Preparing Your Home to Sell
Before you put your house on the market, take a close look at its condition. You usually only have one shot at impressing potential buyers, so it is important to prepare the house for showings. You may be rewarded with a faster sale and a higher offer.
Trust your instincts. Try to evaluate the house as if you are seeing it for the first time. If you were a homebuyer, what would you think about the house? What changes would make immediate improvements? How can you show off the house’s best features?
First Impressions are Lasting
The exterior of your home often determines how buyers will see the inside:
- Make sure your front entrance and walkways are clean, inviting and free of trash.
- Clean doors, windows and screens.
- Paint or replace your front door if it’s faded or worn.
- Add some paint to shutters, trim and any other outside features showing signs of wear.
- Cut grass, rake leaves, trim bushes and trees, and rid landscaping areas of weeds. A fresh layer of mulch does wonders to a flower bed!
- Clean the drain gutters. Buyers nearly always comment if gutters are full of leaves, and it makes them question other maintenance issues.
- Store or organize items that make the yard look messy.
Start with the Basics
Everything from floors to windows must be spotless:
- Keep in mind the forgotten surfaces: dust floorboards, wipe down light switches, and clean the front of all cabinets and ceiling fan blades.
- Clean the inside and outside of the oven and other major appliances.
- Take magnets and papers off the refrigerator.
- Replace faded wallpaper, and glue any areas that have come away from the wall.
- Kill the offensive odors. They’re the first thing buyers notice, and often a permanent turnoff. An osmosis system works great for this.
- Repair loose knobs, dripping faucets, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, broken light switches and other minor flaws.
- Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers.
- Make sure bathroom surfaces are free of mildew and soap film.
Make it Spacious
- Remove excess furniture to make rooms more spacious.
- Clean and organize closets.
- Remove clutter and small decorative items from countertops.
- Store boxes in an out-of-the-way location or rent a temporary storage unit so you can declutter every part of the house, including the garage and storage rooms.
Freshen Up and Brighten Up
- Clean walls or repaint scarred or dirty walls in a neutral color.
- Steam clean carpeting or replace, if necessary.
- If necessary, clean drapes or window treatments.
- Replace any burned-out bulbs.
Prepare for Staging
- Pack away most of your family photos. A few framed photos are fine. Allow buyers to imagine their possessions in the home. When the homebuyers start deciding how their furniture will fit into your rooms, you’re on your way to a contract!
- Gather or borrow a collection of accessories, candles, lamps, etc. for the designer to use to create your home’s look. We may bring some of our own accessories as well.
- Don’t be offended if any of your personal items are recommended to “go away” or if your furnishings are rearranged. The purpose is to create a neutral, yet inviting environment for potential buyers.