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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

20 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Sale

Carissa Whitbread

Selling a home is a complex undertaking that can feel daunting and overwhelming for even the savviest homeowner.  Hiring the right Realtor early in the process is key to maximizing value and ensuring the sale is smooth and successful. In facilitating hundreds of real estate transactions in the past 20 years, I have found the following preparations and actions to be beneficial.
20 Tips for Preparing a Home for Sale:
1. Declutter. Pack away off-season items. Organize the garage, basement, cabinets, and closets. Purge, donate or sell unused and unwanted items.
2. Depersonalize. Remove personal photos or items that show political affiliation, ethnicity, race or religion.
3. Obtain the Plot Plan from Town Hall. Be aware of any easements, wetlands, conservation land, or other limitations on the lot.
4. Contact the town’s Building Department. Make sure all permits from past projects are closed.

5. Schedule a Title 5 Inspection. Obtain a Certificate of Compliance if there is a private septic system. Well water testing may also be prudent, if applicable.
6. Make a list of renovations or improvements completed. Show the investments made in updating the home.
7. List the ages of “big ticket items” such as roof, windows, siding, furnace, water heater, electrical and plumbing. Note items that were replaced or updated, as they may increase the home’s value.
8. Identify and disclose inclusions/exclusions upfront. Create a list of items that are excluded from the sale of a home (examples: refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, swing sets). 
9. Spruce up the curb appeal. Attract potential buyers who often do a “drive-by” to view exterior.  Tend to landscaping. Sweep walkways and front steps. If needed, power wash siding and/or decking. 
10. Have furnace/HVAC serviced if it hasn’t been in the past 12 months. Show proper maintenance and efficiency of utilities, as they are important to potential buyers.
11. Collect owner manuals and warranties pertaining to home to pass along to the buyer. 

12. Freshen home inside and out. Improve the appearance of the home with a fresh coat of paint. Cleaning or replacing the carpets can also help the property show and smell better. 
13. Prepare for Fire Dept Inspection. Ensure the street # is visible by the front door. Make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are less than 10 years old, are the right type and are in the correct locations. 
14. For condominiums or neighborhoods with a Homeowners Association, obtain HOA documents such as Rules/Regulations, Bylaws, Financials & Operating Budget. Inquire about upcoming/pending Special Assessments.
15. Wash windows (inside and out). Remove heavy or dark drapery. Ensure all light fixtures are operational with maximum wattage lightbulbs fixture safely allows. 
16. Stage the home. Remove or move bulky furniture, clear off counters and other surfaces. Adding new, white linens can make home feel brighter and more inviting. 
17. Clean. Schedule a professional deep cleaning immediately prior to hitting the market. A clean home always shows best. 

18. Complete inexpensive, minor updates such as replacing light switch plates, upgrading cabinet knobs, refreshing fireplace, or replacing bath hardware.
19. Research the local housing market and look for comparable properties to give an indication of competition. 
20. Preparation is key to a successful home sale. A knowledgeable and experienced Realtor will provide a personalized plan and additional customized suggestions for high impact, low-cost ways you can improve the appeal, value, and salability of your specific property. 

To schedule a Complimentary Pre-Listing Consultation, please contact:

Carissa Whitbread
Residential Real Estate Consultant
Certified Luxury Home Specialist
RE/MAX Executive Realty
308 West Central Street
Franklin MA 02038
Mobile 617-285-0471