23 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Selling

    The first thing a lot of people think about before they put their house on the market, is ways to prepare their house to optimize its showing and selling potential.  Our Broker and Owner put together a great list of ways to prepare your home for selling!

    1.  Clean, clean, clean.  Dust on top of the fireplace mantle and fan blades, polish your appliances and faucets, and give the windows a thorough washing.  If you’ve already moved out or if you’re too busy to stay of top of things, consider hiring a cleaning service to stop by every couple of weeks.
    2. Pay attention to smells.  Example:  Don’t cook bacon in your home the day of the showing.  Although it may taste great, the smell is strong and lingers for a long time.  You don’t want your home smelling like a fast food restaurant!
    3. Clear out the clutter.  You want buyers to focus on how awesome your space is, not how messy it looks.  Banish that pile of shoes from the entry, that stack of mail from the kitchen table and anything else that detracts from your home’s features.
    4. Repaint the walls with neutral colors.  As much as you love your dramatic red dining room, it could turn off a good portion of your buyers.  So repaint your rooms in neutral tones like tans and whites that allow buyers to focus on the spaces themselves, not the colors of the walls.
    5. Keep the decor simple.  To help buyers imagine themselves in your space, get rid of any art or other decor that might turn off people with different tastes.  A classic landscape painting?  Totally fine.  Your zebra print leather couch?  Might want to slipcover that for showings.
    6. Get rid of personal items.  Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove anything overly personal, like family photos in the hallway or your kids’ artwork on the fridge.
    7. Let there be light!  Open up all the windows to let in natural light and add floor or table lamps to areas that are dim.  A bright, cheery room looks bigger and more inviting.
    8. Bring nature inside.  Potted plants or a few pretty buds in a vase can help bring energy into a space, fill in empty corners and even draw attention to features you want buyers to notice.  Just make sure the plants are in good health (and bug-free!).
    9. Get rid of bulky furniture.  Your furniture should fit the scale of the room, so get rid of any extra or oversized items that could make your space look smaller than it really is.
    10. Organize your closets.  Storage space is a huge selling point, and if your closets are stuffed to the brim, buyers will think you don’t have enough of it.  Invest in some boxes, dividers and other solutions that will help you make your stuff look more organized, and remove extra items you don’t need immediately (you can stow them away until you move).
    11. Tackle that honey-do list.  All of those little things you’ve been meaning to do but never got around to?  Buyers will notice them, and they’ll distract from the value of your home.  So set aside a weekend to tighten those loose doorknobs, fix that leaky faucet and paint over the scruffs from when you first moved in your sofa.
    12. Do a faux “renovation.”  Little tweaks can make a big difference in the overall feel of a room.  Kitchen a little outdated?  Replace the fixtures, faucets and hinges.  Family room furniture beaten up?  Throw some slipovers over it.
    13. Give each room a purpose.  That spare room you’ve been using as an office/guest room/dumping ground won’t help sell your home unless you show them how they can use it themselves.  So pick a use (office, guest room, crafts room) and clearly stage the space to show that purpose.
    14. Turn the bathroom into a spa.  Create the feel of a relaxing, luxurious bath – for less than $30.  Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with a ribbon, add some scented candles and faux plants, and buy bathmats and towels in coordinating tones such as light green, blue and white.
    15. Close the toilet!  When it comes to both showing and photographing your home, this little trick can make a surprising difference.
    16. Turn the living room into conversation central.  Help buyers picture themselves relaxing with family and guests by grouping your furniture into arrangements that inspire conversation.
    17. Keep the flow going.  The last thing you want is people bumping into furniture as they tour your home; it disrupts their focus and makes your space looked cramped.  Do a dry run as though you’re seeing your home for the first time and tweak anything that interrupts the “flow.”
    18. Make something yummy.  Realtors don’t put out fresh cookies at open houses just to treat buyers; a “homey” smell liked baked cookies or bread can help people connect with the kitchen.  Not a baker?  Fake it with a scented candle.
    19. Make it look “lived in” with vignettes.  Help your buyers see themselves in your home by adding deliberate vignettes that showcase how your home can be lived in.  An inviting armchair and a tray with a coffee cup and book can turn that empty corner into a reading nook.  Pretty soaps in a decorative tray can make your tiny half-bath more appealing.
    20. Highlight focal points.  Draw buyers’ eyes towards any special features with bright colors or accents, like plants.  A pop of red throw pillows can draw a buyer’s attention to that lovely window seat.  A striking fern on the mantle can show off your fireplace.
    21. Boost the curb appeal.  Don’t spend all of your time indoors.  More than one buyer has decided not to even enter a home based on its curb appeal, so make sure your home’s exterior looks excellent.  Trim your shrubs, weed your flowerbeds, fix any peeling paint, and keep the walkway clear.  Just adding a row of potted plants along the walkway or a cheerful wreath to your front door can make a big difference.
    22. Burnt out and oversized bulbs.  Replace all burnt out bulbs with “warm” or “soft” version 60-watt bulbs.  The older fluorescent bulbs are not only oversized and take away from the light fixture itself, they give off a very unpleasant light.  Also be sure that all bulbs are matching in any given light fixture.
    23. Random wires.  Be sure every smoke and CO2 alarm is plugged in with the batteries backed up.  Buyers don’t like to see wires hanging from ceilings or outlets.  If you have any missing or broken outlet covers, replace them as well to match.


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