Long before you list your house or hold your first open house, the process for selling a property is already well underway. If you decide to sell on the open market (instead of selling your house as-is to a real estate investor like Fair Cash Deal), there are lots of steps you need to take to get ready. You’ll want to prepare a mental checklist that will help you put your best foot forward and put your house in the best condition possible for a quick and profitable sale. Of course, this process is not without its own costs and time commitments, especially if the property is currently in disrepair or dealing with financial issues.
How Do I Get My House Ready To Sell In Memphis TN?
Research the Memphis Housing Market
Before you decide to sell your house on the open market, it’s important to know whether or not this is the right time to do it. Begin by researching the housing market in Memphis and, more specifically, your neighborhood. Look at homes like yours nearby that recently sold in order to find out what they were able to get. You have to account for differences but try to find homes that match your square footage, unique features, and the number of rooms. This is how you find out the actual real-world value of your home at this moment. That number might not be where you expected it to be and perhaps it will be better to wait. Or you might find that it matches your expectations.
Find a Real Estate Agent
If you’re going to sell your Memphis house on the open market, it is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. You could sell the house by yourself but unless you’re a real estate expert you’re likely to get less than you would have with a representative. Check with friends and family to see if they recommend an agent. Don’t be afraid to meet and interview them to find out their experience in your neighborhood and what they expect from the home sale process. The more information you have, the more informed decision you’ll be able to make.
Light Up Your Life
One of the best investments you can make when selling a house is in light bulbs. As soon as you list your house on the market, someone is going to drive past or stop by in order to take a look. It’s so important to make sure the house is lit up and it’s easy for people to see what they need to know. As soon as you start showing the house, you’ll want every lamp, light, and fixture turned on. You don’t want to run into a situation where lights are going out as a potential buyer is looking around. And if you’re going out, leave the lights on so people can get a sense of the space from outside. Your electricity bill might be going up but that’s the cost of doing business.
Clean Up After Yourself
You know what they say about first impressions. You only get one shot. So make sure your house is as presentable as possible. Obviously, you want to do a deep clean but you also want to consider every potential place inside and outside where someone might want to look. Then, clean that area too. And don’t even think about listing the house until the bathrooms and kitchen sparkle, the carpets and floors are pristine, and every single room and closet is clean. Hiring professional cleaners to come in and do a good job is a wise idea even if it costs you more money.
Declutter Your House
Along with cleaning up your house, decluttering is a critical part of the process too. Decluttering and organizing everything will help buyers see your space as their space, a critical part of the process. They don’t want to see your memorabilia and personal effects. Just make sure you don’t stuff everything in the closet because they might want to look in those closets as well. You can even consider renting storage space to store extra items, even with the additional costs.
Hire a Handyperson
Now’s a great time to have an expert come by and give the house a critical lookover. A reputable contractor or handyperson will give you a sense of what’s broken or outdated and what you’ll need to upgrade it. They can also help you identify smaller issues like leaky faucets, walls cracks, and warped doors, while also providing solutions to the problems. Yes, this means more costs but if you’re going to sell on the open market in Memphis, you need to have your house in great condition.
Put on a Coat of Paint
This is the ideal time to put a fresh coat of paint on the house. Even if your interiors don’t seem too outdated, it never hurts to freshen things up and give buyers that sense of new-ness. If you have walls with bright colors, consider painting over them with neutral tones. Whites, light grays, and beige colors make the house feel bigger and provide a clearer palette for buyers to picture themselves here. It’s also an easy way to cover any dents, cracks, or marks in the wall.
Stage Your Home
There is plenty of data out there that says having a home staged helps it sell faster and for more money on the open market. The easiest solution is to hire a home stager to come in and remake the look of your interiors. If you don’t want to pay for that, you can do it yourself but you have to really be able to be ruthless. Put your personal tastes away and consider it from the buyer’s perspective. Don’t forget about the exteriors, too. Make sure the lawn is freshly mowed, the landscaping looks good, and the outside of the house is inviting.
Get Some Pro Photos
A lot of buyers are going to look online first when considering a new home. That means having good photos is an important part of the process. It’s certainly not the kind of thing you just want to do halfway. Hire a professional photographer so that you’ll get well-shot, hi-res images that showcase your house in the best possible way. Your real estate agent should have a referral for you or at least be able to point you in the right direction. Make sure you see samples first so you know how good they are.
Depersonalize the House
You want buyers to walk into your Memphis house and feel welcome, which means you don’t want them to walk in and feel like they’re intruding on a place they shouldn’t be. That’s why you need to remove the “you” from your house as much as possible. You’ll want to take down your family photos, remove pop culture memorabilia, and pack away anything that is specific to you but would mean nothing to them. You should still leave out a few photos so that it feels like a home, but keep it very simple and tasteful.