If you or a senior parent have made the decision to sell your home and relocate to assisted living, congratulations – you’ve made it through a very tough first hurdle. The decision to sell is rarely an easy one. And those of us who have moved before know that what comes next is challenging as well. Getting a home ready to sell is a formidable task, especially if mom or dad have lived there for an extended period. And knowing which improvements are essential and which can wait for new owners to tackle is one of the trickiest parts of the process. Here are what we consider the 5 most important steps to invest in to achieve the best results:
- Channel your inner Marie Kondo: No doubt Mom’s home is full of a lifetime of memories and mementos that are hard to part with; but when it comes to attracting potential buyers, the clutter and bursting closets have got to be dealt with. Start with one room at a time, making three piles: donate, discard, keep. Help Mom let go of non-essentials by making a digital record of anything donated; perhaps organize an informal family “yard sale” for anything gently used or broken that members might want to try and salvage.
- Think curb appeal. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression; that couldn’t be more important when it comes to that first look a potential buyer gets when they pull up to your door. Pay meticulous attention to the exterior, checking for peeling paint; mossy or moldy shingles; visibly rotting wood; chipped paving stones or bricked walkways; cracked windows; broken or dangling gutters; low hanging tree branches, or overgrown grass and garden beds.
- Give the interior a facelift. When it comes to resale value, one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to start is with a fresh coat of paint and cleaned up floors. Commit to painting every inhabitable room (picking and choosing certain areas only makes any unpainted surface look worse); replace any wall-to-wall carpeting, and either refinish or professionally buff all bare floors.
- Leave nothing broken. Do a thorough interior inspection and make sure that all hardware and lighting works as it should. That means every door handle, toilet seat, curtain or shade pull, drawer handle, locking mechanism, light switch – anything a potential buyer might touch needs to be in full working order.
- Invest in a presale inspection. Any serious buyer will hire their own professional inspector, so why wait for the bad news? Hire your own inspector before you list mom’s house; better to find out for yourself anything hidden that needs to be addressed before a potential buyer tries to leverage a lower offer – or worse, back out entirely.
For more helpful advice on the topic, head to Prudential.com.