STEP TWO - FIXES & UPDATES
Once you have de-cluttered and removed all your excess stuff, it's time to move on to the next step…fix ups, updates and painting. You may discover some fixes that you were unaware or have simply forgotten about. The most important part if this step is not to become overwhelmed, as your Realtor, we are always happy to assist in this process with years of experience in what buyers are looking for!
If there are any inspections required prior to selling where you live, this is the time to have it done, such as a Title 5 Inspection. Some sellers also have their own buyer's inspection done at this point so they aren't surprised by things that turn up after getting an offer.
Whether your city requires an inspection or not, the state of Massachusetts does require smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarm be inspected by your local fire department. Now is the time to take a look at your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are updated and working properly.
If you have an inspection, make that the start of your 'to do' list and then go through and add to your list room by room. You'll want to look at the ceiling, floors, walls, corners, closets, windows and coverings, light fixtures, doors, plumbing, etc with a critical eye. Visualize yourself seeing each room for the first time and note what stands out. Keep in mind that buyers usually focus first on the kitchen so this is an important area to consider when thinking about any updates or fixes.
Most people do at least some painting and often some flooring when getting ready to sell. Focus on getting a good, consistent flow of color throughout the house can maximize the feeling of spaciousness. Your Realtor can help you with suggestions for this or point you in the direction of a stager, someone who specializes in showcasing your home using your temporary furniture, decor, etc.
Finally, don't forget to also look outside… curb appeal includes condition of the property itself, as well as landscaping and accessories. You can prevent a buyer from even coming in the front door if they don't like what they see outside! It sets the stage for what they expect to see inside.