By Dick Thackston.
If the answer to this question is yes, then you are not prepared to sell your home. It doesn’t matter if the laundry is clean or dirty, in the laundry or in the bedroom – you’re really just not ready.
Most home sellers don’t realize it but the most value creating thing they can do is organize, clean & maybe repaint the inside of their home. No Realtor, no matter how skilled or experienced they are can make up for poor housekeeping or lack of maintenance, and no buyer is going to fully over look poor housekeeping and lack of maintenance. The tough truth about selling a home that most Realtors are hesitant to mention to sellers when they meet with them face to face is that if you are ready to sell the important thing to do is make your house the very best it can be “as is”, not start adding projects that you may not have the time, money or skills to complete before putting the home on the market. Let’s face it, if you’ve lived in the house for a number of years and never finished the basement or built that big addition on to your deck, this is not the time to do it – it’s the next guy’s problem and opportunity.
Cleaning and minor repairs are the keys: fix the broken sprayer handle at the Kitchen sink ($5 +/-), vacuum all the flooring and mop the Kitchen floor, replace the broken or missing knobs on the Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets; don’t get involved in giant projects! The pay back on these minor efforts is far more than they pay back on major home improvements
Also, be realistic about what you can’t do: if you can’t dislodge your teenager from their purple and black bedroom to paint it a neutral color, know that it’s going to reduce the marketability of your home and probably take several times the actual cost to repaint off the price you will receive for your home.
Everybody has pets and everybody loves THEIR pets, but yours buyers probably won’t see as endearing, so clean up after them, keep after them and make sure they don’t represent a problem with either showing the home or its presentation. (Yes, this means cleaning the litter box and vacuuming the dog hairs up prior to showings!)
Selling your home is work and it’s a partnership between you and your Realtor. Make sure you’re both on the same page and working together to maximize your pay and theirs.