7 Steps to a Stress Free Sale
You are planning to sell your real estate investment, now or at some point in the future. Most everyone sells eventually. But when it comes down to it, the idea of selling can be so overwhelming! Where should you start to prepare? I'm going to answer that question for you with my 7 Steps to a Stress Free Sale.
Well, I say seven steps, but in reality it’s more like three very specific categories that are broken down and laid out as clearly as possible.
Let’s jump in:
99.5% of buyers will want to pay an inspector to take a closer look at the property, so conducting a pre-inspection prior to listing will help you get ahead of the curve and address any potential issues before your house ever lists. Pre-inspecting has the potential to save you money in the long run, and will go far in meeting your goal for a stress free sale. In this category you will address Steps 1 through 3.
1. Walk around the outside of the home and outbuildings.
Make sure all of the exterior light fixtures work, check the siding for damage, and consider painting if there is any exposed wood. Tidy up landscaping while you are out there, too. Curb appeal matters, but paying attention to landscaping also allows you to ward off any potential pests, too. Fix broken gates and latches, too.
2. Look closely at the roof and gutters.
Clear debris and moss, and if there is any sign of damage or leaks, address it. To get a full picture of the roof condition, you will also need to move to step 3.
3. Check out the crawl spaces.
Attic and basement spaces, either full or crawl spaces, are good places to look for signs of problems before they become big. Look for signs of water damage and/or the presence of critters, and take care of it if you find either.
The first impression may be the only impression buyers get of your property. If you really want to stand out you need to declutter every single area of the property, including the garage and yard. This category consists of Steps 4 though 6.
4. Address exterior clutter.
Pare down on lawn furniture, and toss some fertilizer and mulch on your freshly manicured plants. Sweep the porch of leaves and debris, and make sure that the exterior entry way is clean and inviting.
5. Take stock of what is in each space, including the attic and the garage.
Don't get bogged down here just yet. I'm going to give you some tips for purging the clutter below. Right now, just walk through and get a feel for what you have, grab any obvious garbage, and get it out.
6. Use the 3-Pile Method to inventory, sort, and clear out the excess.
Work room by room to put EVERYTHING you own, across your entire house, into three piles:
Pile 1: Donate. Think about your floor space as if you were paying price per square foot, because guess what: YOU ARE!
Pile 2: Toss. Be real with yourself here. Think of me saying this in my Mom Voice: “If you treat it like garbage, then it IS garbage.”
Pile 3: Keep. Keep only what you really use or what really matters to you. And if you keep it, it has to have a home. A place for everything and everything in its place, if you will. If it doesn't have a home then I encourage you to make a home for it OR...find its home in pile 1 or 2.
Once the items in Pile 3 are back in their homes, and the rooms are thoroughly emptied, you’ll want to focus your attention on the finishing touches. This brings us to our final step to prepare you for a stress free sale.
7. Thoroughly assess the condition of interior walls, doors, and fixtures.
Sometimes we spend so much time living in our space that we become blind to the chip in the sheet rock or the door hinge that needs to be re-tightened. The point here is to make the existing features as tidy and functional as possible.
There you have it, folks: My 7 Steps to a Stress Free Sale. It's all about the preparation. Do the work before you list to minimize surprises and headaches during the sales process. Trust me, it works!
And to help you work the steps, I've put all of this into a handy checklist, along with some of the most common FAQs I get asked. Complete the form below to receive your checklist!