The Real Estate Browser Volume 10, Issue 6 | Page 42

42 — Say you saw it in The Real Estate Browser of Lynchburg — Volume 10 Number 6 what to do to start prepping for a relatively imminent sale. about now, so you won’t run into any nasty surprises when selling time rolls around. 1. Reno the kitchen or bathroom “It is always less expensive to repair items before you get into negotiations with a buyer,” Dawson points out. This can be subjective, but you’re probably safe doing an overhaul in this time frame if you are hoping to get some personal enjoy- ment out of your updates. Miguélez suggests, however, that you pick your decor carefully to avoid being stuck with an upgrade that’s already dated. “A ‘trend’ is something that’s predicted to last roughly 10 years, so your safest best is to find a look that’s been on the upswing for roughly two to three years,” Miguélez explains. “That means it will look relevant for a while, rather than something that is already five years old and potentially nearing its expiration date.” Dawson recommends seeking the opinion of a local real estate agent, who can steer you to cost-effective updates that will increase the value of your home without over-improving it. And, she says, beware of DIY. “If you don’t have extensive prior expe- rience, hiring a professional is going to be cheaper in the long run, because the DIY look is unappealing to your potential buyer.” 2. Get to organizing This is also a good time to start cleaning out storage areas, closets, cabinets, the garage, the attic—anyplace you have an accumula- tion of stuff, Dawson says. Your future self will thank you for getting this time-consuming project out of the way now. 3. Have a home inspection Very few sellers do this, but it’s smart to have your home professionally inspected right 1 year or less It’s crunch time, and now is the time to attend to all the high-traffic areas, as well as make improvements that will freshen up your listing. 1. Redo flooring Pets and kids can scratch up your floors quickly, so wait as long as you can before refin- ishing floors. Replace carpet, too, if it’s dingy, and especially if it has pet odors. 2. Roll on a fresh coat of paint Walls get dinged up constantly, so painting right before putting your house on the market can really make it sparkle. It’s also a quick job that you can get done in a week or two. 3. Replace all your accessory items These are things like bedding, throw pil- lows, chair cushions, patio furniture, shower curtains, plumbing fixtures, cabinet pulls—all the embellishments that provide the “lip- stick” for the foundational elements. Shop those sales and switch out everything you can, Dawson recommends. “You want the house to shine like a new penny, not appear to be well-loved,” she says. Looking to sell your home? Claim your home and get info on your home’s value. Cathie Ericson is a journalist who writes about real estate, finance, and health. She lives in Portland, OR.