Get Your Home Ready To Sell

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Real Estate

Get Your Home Ready To Sell

A common mistake people make is to spend a lot of money – renovations, new roof, remodeling. While buyers will be impressed with these things, spending $5000 on remodeling will not always add $5000 to your sale. It's important to get your agents opinion on what things are going to bring the most return on investment in preparing your home to sell. The time to do a big remodel is when you plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.


If you think about everything that needs to be done to sell your house, you might throw your hands up in despair, or at least feel some anxiety. Take one step at a time, one small task at a time. Break it down to manageable-sized chores and you’ll have better results.

First things first – have a garage sale. Whatever doesn’t sell can be donated. Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done.

The curb appeal of your property is your first impression, so make it a good one!

Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas.

Put a bright coat of paint on your mailbox.

Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.

Buy a new welcome mat.

If you have siding or brick, power-wash it. If you have a painted exterior, consider repainting. This is especially important if there is any peeling.

Make sure the porch light works.

Clean and align gutters and downspouts.

If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it.

Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.

Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.

Remove oil stains from driveway and garage.

If you’re selling in the winter, keep walks neatly cleared .Otherwise, keep the walks and driveway swept.

Repair broken outdoor steps.

Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance.

Keep your garage door closed. 

Wash the windows inside and out.

Store RVs, boats and extra vehicles (anything that can’t be parked in the garage) elsewhere while the house is on the market.

Paint the front door.

If prospective buyers walk into your house greeted by the smell of cat litter, cigarette smoke, mildew or pet accidents, there is little chance that even a reduced sales price will persuade them to buy. So the first thing to do:

Clean, including having wall to wall carpets shampoo'd. If you dont have the time to deep clean, hire a cleaning service to come in and do the job.

Get rid of clutter. Put away appliances you normally leave on countertops. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic.

Paint the walls and ceilings a neutral color – off white or beige.(The colors swiss coffee or Navajo white are tried and true) A good agent can advise you on paint colors and contacts of painters.

Repair cracks, holes and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.

Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork.

Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.

Unclog slowly draining sinks and tubs.

Clean out the fireplace and lay some logs in it.

Mend torn screens. Clean out all window tracks.

Check to see that all windows will open and close.

Replace burned-out light bulbs. Use warm colored light bulbs.

Nail down any creaking boards or stair treads (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).

Lubricate any squeaking doors

Remove extra, worn or unattractive furniture. Your agent can advise you on the benefits of staging and if this is recommended for your home.

Thoroughly clean all appliances 

Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.

Wash all light switches, handrails and doorknobs.

On Showing Days

Your home should be well lit, keep draperies and shades open to let in the light. 

Place fresh flowers throughout the house. 

At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting in back if you have it.

Set out new white towels in the bathroom and put the toilet lid down.

No dirty dishes in the sink or on counters.

Keep any toys in the children’s rooms, bikes, wagons and skateboards in the garage.

Play some relaxing music at low volume.

Spend the day of an open house away from home and let your agent do what they do best! 

Who you work with matters! Select an agent that is a professional and read some of their past client reviews. Take the advice of your agent about where money would best be spent to prepare your home and let them do their job. Let them show your house, and don’t tag along. As the saying goes, You get what you pay for. At first impression it may see like a good deal to use the cheapest agent or selling service you can find, but the truth is the extra details of professional photography, marketing and communications that a professional provides will put you in a much better position to capture a large pool of buyers, multiple offers and a higher sale price for your property.