Thinking of selling your lake home next year or the following year? There are things you can start prepping now.
All too often, sellers get a buyer’s inspection report and find they need to do repairs. If you are going to have to do repairs, you can start these repairs now so that you have months and/or years to enjoy the changes. You will probably have to fix that leak or broken window later, so you might as well complete the repair now and enjoy it.
#1 Maximize Your Lake View
Trim trees and shrubs, clean windows, and remove any obstructions from the view. No one wants to buy a lake home without being able to enjoy the lake views. If you have been wanting to remodel and add floor to ceiling windows to increase the lake view, go for it! These improvements will increase the buyer appeal.
#2 Tackle Deferred Maintenance
Fix that leaky faucet, replace the broken screen, plaster that hole in the wall, or de-fog that window now. Normal wear and tear add up in addition to the little quirks you have learned to live with. Even though you live with it, a prospective buyer may not want to.
Everything should be in working order. Cabinets and drawers should open and close properly. Drains should be un-plugged and operational. Appliances should work. Floors and walls should be damage free. Heating and cooling systems should be operational and leak free. Electrical should be functional and problem free. The roof and basement should be leak free. There should be no rust, damage, leaks, or broken items anywhere.
Make everything look nice and well cared for! No one wants to take on someone else’s problems. For example, make sure to touch up any scuff marks, chips, or stains on the walls, trim, and/or baseboards. If you leave an issue unattended, you lead the prospective buyer to wonder what else you didn’t care for or attend to.
If you let these issues go, the prospective buyer may even use these to bargain with you. Even worse, if there are too many of these little but noticeable problems, a prospective buyer may start to worry what else could be wrong with the house.
#3 Make Upgrades & Home Improvements
Upgrade the old bathroom fixture as a low-cost way to give the bathroom a whole new look. Or maybe it’s time to lose those old carpets and put in hard-wood flooring with rugs. Upgrades & improvements are a great way to increase the appeal of your home.
Consider updating your furniture and décor for a modern look and feel. These items are temporary, and you don’t want to make the overall room and home appear dated.
Repaint dark colored rooms to a neutral light color. The right paint color can make rooms appear larger and can be used to accent key features of the home. For example, a plant in the bay window can draw the buyer’s attention to the large window.
#4 Improve Curb Appeal
With lake property, make sure your home looks it’s best from both the road and the lake. Power wash! It is a simple, low-cost way to update and brighten. Finish that landscaping project, even if it is just planting a hosta or two. Trim the trees and shrubs. Weed the garden. Keep the lawn cut and well cared for.
The first impression means a lot to a potential buyer, and you want it to be a positive one. Fix up the entryway! If the paint on the door is cracking, repaint it. If the door hinge is broken, fix it. Then, step into the house and perfect the interior. Also, take a step outside to make sure the front entry and sidewalk is in good condition. Repair any cracks in the sidewalk. Put a planter or two outside. Weed the gardens and trim the shrubs that line the walkway. Replace the welcome mat with a new one.
#5 Depersonalize & Declutter
Buyers want to imagine themselves in their new home. Put away those old DVD collections, diplomas and certificates, pictures, and other personal items. Get rid of any décor that suggests your lifestyle or preference.
Keep it simple and remove all non-essentials. Pack away the extra blankets in a storage bin. Store away any dishes, linens, etc. that you only use on occasion or holidays. Don’t just throw it in the closet! Buyers will open cabinets & closets to scope out the storage.
Make your home look as spacious as possible! Reduce the furniture and décor to make each room feel larger. Remove all oversized furniture that doesn’t fit the size of the room. Remove a chair or end table here and there to make it easier to walk through the room. You don’t want a prospective buyer to run into a table or chair when walking through the room.
Once you have depersonalized and decluttered the inside, head outdoors. Remove ceramic animals, garden gnomes, birdhouses, garden signs, or any other outdoor décor that is personalized and may make your yard look cluttered.
#6 Deep Clean
Clean under your appliances. Wash the windows. Dust everything – the top of the fan, above the fireplace mantle, in cabinets, etc. Deep clean and repair that old dirty caulk around the bathtub and between the tiles.
Sweep and/or vacuum every single room, including the basement and the garage! The last thing you want a potential buyer to find is evidence of mice, bugs, or another problem. Hire a professional for carpet cleaning.
Don’t want to clean and dust? Hire a cleaning company!
If you are thinking of selling your home in the future, it’s time to get started on preparing your home! Maximize the lake view, tackle deferred maintenance, take on home improvement projects, improve curb appeal, depersonalize and declutter, and deep clean. By getting started earlier, you can space out the projects and get things done right without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. Plus, you then have the opportunity to enjoy these changes before selling your home.