Getting your home ready before you offer it for sale has always been important - but in today's market, it is vital. With so many homes for sale and such competitive pricing, you want that first impression to be spectacular.
Since many of your prospective buyers will first see your sign as they drive by, and then stop to take a closer look, pay careful attention to what they'll see from the street. Make your home stand out from all others by keeping the lawns mowed, the flower borders free of weeds and all the "stuff" picked up.
From there you need to take a critical look at the outside of your home and garage. Do they need to be pressure washed? Does the trim need a new coat of paint? Do the windows look grungy? Does your front door show how many times the dog scratched to get inside? Try your best to look at it through the eyes of a stranger, or ask a trusted person to give you an honest analysis. I'll be glad to do this for you if your friends are hesitant.
Take a similarly critical look inside. Your goal should be to make yours look as much like a "show home" as possible. That means packing personal items, de-cluttering, and making everything look and smell clean and fresh. I have a "Seller's Checklist" that will remind you of sometimes overlooked trouble spots, and I'll be glad to send you a copy. Just call or email me and it will be on its way to you.
Buying a home is an emotional decision, backed up by logic. So do all you can to make the house appear spacious, inviting, and well-maintained. Sometimes placement of furniture and accessories can make all the difference. A trained stager can help you "set the stage" for a "Wow!" response when people enter your home, and the money you spend on hiring a professional for this job could shave months from your selling time.
Next, it's a good idea to schedule a home inspection. If you do have some small items to repair, doing it before you have an offer can save you time and money. Once an inspector has noted a problem on a buyer's report you'll be expected to hire a professional to fix it. If it's something you can handle and you do it yourself ahead of time, you'll save money.
Now is the time to enlist help from your family. Impress upon them the importance of keeping everything picked up and put away, because as a FSBO you could have people calling, wanting to see the house with barely any notice.
Please feel free to call me if you need a "stranger's eyes" - I'll be glad to help.
P.S. Watch for my next message, in which I'll explain some of the forms you'll need when a buyer wants to make an offer.