25 Tips to Get your Home Ready to Sell

Selling your home can be a trying process for most, and the first question most sellers ask is “How do I make my home sale-ready?” Prepping the inside and outside of your home before a sale is crucial to the amount of potential buyers for your home, and how you go about doing this could mean thousands of dollars difference when the time comes to close. In this post, we discover the most important home-staging tips gathered from professionals across the globe, so you can sell your home quickly.  

Tips at a Glance

  1.  Don’t make your home personal to you.
  2.  Keep your lights on.
  3.  Remove the items you plan on keeping.
  4.  Update your kitchen.
  5. Update your paint.
  6.  Remove any odors.
  7.  Clean the carpets.
  8.  Fix anything broken.
  9.  Hire a landscaper.
  10.  Rent a storage space.
  11.  Organize everything, even the little stuff.
  12.  Take professional photos for your home listing.
  13.  Use a realtor.
  14.  Improve curb appeal.
  15.  Remove pets for showings.
  16.  Remove political/religious items.
  17.  Even if you’ve cleaned, clean again.
  18.  Rearrange your furniture.
  19. Stage your home for the appropriate season.
  20.  Make your spare room is a selling point.
  21.  Add some extras.
  22.  Make your home appear bigger.
  23.  Refinish/stain your hardwood floors.
  24.  Provide extra care to your bathrooms.
  25.  Consider selling to a real estate investor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Don’t make your home personal to you. While you may have lived in your home for many years, and you have accrued many sentimental items around the house like pictures and children’s paintings, removing your personal items is a must-do when showing your house. The goal of staging your home is to allow every potential buyer to envision themselves living in your home, and that becomes harder to do when pieces of somebody else’s life are shown throughout the house.

  2. Keep your lights on.  While this may bring up your electric bill for a short period of time, it’s worth it. Keeping your lights on allows the potential buyers to get a look at every aspect of your home, and will highlight your home better. When it comes down to it, a dim light home gives the buyers a gloomy feeling, which is not the feeling you want to portray about your home.

  3. Remove the items you plan on keeping. While you may have items that are great centerpieces for your home (ex. dining room table), you want to remove them if you plan on keeping them. If a potential buyer sees one of these items, they may assume that the item will come with the home. Taking away an essential item after a showing could be the breaking point for a potential buyer, and the difference between selling your home or not.

  4. Update your kitchen. When a buyer is interested in your home, nine times out of ten the first place they will inspect will be the kitchen. If your kitchen is not up-to-date, you might as well say goodbye to your potential buyer. Check your appliances for any issues, and make sure you kitchen has a pleasant, clean odor.

  5. Update your paint. This goes for any section of your house, inside or outside. If your paint is chipped or faded, a potential buyer will assume that the house is old/falling apart, or you did not properly take care of your home during your tenure.

  6. Remove any odors. You may want to bring in somebody from outside your home to give a final judgement, and here is why: you may have been living in your home for so long, you longer can smell a certain odor. Whether it be a pet, fragrance, or smoke, you may have become accustomed to the smell and blocked it out completely.

  7. Clean the carpets. Along with the kitchen, carpets will be one of the first aspects of your home potential buyers will look at. Consider hiring professional cleaners, or buying a professional grade carpet cleaner and doing the cleaning yourself.

  8. Fix anything broken. This goes without saying, but it’s still good practice to do a final check. Broken items are a bad look, and will speak to the quality of your home.

  9. Hire a landscaper. You may be thinking you could easily do your landscaping yourself, but curb appeal is everything when selling your home. Some landscaping companies specialize in home staging, and have perfected their craft towards selling homes.

  10. Rent a storage space. For all of the items that you plan on keeping, but don’t want in your home for showings, consider renting a storage space to keep your belongings in good condition. This will clear up some space, and  you won’t have to take up storage space in somebody else’s home.

  11. Organize everything, even the little stuff. Spaces like closets and bathrooms are often overlooked, but keeping these places organized will give your home an overall better presentation. Items that you need to use everyday can be stored in boxes and tucked away. Consider dicarding smaller, non-essential items that are just taking up space.

  12. Take professional photos for your home listing. Once again, you may be considering doing this yourself, but professionals will most likely be able to highlight your home better than you can. Professional photographers have high quality imaging, and can edit photos to make your home listing really stand out above the competition. Hiring a professional home photographer will give you a competitive advantage, and ultimately save you time.

  13. Use a realtor. Realtors are well versed in home staging, and most likely know many different avenues and services that can help to get your home ready to sell. They get paid by commission, so they will be looking to get top-dollar for your home, which means they will most likely do everything they can to make sure your home looks great. Realtors are also great during open houses, because they have experience answering questions you may not know how to answer.

  14. Improve your curb appeal. This goes hand-in-hand with your landscaping, but includes a larger variety of home aspects. Stain your porch, power-wash your home, and clean anything else you possibly can to ensure that when a potential buyer pulls up to your house, they have a great first impression.

  15. Remove pets for showing. While many people are pet-lovers who would love to meet your furry friend, an equal amount are not. See if your pet can stay at a friend or family members house for showings, and tuck away your food bowls and litter boxes. Remember, you are trying to cater to every potential buyer who comes through the door, so it is best to not deter a candidate because they do not like your particular animal being in the house.

  16. Remove political/religious items. This goes along with catering to every potential buyer in your home. Some people have very strong beliefs, and you never know the beliefs of a random person looking to buy your home, so having these items around your house could be a major deterrent to an otherwise interested candidate. Store your personal items in boxes, or hide them away when people are viewing you home.

  17. Even if you’ve cleaned, clean again. Even after you have cleaned every square inch of your house, traffic from your showing will bring in unwanted dirt and dust that needs to be cleaned again. Pay special attention to the areas that are often overlooked, like hanging light fixtures and windowsills.

  18. Rearrange your furniture. Even if it is not ideal for your current living situation, rearranging your furniture in a symmetrical design can be more appealing to potential buyers. This is a sort of “feng shui,” designed to give your home a great energy. Find a good centerpiece, like a table, and center your furniture around it. That means you might have to sacrifice your favorite recliner being pointed directly at the television!

  19. Stage your home for the appropriate season. Many features of your home will be seasonal, and you should stage these features according to the season. If you have a pool and you are selling your home in the summertime, stage some beautiful pool furniture around and make sure your pool is crystal clear! You can also decorate your home for the appropriate holiday season, just be sure to avoid placing those personal items we talked about around the house. Decorating seasonally shows how versatile your home can be, and gives the buyer a sense of community when they enter.

  20. Make your spare room is a selling point. You may have a spare room that you use as a junk room, small office, or playroom, but you should clean it up and make it as blank as possible. Buyers love the prospect of a free room to do anything they wish with, and it is much easier to visualize their idea of that room when the room is blank. Even if you have to consolidate some furniture or move some items out of your home, a spare room is worth it.

  21. Add some extras. Placing a vase of flowers, or adding a bowl of decorative fruit (avoid fresh fruit, it attracts insects) can really add a little extra appeal to your home. If you don’t have one, buy a welcome mat and place it on your porch. The little things like this can make a big impression on your potential buyers.

  22. Make your home appear bigger. To do this, paint connecting rooms the same color. You can also paint your walls the same color as your drapes or curtains, to provide a seamless look that keeps the room flowing. If you have furniture stacked up against one another, consider moving it or taking it out of your home to give your rooms an open-style look.

  23. Refinish/stain your hardwood floors. Refinishing or staining your hardwood floors is an extra step, but your potential buyers will appreciate it greatly. Most buyers don’t want to see aspects of your home that could turn into future projects for themselves, and hardwood floors are a major project. Finished hardwood floors make your home look sophisticated, and are another great selling point for your home.

  24. Provide extra care to your bathrooms. Spending a little extra time cleaning your bathrooms can go a long way. People associate bathrooms with being very unsanitary, so the better your bathroom looks and smells, the better chance your buyer will take note of it. Make sure your showers are free of shower scum, and wipe down you stainless steel spouts.

  25. Consider selling to a real estate investor. If you are having trouble selling your home, many real estate investors are willing to buy your home with cash up front. This requires a lot less staging, and investors can usually look at a house and see its potential without the need for major clean-up. If you want to sell your home quickly without going through all of these staging steps, this might be the best route for you. 

 

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