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How To Prepare Your Home For Selling

How do I prepare my home to sell?

Contrary to what popular television shows say about the rewards of buying “fixer-upper” homes, the vast majority of home buyers prefer to purchase houses that are move-in ready. And they are usually willing to pay more for one that is. So it’s very important that you prepare your home so that it’s in the best condition it can be before you put it on the market.  This means making repairs beforehand, removing clutter, painting walls and woodwork that need it, upgrading or removing shabby furniture, etc.  When your home is in need of repair, you’re setting yourself up for buyers to walk away or to make low offers to compensate for the costs they expect to be faced with to bring the house up to their standards. Making repairs and updates upfront also helps reduce the risk of buyers trying to renegotiate the price after a less than glowing house inspection. Homes that are in good condition attract more qualified buyers, sell faster, and garner higher prices. Here are some ideas of how to prepare your home to show as well as possible and attract buyers:

·         The first thing buyers see is the exterior of your home. So it’s important to enhance its curb appeal as much as possible. Mow the lawn, clean up debris, weed the gardens and paint trim if needed. A welcoming pot of colorful flowers by the front entrance never hurts either. In the winter, make sure walks are shoveled, driveways are plowed, porches and steps are cleared of snow and ice.

·         Windows should be clean, have in-tact screens, and be cobweb free. Make sure the trim paint is not chipping off. On the inside, open up draperies and shades for any showings to let in as much light as possible.  Buyers love well-lit, sunny rooms!

·         Clean bathrooms and kitchens so that they sparkle! Remove countertop clutter and freshen the rooms with new towels and decorative items. Got a broken cupboard door or burnt out lights? Fix them! Make sure the appliances work and replace leaky faucets. Buyers know that the most expensive rooms to update and remodel are kitchens and baths. Make yours look like new!

·         In the living, dining and family rooms, declutter and remove furniture to make rooms look as spacious as possible. Paint any walls or ceilings that look drab or dirty or are an unusual color. That bright purple wall in your living room that you love?  It may have been a great conversation point but it’s likely to turn off buyers. Neutral colors, less clutter, good furniture layout and simple décor is what buyers want to see. Too much of your stuff means they can’t visualize their stuff there.

·         Make sure your home smells inviting. Eliminate odors such as kitty litter, garbage under the sink, and last night’s smelly fish dinner.  Air fresheners and freshly baked bread or cookies will make your house smell like home.

·         Turn on lights before showings, especially in the winter or evening. A well-lit room looks more spacious and inviting.

·         Remove as many personal items and tchotchkes as possible. Lots of decorative items, out of season décor (are your Christmas lights still up in April?) and too many collectibles suggest an unkempt home…not to mention, a possible hoarding problem! J

·         In the bedrooms, it’s all about the bed.  Make sure it looks inviting. Invest in new bedding if yours looks shabby and worn. You can find great deals at any discount retailer or department store. Make sure the room is tidy, the curtains are open, the lights are on and the clutter is kept to a minimum!

·         Fresh flowers in the house, next to your colorful brochures highlighting your beautiful home will appeal to buyers too.

Preparing your home for selling can be a lot of work, but in the end, it’ll pay off if your home sells quickly after just a few showings…and for top dollar!