Before you decide to put your home on the market, ask your Realtor (me) for help on improving the presentation of your home. I can tell you what buyers will expect in your market and at your home’s pricing point. Here are 9 steps to get a head start on preparing your home for sale:
1. Welcome Potential Buyers with Curb Appeal
Try to make your front door appealing to buyers. Paint it, clear all the clutter from the walkway and yard, mow the lawn and clean up your hedges. Plant nice flowers that will attract attention from the street. Repair any broken screens, doorbells, shingles, etc, and purchase a nice new welcome mat. An unattractive exterior makes a bad first impression on buyers.
2. Clean Until it Sparkles
Your home’s cleanliness implies that a home has been well taken care of. You want to deep clean wherever you can. Potential buyers will scrutinize homes, especially the kitchens and bathrooms. Repaint and re-caulk where needed to give these rooms a fresh, clean look. Clean floors and carpets to eliminate stains or odors. Tidy up every room, including cabinets, closets and the garage, before showing.
3. Begin Packing ASAP
Cluttered rooms turn off buyers and actually make your house look smaller. Homes cluttered with personal belongings make it difficult for potential buyers to envision living there. Give away excess furniture, toys and personal items that you don’t need. Pack up the things you don’t use on a daily basis, and put them in storage. Decluttering your house also gives you a head start on your move.
4. Paint Your Walls with Neutral Colors
A simple, well-done paint job will go a long way. A fresh coat of paint using white or beige and spa-inspired neutral colors, like taupe and subtle gray, are the best choices. Remember to paint the trim and molding.
5. Make Needed Repairs
It’s simple, but necessary to replace broken or outdated hardware throughout your home. Install new door handles, faucets, towel bars and curtain rods. These fixtures are immediately visible to potential buyers, and they’re pretty inexpensive. Add new hardware in your bathrooms, kitchen and to windows and doors.
6. Set Your Table
Add fresh, seasonal flowers on the kitchen and dining room table. It’s a good idea to keep place settings handy so you can quickly set them out right before showings. Pull out all the formal stops for your formal dining room, and keep the kitchen more casual.
7. Update the Lighting
Replace light fixtures that don’t fit in with your home’s new look. Install new light bulbs with the proper lighting for each room of your home. Use accent lighting to highlight focal points in a room, such as the artwork above a mantle, to draw buyers’ attention to certain selling points.
8. Hide Unsightly Personal Items
Move children’s toys out of the way during showings. Move litter boxes, pet dishes, toys, and animal crates to less conspicuous areas of the home, such as the garage before each showing or open house. Also think about where you can store things like dirty laundry and dirty kitchen sponges.
9. Remember the Backyard
Keep your backyard looking spacious and functional. Plant or pot colorful flowers and keep the landscaping trimmed and neat. Consistently pick up after your pets so buyers feel comfortable touring the yard.