On the cheap: Things to do now if you are selling in a couple of months

Jana Klaasse
Jana Klaasse
Published on March 17, 2021
If you are thinking of selling your home in 2021, here’s some good cheap  tips so you’ll get top dollar and make the whole experience almost stress free – almost. 🙂
 
Your Home Is Now Your Investment
 
First of all, make a switch to investor mode so you look at your home as an investment. And then give yourself a few months to get your house ready. And that time frame varies depending on the shape your home is in. 
 
What are the home values in my neighborhood
 
So First item on the checklist is to get an idea of what homes in your neighborhood sell for and the market value of your home.  You don’t want to overspend on upgrades but you’ll want to address any issues that would cause a buyer to walk.
 
Getting Home Ready To Sell
 
When the buyer gets a home inspection, he has the option to void the contract based on the home inspection.  So addressing the issues ahead of time will save you some headaches.  And the best way to uncover potential problems is to have your home inspected by a licensed inspector before you put it on the market.  If you are pretty handy and opt not to do that, then the next best thing is to get a copy of a home inspection and use it as a guide to inspect your home.
 
At the end of this video, I’ll give you a link so you can download a sample home inspection. And doing this step early in the process will give you time to either fix items yourself or shop around for a good price on a contractor or disclose anything that might look concerning to a buyer and explain it. 
 
And here’s an example. We had a client and his home had a settlement crack in the basement. It was there when the home was built and passed inspections so he didn’t consider that it would be a problem. But the home inspector pointed it out to the buyers in a way that scared them so they almost backed out of the contract. After further inspections, it all worked out but Had the seller disclosed that crack from the get go with the builders explanation and maybe have a contractor confirm that then it likely would have caused the buyer lots less heartburn. So the idea is to uncover potential issues and address them in some way –  either fix them or disclose and truthfully explain what you know about it.
 
Staging your home to sell
 
Next item.  Staging.  And that involves all the things that make your home appealling  to buyers.  Lots of research has been done on this  so here’s our perspective of what a well staged home looks like. First of all staging is cosmetic and doesn’t require a lot of money.  Walls in good shape and neutral, clutter removed, there’s a minimal amount of furniture that fits the purpose of the room (in other words dining room with dining room furniture instead of  playroom furniture  for example). , And once you get that neutral uncluttered backdrop  then add some splashes of color throughout the house:  art, pots of flowers, big bowls of colorful fruit a colorful throw rug.
 
What buyers like
 
And here’s 2 areas that are of the most influence to buyers.  The first is the kitchen and the second is whatever they see first – the first impression. The kitchen is a  major selling point and the room where upgrades will most likely pay off so that’s where the majority of the budget should go.   Then the next area of importance involves the first impression which is usually going to be the front of the house.  – a tidy lawn, sidewalk and porch in good shape and freshly painted front door — flower pots, window boxes, and maybe a wreath = make it look good.  So a home that is clutter free, has a neutral backdrop, minimal furniture, splashes of color, a great kitchen and good first impression are the goals we recommend to get your home ready for the market.
 
And the best way to get there is to do one room at a time and get help from an objective eye. We’ve helped lots of people through this process and it’s one of the services we provide so if you are thinking of selling down the road and would like some input on getting your home ready, then we’d love to help.
 
Cleaning a home like you’re in the military
 
And right before your home goes on the market, give it a military like cleaning. If you’re able, hire a cleaning crew so that everything sparkles.
And if you are living in the house while it’s on the market  have a plan for showing. It’s not going to be clutter free 100% of the time, so have some bins at hand so you can gather clutter and quickly put it away.  Let your realtor know how much warning you’ll require before a buyer shows up.  Could be 2 hours or 12 hours – whatever you need.
 
And then one last thing, here’s  to some guides for selling your home including a copy of a home inspection sample.
 
Ok.  Thanks – if you have any questions or need anything in the real estate department, be sure to contact us.  We’re at 304-264-2828.  
 

Although the pandemic will be the chief reason that 2020 will go down in history as one crazy year, it prompted a surge in other events. One of these was the explosion in home improvement projects.

Lockdown taught us a lot about our homes: what worked and what didn’t. If refurnishing and re-accessorizing the home was last on your to-do list, consider getting to it this spring.

It doesn’t need to cost a fortune, especially if you shop wisely and consider buying used.

Shop online

Still social distancing? Good for you. The safest place you to shop for your bargain-priced home goods is online.

Craigslist

Craigslist is a good place to start. It’s a local sales platform so you won’t need to calculate shipping costs into the price of your purchases.

You’ll find home goodies in the following areas of the For Sale section:

  • Antiques
  • Collectibles
  • Furniture
  • Garage sale
  • Household

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook marketplace offers both local shopping and shipping options. If you want to shop local, navigate to your Facebook home page and click on “Marketplace” in the list on the left side of the page.

On the new page, enter a search term in the box located on the left side of the page. To restrict results to those items for sale locally, click on “Delivery Method,” and then “Local Pickup.”

OfferUp

A newish addition to the online marketplace list, OfferUp was created to compete against Craigslist. The main difference between the two is that, in an effort to keep users safe and feeling more comfortable using the platform, the former offers reviews of buyers and sellers.

Navigate to offerup.com and at the top of the page you’ll find two search boxes. Enter the item you’re searching for in the first box and, in the second, your location. Click “Go.”

Refine your search by clicking on “Pickup” on the left side of the page. This restricts search results to only those items located near you.

eBay

eBay sellers offer just about anything you can think of, as long as it’s legal. If it’s been awhile since you’ve perused eBay merchandise, you may be in for a shock—the prices have skyrocketed.

We rarely use the platform as we find items much less expensive on the aforementioned sites and we don’t have to pay for shipping.

You can find items with free shipping at eBay, but we’ve found that sellers mark up the items’ prices to compensate for absorbing the shipping charges.

It is possible, however, to shop locally on eBay. Enter a search term at the top of the home page. On the results page, scroll down until you find “Item Location” on the left side of the results page. Then, tick the circle next to “Within.”

Choose how many miles away you are willing to drive to pick up an item and then choose your location. Finally, click on the right-pointing arrow.

Shop in person

Several brick-and-mortar stores are ideal for the bargain home goods shopper, especially when they’re running sales. These stores include:

  • Ross Dress for Less
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Walmart
  • Ikea
  • Home Goods
  • Michael’s (great for picture frames)
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • Marshalls

Most of these retailers also offer online shopping.

Garage/yard and estate sales

Typically, you won’t find better on-the-cheap shopping than to buy used home goods. Treasures abound at estate and garage/yard sales.

It’s important to understand the difference between estate sales and garage/yard sales. The former typically take place because of “… divorce, downsizing, debt or death,” according to the experts at estatesales.org.

“An estate sale is when someone opens up their estate (usually a home or condo) with the intent to sell all their stuff quickly and for the most money possible,” they continue.

The garage/yard sale, on the other hand, involves the sale of selected items from the home that are no longer wanted or needed. The sale is held either in the home’s garage, yard, driveway or other suitable location.

Prices are typically lower at garage/yard sales.

Thrift and consignment stores

A consignment store holds items that are for-sale-by owner. The operator gets a cut of the sale price. Like homes for sale by owner, these stores rarely offer bargains.

Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, Salvation Army and Savers are all examples of thrift stores. They are often time consuming to shop but the rewards can be huge.

Tip: Goodwill Industries, in an effort to compete with online resellers, has started holding back the best merchandise to sell at its online auction site. That, in turn, has caused Goodwill’s in-store prices to hike so the bargains are now few and far between.

Flea markets

Flea markets are the ideal place to shop in a pandemic infected world. Typically held outdoors, it’s a far healthier experience than masking up to shop indoors.

And, since haggling is the norm at flea markets, you’ll often get better deals than at any of the aforementioned shopping options.

Spring and a spruced-up home may be just the thing to lift your spirits.

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