How to Prepare Your Home to Sell

The time has come and you are ready to sell! Here are a few tips and tricks of the trade to ensure to a smooth selling process.

First Steps

  1. Take a walk through your home like it’s your first time there.

  2. Say goodbye to the sentimental things and look at it as a product that needs to be prepared for sale.

  3. Start outside on the porch and work your way through the home. Carry a notepad with you and make note of things that you would notice if you were the buyer.

  4. Linger in each room with an open mind and really pay attention. Are there areas that feel crowded? Is there a strange furniture placement? Do your walls need to be painted?

Physical Repairs and Cosmetic Updates

1. Make Simple Repairs: These can be things you do on your own or you can ask your realtor for a recommendation for a handyman to help. Tighten door knobs, cabinet pulls and stair railings. Replace broken or outdated light fixtures and up- date kitchen hardware for a fresh look. Replace a leaky faucet and re-caulk around sinks or bathtubs. Inspect the roof and make repairs as needed. Clean gut- ters and downspouts. Look for things that are simple to repair but would likely dis- tract a homebuyer from focusing on the home itself.

2. Paint: This is a simple thing to do and really freshens up your home. This is partic- ularly important if you have less than popular home colors or dirty walls. Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the neon green bath- room”. Patch the holes in the walls and leave it minimally decorated. Don’t forget that really makes a difference. Paint the walls in neutrals...ask your realtor what is current. Does the exterior of your home need to be painted? This will be the first thing people see and sometimes deters them from even going inside.

3. Pressure Wash: Gently clean the exterior of your home and walkways. This can really make things look like new again. Don’t forget that deck.

4. Windows: You would be surprised at how much of a difference this will make. Buyers walking around your home want to see what their new views will be...make those windows sparkle.

5. Clean, Clean, Clean: This is the time to put in some serious elbow grease...or even hire out some help. People love a clean house. Clean your cabinet fronts, ap- pliances, dust your ceiling fans, light fixtures and mantle, clean your baseboards and definitely clean your bathroom. Scrub that tile and polish up those hardwood floors. Consider hiring a service to stop by and help you stay on top of the clean- ing...this will be important when you are showing your house.

6. Steam Clean Carpets: You may be able to look past a stained carpet but buyers will not. This will be something they notice and will factor in making you re- place.

7. Curb Appeal: Buyers develop strong opinions before they ever enter your home. Trim the shrubs, weed the flower bed and get rid of wild brush blocking your beau- tiful home. Do you have any trees that need to be trimmed? Check the doorbell, address number and welcome mat. Put some pine straw in your natural beds and if it’s warm outside consider some potted plants on the porch or some annuals by the front door. Store any toys or equipment you have lying in the yard.

Declutter and Stage

1. Clear Out The Clutter: You want buyers to be able to focus on your home... not a cluttered house. Make sure you don’t have piles of things detracting from the features of your home. Clean off the kitchen counters. This is the time to get rid of oversized furniture that can make your house look too small. You don’t want buyers bumping into furniture or having to backtrack to get out of a cramped space in your home.

2. Keep The Décor Simple: Yes, it’s time to make your home look more like a maga- zine advertisement. Less is more here. Remove excess picture frames, knick knacks and collections. You’re going to need to box them up to move anyway. Add some fluffy towels to the bathroom but remove all your hair products and deodorant off the counters. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home.

3. Bring In The Green: Potted plants or some simple flowers in a vase can make your home feel warm and welcoming. There are some simple easy to maintain plants that won’t break the bank.

4. Brighten Things Up: Open up the blinds and let that natural light flow into your home. Add lamps in rooms that don’t have much light. A bright and cheery room looks bigger and more inviting.

Gather Info For Your Realtor

1. Homeowner’s Association: Gather info on dues, fees, assessments and contact person’s name and number.

2. PLAT: It’s a good idea to have this on hand to show buyers where your property lines lie especially if you do not live in a subdivision.

3. Seller’s Disclosure: This document tells buyers the important things they need to know about your home. Age of roof/hot water heater/hvac, etc. and is often the first thing that they will request when they are getting serious about making an offer.

4. Other Info: Is there any other information about your home that you think would help buyers when considering your home? Special features to point out or ameni- ties available? Are there any easements on the property?

Prepare For A Showing

1. Clean, Clean, Clean: Nothing is more distracting at a showing than a dirty home. We know this is the toughest thing to keep up with on a daily basis. Try to do a quick clean each night to stay on top of the task. This is when it really pays to minimize the clutter in your home. Less to clean means a faster tidy up. Stash your toiletries, hang some clean towels in the bathroom, close the toilet lids and throw your dirty laundry into the washer. If it’s short notice toss things into a laundry bas- ket and toss it in your car during the showing.

2. Brighten Things Up: Turn on all the lights. Yes...all the lights. Turn on the lamps, the overheads...all of them. This makes it so easy for a buyer to just move from one room to the next, not having to stop and figure out how to turn on a light to see your space. It’s welcoming and makes your space look beautiful. Open the curtains and the blinds. If you have an amazing view out your window consider drawing the blinds up completely so that view is shown off.

3. Shhh: Turn off your TV and Music...just a simple bright, quiet house for buyers.

4. Relocate your pets: Take your puppy with you or secure them safely when you have a showing. Buyers feel like they are disturbing your pet and will likely leave your home quicker if a dog is barking at them. Don’t forget to clean pet droppings from the yard.

5. Eliminate Bad Odors: Clean out your litter box, take out the trash, toss a lemon down the disposal. Be careful to not overdo it with scents though. People are very sensitive to smells. No smell is probably the best smell.

6. Front Door: Sweep off your front porch and remove any spider webs. First impres- sions really stick in a buyer’s mind.

7. Leave: Don’t stick around for a showing. Your home will be in good hands with a licensed realtor showing the property. We’ll follow up and get feedback for you. Don’t linger.

Ready to make a move? Give Christine a call to start selling your home and walk away wealthy.