How to Assess Your Home Before Putting it on the Market

When you find yourself faced with selling your own home, there are projects you will need to do in order to get the most money for your home. Since, for most people, their home represents their biggest investment, it is prudent to do whatever you can to get the most money from your sale. Here are ways to take stock of your home so that you can determine what you need to do, the money you’ll need to spend and which projects will return the most money.

Curb Appeal

Walk outside with paper and pen, and stand across the street from your home. What do you see? In your most critical view, does your home look inviting? Does the landscape look clean and intentional, or are you looking at a mixture of plants and shrubs that seem haphazard and unkempt? Take some notes of what needs to done in order to make your home look great for those who drive by and see your for sale sign.

The Main Entry

What is it like to walk up to your home and walk through the main entry door? Is it an awkward climb up decaying steps? Is it a cluttered porch with a broken screen door? Using again your most critical eye and looking at every potential problem, add these items to your list without thinking about cost or time involved to fix the problem. What does your front door look like? Is it old with peeling paint? Does it open smoothly? Does it appear safe or a security risk?

The First Impression Inside

Now that you’ve entered your home, what does your main room say to you? Does it feel open and bright and comfortable, or is it making you feel claustrophobic and depressed? Look around the room and critically assess all the features as if you were looking to buy. What do you like? What do you think needs to be changed? Anything that appears to be needing repairs or needs to be replaced should be added to your list. If the room looks too small, is it because you have too much furniture in the room? Be sure to look for ways to give the illusion of more space as you assess your home.

Kitchens and Baths Sell Homes

In your effort to assess your home, your most important rooms will be the kitchen and the bathrooms as these room will make or break your ability to sell your home. Is your kitchen someplace where you’d like to spend many hours a day? Would you like to cook every meal for your family in a cramped, cluttered and unorganized space? Is your kitchen outdated and inefficient? Get out your list and start making notes on all of the deficiencies in your kitchen. Some of these problems can be solved inexpensively with fresh paint, making modernizations to cabinets, and eliminating cluttered counters.

In the bath, look at your lighting, storage capacity and paint color. Are the fixtures so old that their finish is long gone? What about caulking around tubs? Is the toilet seat needing replaced? Is the lighting scheme a leftover from the 70s? Some of these items can be updated for very little money and it’s money that will be returned many times over when you sell your home.

Bedrooms and Basements

What is the livability factor for the bedrooms in your home? Are the closets well planned with working doors? Are the windows operable? Are the colors updated and still looking fresh? What about the floor coverings? Do you have too much furniture in the room making the room look smaller than it truly is? How about your basement or family room? Is the area nicely finished and a real part of your home, or does it look like an afterthought cluttered with toys, boxes, craft projects and electronics?

Know the homes in your neighborhood. When you are assessing your home prior to selling it, you need to be aware of the other homes in your neighborhood. Don’t waste money by improving your home beyond the value of other nearby homes. Your home price and its value is determined by comparable homes in your area. Spend a few Sunday afternoons at open houses to see how your home compares and then you’ll have a better idea of which improvements to make on your home.

Selling your own home is a stressful time even in the best economy. But to be sure to get the best price for your biggest investment, take stock of your home as it is today and make some changes that will make your home one that will sell quickly, get you the best price and make the next owner feel that they got a real bargain.

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