Get Ready to List

Thinking of making a change? Before you put your house on the market, talk to your real estate agent then review this checklist of things you should do in preparation. Some of these tips are surprisingly easy, while others might require a bit more time and energy. Either way, they’re bound to pay off, hopefully with someone making you a great offer on your home.

  1. CURB APPEAL: Believe it or not, most buyers do “judge a book by the cover” and you’ll want to make the best first impression so folks will want to schedule an appointment to see more. A few easy fixes like colorful outdoor plantings, fresh mulch or pine straw, new decorative pillows on your front porch furniture, or repainting your front door can really make your home feel more inviting. You can also ask your agent if they have any suggestions on what some other sellers have done to improve their exterior. A few simple changes can make a big difference in how buyers see your home.
  2. DEPERSONALIZE: It is recommended by staging professionals that your remove personal items and family photos as well as bold artwork or furnishings that may be an indication of your personal style. The goal here is to make your home look like a blank canvas so the new buyers can envision themselves in the space.
  3. DECLUTTER: Less is definitely more when getting your home ready for showings. Do a clean sweep of all the visible areas like counters, windowsills, on top of the refrigerator, bookcases and tabletops. You want your home to appear spacious and tidy. If the house is overflowing with stuff the new buyers may have trouble picturing space for their own belongings there. Donate your excess items or put them in storage to give your home a more pristine appearance. It will also make it easier on you when it comes time to make the move.
  4. TOUCH UP: Chances are your home has a few scuffs and scrapes from everyday living. You may not be bothered by these imperfections, but a prospective buyer will look at this as a needed repair. Brighten up your baseboards, walls and doors with a quick touch-up to keep everything looking brand new.
  5. NEUTRALIZE: You may love the color teal but it could be a turn-off to the prospective buyer. Try to tone down your colors by repainting your walls in a neutral or light tone. A fresh coat of paint will really open up your home and renew the interior which will help buyers picture themselves living in it.
  6. TIGHTEN UP: It may be a small thing, but missing or loose handles on cabinets and doors or even a missing light bulb can send a negative message to a buyer. New owners do not want to move in with a “to-do” list. Take a few minutes and tighten things up.
  7. LIVEN THINGS UP: A few plants can give your home a welcoming feel.PeaceLilies and philodendrons are easy to care for and really spruce up your home. Fresh flowers on the table can also make your home feel cheery as well as give it a little color.
  8. SMELL GOOD: Bad odors can be a deal-breaker. Whether it is the smell of pets, smoke or the fish you cooked last night, odors can create objections for buyers. Sometimes you may not be able to smell your own home so it is a good idea to ask a friend to give you an unbiased opinion. Candles, plug-ins or even cookies baking in the oven are a few techniques you can try to mask a slight odor, but be careful. You don’t want the smell you choose to be so overwhelming that it could be offensive to buyers. You want your home to smell clean, not like perfume.
  9. CLEAN UP YOUR ACT: Do a deep clean of your home before placing it on the market. You’ll want your home to look spotless and smell clean when buyers enter. You will also want it to look pristine for the professional photos. When showing your home make sure that everything is tidy for the prospective buyers. Keep your carpets vacuumed, floors shining, and bathroomssparkling. You never know when an agent is going to want to show your home.
  10. CONSIDER STAGING: If you haven’t changed your décor since 1980 you may want to consider hiring a professional staging company to evaluate the current condition of your home. Stagers will advise you on what to keep and what to store and can even organize your furniture, bookshelves and knickknacks in a way that will attract buyers. Professional stagers know what it takes to sell homes so don’t take any of their suggestions personally-their job is to encourage interest from buyers and they know what buyers like. You can also ask your agent for feedback from your showings to see if buyers have any issues or concerns about your home’s appearance. This way you can make small improvements if you need to.

With your agents help and by following these 10 steps you can help your get your home ready for sale and get those offers flowing in.