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Getting Your Home Ready for Sale

Preparing your home properly before listing is the key to impressing buyers. You don’t need to invest a lot of money either. Here are some of my tried and proven tips for getting your home ready for sale.

I. Make a list of general wear and tear.

Try to imagine yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Do you see anything that would concern you? Those are the things you need to take care of first.


Usual Concerns

  • Torn Screens
  • Peeling paint or worn decks
  • Trim that is coming away from the wall or needs painting and caulking.
  • Unkept gardens
  • Worn or dirty carpeting
  • Broken fixtures
  • Older fashioned light fixtures
  • Wallpaper
  • Broken or Scratched Doors

Anything a new buyer would feel as though they would have to fix or deal with right away upon moving in, is best addressed before the home is even listed whenever possible.

Make a list of the things you can fix yourself, such as torn screens and gardening, and a list of things you may need some professional help with. Look at your budget and prioritize larger items whenever possible.

II. Take a good long look at the house from the street.

  • Would trimming the bushes help accentuate the architecture or better reveal the windows?
  • Are there any trees that need to be removed?
  • Does the door color make your home stand out? If not, paint it to entice buyers.
  • While you’re at it, look at the door hardware, house numbers and outside light fixtures. A quick upgrade here can give buyers a great first impression

III. Add some potted plants to the walk way or front door step.

I recommend yellow unless it clashes with the rest of your home.


IV. Declutter and depersonalize your home.

The best way to do this is to start packing. You might as well get started since you will be moving soon anyways.

  • Remove any family photos, knick-knacks and ornaments and pare down any overstuffed book cases.
  • Remove any non-essential items from your closets and cupboards. Buyers love storage and half empty closets give the illusion of space.
  • Remove any clutter from counter tops, such as kitchen appliances.
    Get rid of any bulky furniture so that the rooms look bigger.
  • Whenever possible, remove your personality from the home. Think upscale boutique hotel, not cozy family home.

V. Clean Everything, From Top to Bottom

  • Pay special attention to windows, cupboards, closets and baseboards.
  • Bleach the grout.
  • Organize everything. Buyers will often open cupboard doors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and oven completely, and keep it spotless.
  • Don’t forget fan blades, furnace rooms and places you think no one notices.
  • Take the vacuum to every corner and clear up every cobweb.
  • Organize the garage, or even better yet, if you can put the stuff in storage show off the space.

VI. Make Your Home Bright

  • Make sure your windows sparkle.
  • Remove any heavy draperies, or ensure they are pulled back for showings.
  • Replace your lightbulbs with higher wattage Daylight Bulbs.

VII. Take a Good Look at Your Paint Colors

  • Swap out any bright colors for a more neutral palette.
  • Any colors older than five years old should be updated whenever possible.
  • Ensure the colors in your home work together from one room to another.
  • Use a coat of paint to freshen up kitchens and bathrooms.

VIII. Do The Old Sniff Test

  • In fact, get someone else to do this for you. We are accustomed to the smell of our own homes.
  • If the basement is musty, try a dehumidifier.
  • Don’t try to mask odors, it doesn’t work. Instead clean or remove the source of the odor.
  • While you may love your pets, some potential buyers may not. Ensure litterboxes are spotless and out of sight and that there isn’t a sign of an animal to be found during showings.

Budget Friendly Do-It Yourself Staging

While there are several good staging companies in the area, unless you have no furniture or the furniture you own is extremely old or eccentric, you should be able to stage your own home well enough to impress buyers.

I. Create a spa like bathroom

  • Roll white wash clothes and tie them with ribbon.
  • Change your towels out for crisp white towels. Place a basket with rolled towels out if the bathroom is spacious enough.
  • Add some faux plants and scented candles.
  • Conceal all your personal hygiene items. Including, toothbrushes and shower products.
  • Add a high- quality neutral colored bathmat and shower curtain.
    Buy high quality neutral colored accessories, like soap dispensers.

II. Show Off Those Book Cases and Shelves

  • First remove about 25% of what is already on the book case.
    Then place a few decorative items that really pick up the other colors in the room.
  • Rearrange the contents until you get something that is visually pleasing.
  • Less stuff is more impact.
  • Accessorize in odd numbers.

III. Freshen Things Up

  • New bedspreads, fluffy pillows and cushions create a bedroom that is inviting.
  • Whenever you are buying something for the purpose of staging your home, white is always a safe bet, followed by neutrals. The less the buyer sees of your personality, the better.
  • Replace any worn living room cushions, use slip covers over old furniture.
  • Deep clean or replace any carpets or rugs. Remove any rugs that hide well maintained hardwood.
  • Change out any heavy draperies for sheers that let the light in.

IV. Do a Mini-Renovation

  • Change out hardware on kitchen cabinets.
  • Update kitchen faucets and door knobs throughout the home.
  • Invest in a new sink if your sink is old and scratched or damaged.

V. Make Your Home Fresh and appealing

  • Place a bowl full of lemons or green apples on the kitchen counter or island.
  • Bring the outdoors in with plenty of fresh flowers and healthy plants. Don’t over do it with the plants though. If you have an entire room, window or shelf that is filled with plants, buyers won’t be able to see the room for what it is.

Woodstock and Oxford County

Real Estate Sales Representative

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