We want to sell our home this spring. My husband and I are both retired and he loves a to-do list. What kinds of things can we work on in advance to help us get prepared? – THINKING AHEAD
DEAR THINKING: With enough time to prepare, even moving can be easy. The advice I’m about to give may or may not apply, depending on the season and condition of your home. I suggest you approach it like a project manager, and put it on your own timeline.
Let’s start with the exterior. If any of these suggestions apply, you can get quotes now and have work done according to the weather. Roofing is the first thing that comes to mind. If your roof has only a few good years left, making this investment now will create an excellent selling feature. Outdoor paint and stain is another major item, and will enhance your curb appeal. Re-paint any window sills that may be chipped or cracked, and take a good look at the frame around your garage door. Refinish your deck if needed. If you have a pool, have it professionally opened or closed (buyers love to see this professional documentation, even if you’re more than capable of doing it yourself). Depending on your skill level and ambition, landscaping is another “first impression” item that costs little outside of your time and energy. Trimming, clipping and edging are jobs that should be done right before the “For Sale” sign hits the lawn. If warranted, I suggest you ask your neighbours for permission to trim their front sidewalk and the entire lawn between your houses. Put a fresh coat of blacktop on the driveway; this makes a great first impression, even if your driveway has some wear and tear.
Now let’s talk about interior items, which can keep you busy through the winter. Fix those little issues you’ve been putting off because they’re “no big deal” to live with. If your furnace is as old as mine, have it professionally serviced (along with the air conditioner), which goes a long way towards easing concerns about the age of the HVAC system. If you’re selling during a holiday season, decorate subtly so the house is not overwhelmed.
Smells can be a major issue and tend to stick around for days, or even months. If you smoke, stop smoking in the house and garage. If you enjoy aromatic foods (fish comes to mind), be very aware of their lingering effects. If you have pets, get an honest assessment of any pet smells from someone who doesn’t have an animal.
PRO TIP: The right selling strategies will enhance any work you do. Allow 1-hour showings and don’t wait around the corner when potential buyers visit. Once your house is on the market, make sure it’s showing ready every time you leave, so you never miss an opportunity. Avoid blocking off times in the showing schedule for the sake of convenience, as these may cost you prospective buyers. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator