It is extremely important to prepare your home to show its best when listing it for sale. Since the greatest volume of showings will occur when you first list your home, you will want to show well from day one. Preparing and staging your home will enable it to sell more quickly, and for more money.
I will work with you to help identify the best strategy for presenting your home. To make it easy on you, I have an arsenal of contractors, cleaners, stagers, etc. to help if we need them. Here are a few tips:
1. Make sure your home is impeccably clean. This is the first and most important step in preparing your home for sale.
2. Don’t underestimate curb appeal! Your first goal is to get buyers in through the front door, so your yard must look manicured and well maintained. Leaves should be raked, and grass should be mowed frequently. Add colorful flowers to planters and flower beds. This will make a great first impression!
3. If you have pets, be sure to have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned to remove stains and odors. Put away all pet food and water bowls, and kitty litter boxes for all showings. Not everyone is a pet lover.
4. Start packing! Put away knick-knacks. Pack your summer or winter clothes. All of your closets should be half-empty (to demonstrate that there is PLENTY of storage space!) For every box you pack, you can expect to sell for $500-$1000 more. Now that’s motivating!
5. Depersonalize as much as possible. Take down all personal photos and references to your personal interests. Your goal is to appeal to the broadest base of people. Otherwise, people may be more interested in you than your house.
6. Neutral paint. Yes, this may sound boring, but busy wallpaper patterns and bold or dark colored paint may not appeal to many buyers. Allow a potential buyer to imagine their furniture and things in your home.
7. Make sure your floors look good! Tired hardwoods and worn carpet are show stoppers. Refinishing hardwood floors or putting down new carpet won’t break the bank, and will make your home feel and smell like new.
8. Invest in new luxurious looking bedspreads, throw pillows, fresh bathroom towels and bathroom mats, etc. Stick with neutral colors. This will make your home feel updated, inviting, and fresh. You will be surprised what a difference new accents make, and how visible they are in listing photos. The good news is, you get to take everything with you!
9. Ask your listing agent to email your MLS listing to you and make sure you are satisfied with the photos. What good is all of your hard work if it is not well represented in the pictures? The majority of buyers will first see your home online, and will spend only seconds looking at the photos to decide if they are interested.
10. In addition to the basic steps above, there are more significant improvements that may be worth a larger investment, especially in a tough market. Kitchen and bathroom renovations may be necessary in order to sell. However, if kitchen and bath renovations are not in your budget, consider upgrading fixtures, hardware, and mirrors to give your home a more updated feel.