Are You Ready to Sell?

Posted by Jessica Akright on Feb 01, 2017 22:00:00 PM

Topic: ALL

Husband and wife painting their home

How to get your home ready in time and on a budget

It’s a seller’s market in Wisconsin for 2017 even though interest rates are widely believed to be on the rise. If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, now is a good time to put that plan in motion. Knowing where to start is the first step.

What's your timeline?

Selling in spring and summer in Wisconsin offers curb appeal advantages that can make the most of your blooming flowers, lush trees and shrubs, and attractive landscaping. Your neighborhood’s parks and green spaces are also more vibrant in the warmer months. With that in mind, work backwards from when you’d like to list your property and allow ample time to address the top priorities for getting your home ready to sell, including the time it will take to make home repairs and improvements or to redecorate.

How much fixing-up can you afford?

Keeping in mind you want to get the best purchase offer possible, and any investments on home updates and repairs will offset your sale proceeds, find a balance that works within your budget. Consider the cost of materials, what you can do yourself and what you may need to hire out. You might be handy with a paintbrush and can easily hang new curtains, but replacing a kitchen faucet or bathroom tiles may be outside your comfort level and require hiring a professional.

Top 5 things you can do now for free

There are several things you can do yourself at no cost. These tasks are relatively easy to tackle and are an energizing way to beat the winter doldrums. Start with the closets and work your way in.

  1. Declutter. Some experts recommend removing 50% of closet items, and decorative furnishings. Remember to pare down items in cabinets too to highlight available storage space.

  2. Clear out furniture, bookshelves, books, and DVDs too. Along with your closet items and furnishings, donate, sell, or store them to create a more spacious feel.

  3. Before deciding on what needs a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper, wash the walls to remove grime build-up from everyday living.

  4. Polish the floors and woodwork. Nothing adds shine like a gleaming floor.

  5. Jump-start the warm weather needed to wash exterior windows by cleaning the insides – sills and all.

Shoestring budget projects

Many other updates are affordable, quick, and easily brighten your home’s look.

  • Painting a room a neutral color will match just about any future buyer’s taste or décor.

  • Replacing light plates that may be cracked or dated gives rooms an extra boost.

  • Replacing cracked or chipped bathroom tiles, new grouting and a professional tub cleaning can bring a dull bathroom to life. A new shower curtain, mat and towels can also give your bathroom a contemporary look.

  • Give bathroom and kitchen faucets a thorough inspection for leaks and clear out any clogs for smooth drainage. Check the cabinet doors as well, and replace hardware as needed.

  • Dress up windows with new blinds or curtains in a light fabric to maximize natural lighting.

  • Outside, remove oil stains from the driveway, clean out the gutters, and get ready for spring fertilizing and planting.

Investments that sell

Depending on the age and condition of these large ticket items, consider which investments could add value to your asking price. While costs for these upgrades can run into the thousands, they will also likely help sell your home more quickly and minimize the potential for it sitting on the market for months.

  • Kitchen updates – Most experts say that kitchen updates like new cabinets and countertops add the most value when attracting new buyers.

  • New appliances – Kitchen appliance like refrigerators and ovens can be a good investment in modernizing your kitchen’s look and helping it move quickly at a higher price.

  • Roofing repairs – Leaks and visible roof damage should be addressed before listing your property since most buyers are interested in purchasing a well-maintained, ready-to-move-in property.

  • Replacement windows and doors – If windows are leaky, cloudy or don’t open and close properly, replacements will be one less thing for the new buyer to deal with.

Final preparations

Once your repairs and upgrades are completed, invest in a seller’s inspection. A good condition report will improve marketability and shows confidence in your home’s condition.

As you get closer to listing your property, you’re ready to take room-by-room photos. See how they look from different angles. Be sure to take down family pictures – buyers want to be able to envision themselves in their space – not yours.

With much of the selling preparation done, you’ll be in good shape to move forward. Talk to your banker about finding a trustworthy real estate agent in your area. Check out the Wisconsin Realtor’s Association’s website for more home-selling information and resources.