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Selling your home takes work, but don't let the task of prepping your home to sell overwhelm you. Here are some tips to help get your home ready to show.
A few weeks before
Repaint. A fresh coat of paint is an investment that doesn't cost much, and has a great return. Since you will have people with varying taste viewing your home, be sure to pick a neutral color palette that will appeal to the masses.
Declutter. A messy house is distracting to buyers who are trying to picture your house as their home. Remove kid's toys, mail, and personal photos to give the home a move in ready feel.
Decorate. Be sure the rooms are decorated with a purpose. If you use an extra bedroom as a play room, turn it back into the bedroom to show its full potential. Any extra rooms in the house should be staged as an office, not putting the office furniture into a living or dining area, even if that's currently where you have your office.
Lighting. Open all curtains and blinds in order to let in natural light. Change out all your light bulbs with warm white bulbs to give a clean bright look into each room. Don't underestimate the power of lighting.
One week out
As your open house date approaches, and your home will soon be listed on the MLS, add these tips to your list of things to do to impress buyers.
Landscaping. Keep that lawn green; try to have the best front lawn on your block. Overgrown or dead lawns can turn off buyers and make your home seem high maintenance.
Garage. Clean your garage and put away any loose tools or recreational items. People want to see the garage is big enough to park their car, not just to be used as storage.
Exterior. Having a fresh coat of paint, even on the trim alone, can make a home stand out and look clean. Don't forget to clean the windows and polish or replace any exposed hardware.
Decks and Patios. Power washing goes a long way to making furniture and a dirty deck look new again. Be sure to designate areas such as a BBQ area, a dining area, or a relaxing lounge space around a fire pit. This will help buyers see the patio or deck as an extension to the living area.
Organize closets and cabinets. Buyers love to snoop and will open your closets and cabinets. Line up shoes, hang clothes together and facing the same direction, stack dishes neatly, and have coffee mugs facing all the same way.
Rent a storage unit. Homes always show better with less furniture; remove pieces of furniture or anything that blocks walkways. Take extra leaves from your tables to help the room look larger.
Remove items you want to keep. Any special fixtures, window coverings, or built-in appliances you want to keep should be removed before your first open house. Buyers will want what they can't have, and if they are told the chandelier in the dining room doesn't come with the house, they will want to write it into the deal.
A few days to go
It's time to get excited about your upcoming open house and eager to show off your home to interested buyers. Here are a few more tips for you to add to your to do list to make your house sparkle.
- Wash windows both inside and out
- Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior
- Clean any cobwebs
- Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
- Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Vacuum daily
- Dust ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
- Bleach dirty grout
- Hang up fresh towels in the bathroom and kitchen
Half-empty closets. Storage is something buyers can't get enough of, removing half of the items from your closet will make them easier to organize and help them look spacious.
Maximize your lighting. Good lighting is what buyers say they want in a home, after their desired location. Remove drapes, be sure your windows are clean, and increase the wattage of your light bulbs. Don't forget to trim any trees or bushes that may be blocking sunlight into your home.
Hide your pets. Although you may think your cat is the most adorable cat you've seen, not everyone is a fan of seeing litter boxes, food dishes, or chewed up dog toys. Plan on having your pets somewhere else for the day when you have an open house.
Show ready. When it comes time to show your house, you need to be show ready at all times. It'll be much easier on you if you don't have to scurry to half clean your house as buyers are on their way. It's important to be available whenever they want to come and see your house, and you'll want your house to look as good as it does at the open house.
Pricing. We work with you to set the price of your home at a price point that will attract the most buyers. We want to set a price that you are happy with, and one that draws in the buyers to make offers. You don't want to price your home too high and risk having buyers overlook your home.
Upgrades. Don't over upgrade your home. It pays off to fix up your home, but huge makeovers won't pay off. Updates that will get you top dollar and truly pay off are fresh coats of paint, replacing door handles and cabinet hardware, being sure drawers slide well, doors don't creak, and faucets don't leak.
Sell your kitchen. Most people will tell you that you're not selling your house, but you're selling your kitchen. If your kitchen looks dated, put a fresh coat and new hardware on the cabinets, paint a neutral color on the walls so buyers can picture their own style in the room. If you have the money, put in a nice stainless-steel appliance. Buyers will see the fancy, new appliance and feel the kitchen is updated. Countertops are a good place to invest if yours is old and worn. It will cost you a couple grand, but buyers can ask for $10,000 off your asking price if they think your kitchen looks outdated.
Here are some tips for the day of the open house.
- Lock up or remove any and all valuables
- Lock up or remove prescription medications
- Lock up or remove any fire arms or weapons
- Secure anything that can be easily carried out and not noticed, like an expensive handbag
- Do not let strangers into your home without an agent
- Be sure to have all agents access your home through the electronic lockbox
Although some of these tips may seem inconvenient, they will be what gets your house sold. I am here to assist with any questions you may have now or in the future when it comes to your real estate needs. I wish you the best of luck with your open house!