PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE
You’ve entertained the idea of moving from your humble abode…now what?
You can start the process before contacting your Realtor®.
*As part of your home-selling process, we will stage your home before
listing it, to ensure it’s “market ready.” As your agent, we rely on the
feedback of other agents and prospective buyers who view your home, and want
to be as proactive as possible to have your home in impeccable shape before we
list it for public view.
Start planning early
Have you been collecting items for years, and storing them in your garage
and basement? Now is the time to start planning their relocation! Start
reducing that clutter. Hold a yard sale, donate your stuff to charity, give it
away, or just throw it out.
Start packing early
Start boxing up any items you want to keep, but won’t be using before moving
day. If necessary, rent a storage unit or POD® for a quick move of all of those
Identify your home’s flaws or
You, as the seller, are obligated to disclose any known problems or flaws in
the home, including things like: mold, termites, asbestos, or a new highway to
be built nearby. If you fail to mention things like a leaky roof, you could be
liable and could possibly be sued. Most likely, a buyer for your home will have
a professional inspection done, but we advise you to give an honest disclosure
right up front.
Get the house in “showcase”
Small cosmetic touches can increase your home’s value. Please reference the Improvements
Section below before paint cans in tow to “brighten up the rooms of your
Decide what goes and what stays
Before you start showing your home, you need to decide what will be included
in the sale. If you want to take your washer, dryer, refrigerator, draperies,
your grandmother’s bench attached to your front porch, or other items with you - we will need to know before listing the home. Fixtures (items attached to the
home or land), will stay with the home upon sale. If you’d like to keep the
one-of-a-kind Tiffany chandelier in the dining room, remove it and replace it
with something comparable before the house is listed. This eliminates many
potential future issues between parties once the home is on the market.
Preparation for new home
Have a general idea of where and what you’re looking for once your home
- Painting: Touch up your house’s exterior paint before
you put it on the market. Paint and/or clean the front door. Include trim
around windows, doors, and fascia.
- Lawn: Keep your lawn freshly-mowed and neatly-trimmed.
Clear debris from the lawn and the border of your home. Don’t forget to
keep your sprinklers on to maintain appearance – no dry spots.
- Shrubbery: Remove or replace any dead or dying trees,
hedges, or shrubs. Prune anything that looks unsightly or overgrown.
- Flowers: Filling flowerbeds with seasonal flowers is an
inexpensive way to add color and charm to your property. If you’re
not savvy with landscape design, simply keep gardens free of weeds.
- Repairs: Be sure all gutters and downspouts are in
place and clean. Replace missing roof shingles, and broken or cracked
* Your home’s curb appeal is the
first impression for a potential buyer.
As the old adage goes: “You only get
one chance to make a first impression.”
- Clean, clean, clean: Keep your stove, oven,
refrigerator, microwave, cupboards, pantry, linen closets, etc clean
inside and out. Buyers will more than likely open these areas to
distinguish size for their own items. Over-stuffed closets make them
appear smaller, and could hurt a buyer’s perspective on the actual
size of the area. De-clutter counter tops (one or two items are
acceptable). Keep dirty dishes out of the sink. Put bathroom toiletries
away in drawers, and clear off counter tops.
- Clean and spot-treat all carpeting. Polish wood floors
and vinyl flooring. Clean walls, doors, and woodwork. We’ve worked with
many discouraged sellers who were told by an agent, that they needed to
spend $3k to replace their carpets...when all that was necessary was a
- Eliminate odors: Buyers will notice strong smells as
soon as they walk through your front door. Eliminate smoke, mildew, and
pet odors. Consider purchasing a lavender-smelling furnace filter, an
ionizer, or fresh/clean scent room fresheners. Bleach floors and clean
areas around litter boxes.
- Fix drippy faucets and running toilets: If any sinks or
bathtubs drain slowly, unclog them. A home inspector will note any of
these items in his report.
- Make cosmetic improvements: Painting isn’t expensive if
you do it yourself, but be careful when selecting interior colors. Stick
with neutral colors. Avoid cherry red, canary yellow, emerald green, and
other bold colors with strong visual impact. You’d be surprised how many
people viewing a home become distracted by the bright-colored wall, missing the appeal of the rest of the room. Make sure hinges and knobs are
tightened and doors close properly. Did your kids kick a soccer ball into
the wall, leaving an epic hole? Time to patch it up!
Here are some staging tips that you
can use to increase your house’s emotional appeal.
- Kitchen: Sensory-enhancing aromas from freshly-baked
cookies, vanilla, or just-brewed coffee, initiate the “this feels like
home” vibe you want to create.
- Bathrooms: Hang towels up and keep them fresh. Buy new
shower curtains; old ones are usually spotted with mildew. Put new soap in
the soap dishes. Keep counter top items to a minimum. Don’t forget a quick
wipe-down of the toothpaste splashed on the mirror! Ensure all toilet
seats are down.
- Just say “No” to the refrigerator: Most people use
magnets or tape to stick everything from vacation snapshots and
finger-painting masterpieces. Clear everything off.
- Comfort: Keep your house at an inviting temperature
during each season.
- Flowers: Fresh flowers spotted throughout the house
make a wonderful impression on prospective buyers. **Exception – house
plants climbing up walls and placed all over is NOT a good impression…it
can make a prospective buyer feel claustrophobic and the room feel
- Stage every room with minimal furniture. Removing your
personal items allows potential buyers to visualize their own
furniture/belongings in the room. If your husband’s tired La-Z-Boy
recliner is sad and dingy (but loved, nonetheless), it’s best to store it
until the home sells.
- Keep family photos, wall décor, plants, and other
accessories to a minimum. Store away most of your liquor bottles, sports
paraphernalia, religious décor, and other knick-knacks.
(Portion of content courtesy of