How to Prepare Your Anacortes Home for Sale

Heather T. Taylor  |  August 7, 2022

How to Prepare Your Anacortes Home for Sale

Selling a home is always a major undertaking, and for good reason. There's a lot that goes on behind it, even though it technically amounts to a single transaction — but every little effort adds up, especially when contending with figures well into the seven digits. If you're thinking of preparing your Anacortes property for sale, review the following tips to help you plan ahead and more quickly get your home ready to list in one of the hottest real estate markets Washington and the entire country have to offer.

Compile property records

It helps save time when you can show your prospective buyers the most up-to-date property records for your Anacortes home without making them wait. This likely requires obtaining records from the County Assessor's office, such as the property title or deed.

If you don't have these records, the process for obtaining housing records from scratch in Anacortes is fairly simple:

1. Visit the Skagit County Assessor's property search website.

2. Enter your Anacortes address, and obtain the parcel, block, and lot numbers, as well as the neighborhood plat name (which is in red with a four-digit number, located within the thick purple boundary lines).

3.  Either (A) pay a title company to research your property in their records, or (B) visit the County Auditor's office (at 700 S. 2nd Street, Mount Vernon) and look up the public property record on microfiche using the block number obtained above — knowledge of the construction date will help.

4. Have photocopies made of the deed or pay the Auditor's clerks to research and locate it for you.

If the above proves too difficult or cumbersome, you can contact your trusted Anacortes realtor instead for further assistance. Know that you certainly don't need to obtain every single record. What you'll need is the ability to quickly and easily show prospective buyers that the key documents proving ownership are readily at hand so that when they want to make an offer, they can do so in full confidence.

Although this may sound like a basic thing, that is exactly what leads some property owners to forget about it entirely, thus stalling offers from particularly careful buyers (who are also more likely to be serious buyers). Without having proof of title readily at hand, even the most interested parties may go on to fall in love with another property after a delay. That's why it's always best to have proof of ownership and registration data beforehand.

Consider your purpose & timeframe

As with any home sale, we recommend homeowners think of their goals from the outset. Are they looking for a quick sale, or do they have the time and commitment to maximize market value and sale price instead? Almost every other factor in preparing a home for sale will be different depending on where on that spectrum you land as a seller.

For instance, if the liquidity from the home sale is necessary to facilitate a simultaneous move for your family, timing will have to take a certain amount of precedence over the sale price. In this case, you're looking for a quicker turnaround, which means you'll need to outsource more of the services involved with preparing the home for sale, and you won't need to make it look perfect. Instead, you're anticipating slightly lower offers in exchange for lighter pre-sale preparation work and less time spent negotiating.

On the other hand, maximizing the value of your property may be much more important to you, especially if you aren't currently dependent on the property's liquidity or use as a living space. In that case, a lot more will be expected of you and your realtor to make sure that the property looks like a million bucks (or more). You'll need to budget much more time and planning, as well as a fair amount more expensive, in order to properly repair, stage, and market the home and achieve the highest sale price possible.

Note that this involves essentially two elements: one is to clarify your needs as a seller, and the other is to formulate a plan around those needs with your realtor. Above all, make sure you communicate your exact needs so that your realtor can customize your selling strategy as cohesively as possible with your time frame and expectations.

Carefully evaluate repair needs

When one thinks of home repairs, the image it usually brings up is not necessarily what's meant when discussing pre-sale repairs. Although it may very well involve medium-to-large-scale additions, such as brand new doors, countertops, and new flooring, it can just as well mean simply replacing cabinet hardware, leaky faucets, or squeaky door hinges.

Consider how such "quirks" would appear to you if it were your first time seeing the home, and it's easier to see how admittedly small things could leave the impression that the house may have more serious problems under the surface. Regardless of the truth or untruth of that, smaller but more plentiful issues could give prospective buyers all the excuse they need to give you low offers.

Especially in a buyer's market, giving the classiest impression is vital to obtain a world-class sale price. Work with an experienced realtor to determine which potential repairs would most directly translate to a higher sale price and which wouldn't. For those repairs more likely to have a low ROI, consider alternative, more affordable solutions that may, as far as your goals are concerned, serve the buyer's interests just as well as the full repair option.

More serious issues, like malfunctioning appliances, do not have alternatives and simply must be done. Put these more obvious repair needs at the top of the list as you calculate repair costs, then see how much of your repair budget is leftover for smaller odds and ends.

It's not uncommon to see pre-sale repairs boost property value on the order of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, especially with luxury homes. At the same time, such repairs themselves often run into thousands of dollars. You need to strike a balance, and as you consider how much pre-sale repair work should be done, do so, especially in the context of your timeframe and other requirements (as mentioned previously), which may negate the need to spend more time and energy fetching top dollar.

Depersonalize & clean the space

It's important to facilitate your prospective clientele's ability to envision themselves in the home. Start by clearing out the space of clutter and highly distinct items. To the greatest extent possible, create a highly neutral motif that won't color the impressions of potential buyers. You want it as easy as possible for them to mentally project their own style into the home, which is much harder to do when overly stylized decorations are already there.

You'll also want to do a deep clean to keep your house looking at its best, giving off the most attractive and inviting impression. Make sure the yard areas are also well kept, which will serve the dual purpose of conveying to strangers that the house is regularly looked after and attended to.

It may be in your best interest to hire cleaning professionals. Even at your best, it's nearly impossible for most of us to fully complete a top-to-bottom house cleaning that will hold up to the perpetual scrutiny of a constant influx of people. At least consider outsourcing more difficult specialty cleaning jobs, such as professional window cleaning or carpet cleaning services, as necessary.

Above all, make sure your space emphasizes a feeling of spaciousness. This may require rearranging the furniture for maximum square footage. Also, think of how you can arrange furniture (both inside and outside) so that it evokes scenes of togetherness and sociability.

A realtor experienced in concierge services can handle all of this for you, greatly helping to boost the speed and profits of the sale by helping your property convey the very best clean, open, and neutral feeling that any new house on the market should have.

Add a decorative touch

Though the goal of depersonalizing your home is important, that doesn't preclude the ability to put a few pleasant touches on the space in the interest of increasing good cheer. Scout out simple and unobtrusive ways to add vibrancy and life to the space with universally appreciated elements. Think a bit like the head of hotel housekeeping for a minute.

Small and inexpensive elements like decorative towels and new bath mats, for example, will go a long way to enhance a bathroom's appearance because such elements visually take up a lot of space. To top it off, placing potpourri or a candle can freshen more than just the visual senses as well. For that matter, the old cliché of making a house smell like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, at least in principle, is not far off. Consider a basic and unoffensive natural scent that invokes feelings of down-to-earth comfort in the main common area.

Make sure the drapes are held open in a stylish way during the day to let in as much natural light as possible, adding enormously to the open feeling. Once you depersonalize the space, go back through and add simple elements that essentially defy any one style, such as well-cared-for plants, throw pillows, centerpieces, and simple pottery. Done the right way, and your prospective buyers will more easily start to imagine that the one getting comfortable in their new home is them.

Humbly serving the Anacortes market

The Taylor Team of Washington prides itself on working faster and smarter than the competition so that our clients enjoy the easiest and most transparent process imaginable. We know selling any of your properties is a lot to take on — and that's why we've strived for and achieved our role as Washington's most trusted luxury real estate specialists.

For more information or to enlist the help of the most dedicated Anacortes realtor, contact The Taylor Team to learn more.

Work With Us

We love helping buyers find their dream home! That's why we work with each client individually, taking the time to understand their unique lifestyles, needs and wishes. You'll find that we'll be a committed ally to negotiate on your behalf and with the backing of a trusted company. Get in touch with us today!