On Stands Now
July 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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I am ready to sell. Where should I start?

When you are ready to sell your home or property but are not sure where to start, I can help you this month by walking you through how to prepare so you can get the most value. I will help you consider what you might not be thinking about. We can start with a deep dive into your real estate market: what needs to be done? What isn’t necessary?

Investing time and effort up front to prepare your house for showings will generally increase the likelihood of receiving offers sooner after you list your home. The longer your home stays on the market, the harder it can be to sell. Repairs, staging, and cleaning can help attract better offers, but they can also be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Normal wear and tear can add up, especially if you’ve lived in your home for a long time. From a door that squeaks to a window that sticks or a toilet that runs until you jiggle the handle—it’s easy to ignore minor issues that seem like quirks. Buyers, however, may see these quirks as problems that lower the value of your home or as bargaining chips during the closing process. If you have too many noticeable repairs, buyers may also wonder if more serious issues lurk below the surface, and that could prevent them from making a good offer.

Start by identifying needed repairs and make a plan. When I am assisting buyers, major appliances are of utmost importance. Signs of water damage or noticeable past repairs are also important. Roofs and windows are significant in price, and there is an expectation to repair or offer a credit to the buyer to repair on their own. Consider a home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system—they should work and be leak-free. So should your water heater, smoke detectors, electrical panel, and circuit breakers.

Outside, examine exterior surfaces, weatherstripping, and wood trimmings. Look for damage such as peeling, cracks, or rot. Decks and patios should be in good condition. (Think of these items as if you had to get your home insured for the first time.) Fencing should be free from damage, like rot or rust. Landscaping should be trimmed back from your home, eliminating the potential for causing damage. In northern New Mexico, we don’t have the finest landscaping, and that’s okay—just make sure there isn’t any trash or old trees that need to be cut back. Oftentimes we tell ourselves we will get to these tasks eventually, and well, we are here eventually now.

Some repairs might be easy as do-it-yourself projects, like patching a hole in drywall or unclogging a slow drain. If it’s your first time making repairs like these, video tutorials on YouTube are a great place to get started.

More serious or complicated repairs may require hiring a professional. If your roof leaks, outlets don’t work, or you have cracks in your foundation, having the repairs done by someone who has the right tools and know-how can save time and ensure the job is done correctly.

Go through your home, decluttering and organizing spaces. Don’t just shove belongings in closets, cabinets, attics, and basements, as buyers look inside all of those places. Trust me! I have seen them. Big kitchens, bathrooms, and storage tend to be big selling points, so it can help to make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Professional home stagers recommend that you remove a full 50 percent of your items!

After decluttering comes deep cleaning. Hiring a professional may prove the most effective way to do the job quickly and thoroughly.