Tips to Prepare Your Home for Sale
How you prepare your home for a potential buyer can affect the likelihood of selling quickly. Here are a few selling tips to help guide you along the way.
People tend to judge a book by its cover. Investing some time and money into your homes’ exterior can pay dividends.
1. A trim landscape can attract buyers, so mow and water your lawn.
2. Trim trees and bushes, and tidy up mulch and other ground cover.
3. Cover bare spots in your lawn with grass seed.
4. Plant flowers – an oft-repeated tale says that yellow flowers symbolize new beginnings and can evoke buying emotions.
5. Clean sidewalks, walkways, and the sides of your home -- renting a power washer can be a good investment.
6. Make your house number clearly visible from the street.
7. Keep clutter to a minimum - store bikes, toys and other equipment.
8. Repaint the home or touchup the necessary areas to present a clean and kept appearance.
Give potential buyers a blank canvas to work with; let them see your home as a place they will live their lives in, and not the home that you are living in.
9. Depersonalize your home by removing pictures, paintings, trophies, etc.
10. Remove clutter around the house -- pack up random items you will be moving, remove books from shelves, and empty all counter space.
11. Organize things behind closed doors –- smart buyers will want to open cabinets and closets, so keep it neat. This will show the buyer that you take care of the home down to the smallest detail. Some examples include:
- Alphabetizing your spice rack, place cup handles uniformly, and neatly stack dishes
- Hang jackets or shirts together and uniformly, and line shoes up
12. Remove unnecessary furniture such as shelving units, extra leaves from the dining room table, or any thing else that may increase the appearance of a room – rent a storage unit if you must.
13. Leave enough furniture to give potential buyers enough to imagine what the room is used for.
Take care that you’re not selling a “fixer-upper” - from replacing light bulbs to touching up the paint, be sure to present your home in move-in condition.
Items that are moving with you should be replaced before showing the house. The general rule of thumb is, anything attached to the home is expected to be part of the deal. Minimizing any confusion will minimize potential negotiating issues later on.
14. Replace that light fixture which has been in your family for years.
15. Change the bathroom sink you aren’t willing to part with.
16. If you are taking any major appliances be sure to have their replacements in place before showing the home.
Consider making some small, inexpensive upgrades to your home.
17. Replace any cracked tiles, or repair them.
18. Patch any holes in the wall.
19. Fix leaky faucets.
20. Fix doors that don’t shut properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
21. Replace light bulbs that are burnt out – more light gives a spacious perception.
22. Replace worn bedspreads.
Be sure the costs of the repairs you are making don’t outweigh the benefits they will create.
23. Paint rooms neutral colors – it will give the room a bigger feel and eliminate your perception of a “good” color (for example, red may not be good for everyone).
24. Discuss any other major repairs with your Sales Associate. (>> link to find a sales associate).
Give your home a good “spring cleaning” both inside and out before someone sees it. Continuous maintenance will help keep your home in good order and prevent you from that last minute clean up before someone comes to see your house.
25. Clean windows on both sides.
26. Rent a pressure washer to clean the exterior of the house.
27. Clean cobwebs.
28. Re-caulk bathrooms and bleach grout.
29. Clean out the refrigerator.
30. Wax floors and vacuum daily.
31. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
32. Replace worn rugs.
33. Hang fresh towels in bathrooms.
34. Clean out musty smelling areas.
35. Stop smoking inside the house.
36. Bathe pets and clean out litter boxes.
37. Empty all trash, recycle bins, etc.
38. Dry-clean drapes and shampoo carpets.
39. Use baking soda boxes in smell-prone areas.
40. Place flowers, potpourri or air fresheners around the house.
41. Monthly cleaning can preserve a floor’s shine.
42. Clean all carpets.
43. Clean all windows and mirrors.
44. Clean water stains in all sinks and tubs.
Ask a "buyer":
Invite a friend or neighbor to walk through your home like a buyer would. Get their opinion on whether or not it's inviting, clean and well maintained. Strongly consider making any changes they suggest.