Covid19 has impacted all of us. This is especially true, if your home was on the market, or you are planning to sell your home after the Coronavirus shutdown. Selling a home is stressful at the best of times, and is filled with even more anxiety now.
Despite everything being in shutdown, there’s a lot you can be doing to prepare for selling your home once life is back to normal. Having to stay at home now, may put you at an advantage when you do put your home on the market.
It can take a lot of time to get a home ready to sell. The more time you take to prepare is directly related to the sellability of your home. Let’s face it, you’ve got the time right now.
We’ve put together a list of some simple things you can do now to prepare for putting your home on the market once real estate sales resume
1. Make a list of what you would look for in a new home
You need to spend some time thinking about what a buyer will be looking for in a new home. Sit down and make a list of everything you would be looking for if you were to buy a home. You could even give a call to friends or family to find out what they would say, and add that to your list as well.
A list like this will help you decide where best to spend your energy now. You’ll know what is most important. Your home may have been perfect for you, but that doesn’t mean it will be perfect for someone else.
2. Clean up the outside of your home
First impressions mean a lot in real estate sales. As soon as a potential buyer arrives at your home, they will quickly form an impression even before they step out of the car.
Spending time working on the outside of your home, will pay off later.
Clean up your garden and trim bushes and trees. Remove decorations such as plaques and wind chimes.
Clean any marks that may be on walls or siding.
You want to make sure that the first impression is a good one.
3. Clean your windows
Cleaning your windows is so easy, but so often overlooked. People are more apt to buy a home that is bright with a lot of exterior light coming in.
Clean your windows both on the inside and outside. Don’t worry if you don’t have any window cleaner on hand, there are lots of cleaners you can make yourself.
Make sure to wipe down window sills and frames. If the windows have hardware like handles, get them spotless. Buyers like bright rooms and hate dirty windows. If you do this now, you won’t have to worry about it later.
4. Make your kitchen shine
You made your list of what you would look for in a new home, a great kitchen was likely high on the list. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to a potential buyer.
You don’t need to renovate your kitchen, but you do need to spend time on it.
Get the counters as clean as possible, including the sinks and backsplash. Even clean the overhang of the counters. For some reason, potential buyers tend to touch the counters and wrap their hands underneath.
Don’t forget about that nasty overhead stove fan. You’ve been meaning to clean it anyway. Wipe the outside well, and pop in a new filter.
5. Spend time fixing up your bathroom
Spend time on the bathroom, buyers place a high priority on bathrooms. After the Coronvirus shutdown, you may want to put some money into your bathroom. If your bathroom is old then you may want to renovate it.
There is a lot you can do to improve your bathroom if you’re not going to renovate. You’re going to keep using the bathroom, and will do the deep cleaning later. You can, however, get that grout clean. Take a toothbrush and get into all those little cracks. Tighten any dripping faucets and things like lose towel racks.
6. Get rid of clutter
Put away those nick nacks, collectibles, and the seashells from last year’s vacation. To you, these things may be special, but they are not to a buyer. Even old books and magazines should be packed away for now.
7. Organize your basement, garage and attic
A good strategy is to start with one area and work your way through. Set a time for about an hour or a little longer. Create four bins labelled: Donate, Discard, Keep and Family/Friends. Place each item in one of the bins and then set aside for when you’re ready to make the move.
8. Takedown family photos
This is a tough one for most people.
Takedown the pictures of your children and grandchildren. When a potential buyer views a home, they want to imagine how they will live in it. The more personal your home is, the less they can do this imagining.
Fix all those things you’ve been meaning to fix
The Conronavirus shutdown gives you nothing but time. Remember all of those things you want to fix if you only had the time? Fix them!
When a person views your home, they will take note of all the things they will need to fix. They want to be able to move in with no work to do. They don’t want to have to repair holes in walls, fix doorknobs that don’t work, replace broken tiles, or repair broken closet doors. After the Coronavirus shutdown, you may need the help of a handyman. Make a list of what you couldn’t fix yourself to be certain it gets done.
9. Create space
Buyers want big open spaces. Your home may be on the smaller side, but you can still create a sense of space.
Put away any furniture you don’t use. Things like small tables or cozy chairs will make a space seem small. Put away throw rugs and ottomans. Open up space wherever you can.
10. Reality Check
Coronavirus has severely impacted the global economy. The real estate sector is no exception. It may take some time for things to recover, it may not. Bottom line is that it’s hard to predict due to the fact that markets are different throughout the country.
In the Northeast and other areas throughout the country homes are actually selling even during the coronavirus crisis, just not at the same volume. Now’s a good time to check with a local real estate professional for an up to date realistic evaluation of your individual market.
This also may be a good time to offer an effective virtual viewing by taking some quality photos now. Prepare a walkthrough video as well. By the way, don’t narrate the video, the buyer wants to look at your home, not hear you ramble on.
Be realistic. Your home may not sell quickly, it’s hard to say. However, spending some time working on things now does mean you will be able to enter the market quickly when things improve.
11. We have got you covered
The National Association of Senior Advocates (NAOSA) has the professionals and the information you need. Our network of businesses and professionals focused on the unique needs of older adults.
The NAOSA Gold Standards of Professional Practice™ ensure a higher standard of advice and service delivery. These standards go well beyond acceptable industry guidelines and legal requirements to provide you with the best possible purchasing advice and dedicated professionals.
Through our network, you can get in touch with real estate professionals. They can give you advice on getting ready to sell your home, as well as information on the entire selling process. They understand the impact that Covid19 has on home sales and how to negotiate the market for the best possible results.