of your home, you will eliminate numerous caulking/sealing comments from the inspection report and make the property look much nicer and well taken care of. Also be sure your caulking is clean and neat. A bit of caution, a sloppy, blobby caulk job can be a worse situation than a crack needing caulking. So keep things neat and clean.
It is a bit of an art form to apply long straight beads of caulk. Keep the hole at the end of the caulk tube small and apply steady pressure. Every time you pick the tube up wipe it off. Wipe up or knock down excessive caulk.
You may also want to consider a seller’s pre-inspection of your home.
Here’s a few recommendations to get a home ready to put on the market:
Interior of Home
- Always have the carpets cleaned.
- Appliances cleaned inside and out.
- Baseboards, door trim and window sills dusted and caulked. No cracks showing in corners and at joints.
- Fill nail holes in walls, repair nail pops and touch up paint.
- Change air filters and clean grills.
- Remove and replace old moldy silicon caulk around tubs, showers and sinks.
- Clean windows inside and out.
- Clean, dust, mop the entire home. Don’t forget about the ceiling fans.
- Clean dirty or stained grout.
- Use a stain marker to touch up scratches on stained wood such as cabinets, wood floors, handrails, etc.
- Repair whatever is broken. Especially if it can be seen when showing the property.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs. Also be sure light bilb colors match.
- Remove clutter.
Exterior of Home
- Caulk around all windows, expansion cracks and wall penetrations. You are sealing to prevent water penetration and drafts.
- Sweep and/or pressure wash porches and driveways.
- Clean cobwebs and wasp nest from soffits, light fixtures, windows and so on.
- Mow and trim lawn and manicure landscaping/hedges.
- Clean gutters.
- Freshen up mulch.
For those of you who are too busy or not able to do these things yourself, you can easily hire someone to do the items I mentioned above. Some handyman services do nothing but get homes ready to sell. The end goal is to have a clean move-in ready home that potential buyers won’t view as a project, which should keep your offer prices higher.