How Should I Prepare to Sell?

When selling a home first impressions can make a difference in negotiating a price and finding the right buyer. In order to make that great first impression, you should pull out all stops (within reason, of course) to get your house in pristine shape and “Wow” potential buyers.

Here are some tips of what you can do to prepare your house to be viewed and to create a great first impression. Investing a little bit of money into cleaning and tidying up the home can increase the chances of getting the price that you are asking.

Start with Curb Appeal

Buyers will drive by your house before they enter, and are more willing to view the inside of your house if the outside looks clean and inviting. If your house hasn’t been painted in the past few years, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way.

Make sure that your front yard is neatly manicured with a fresh cut lawn, trimmed bushes and weeds removed. Fresh flowers can liven up the landscaping.

Clean the outside of the house by removing trash/debris, cleaning oil stains from the driveway, and washing windows.

Remove Clutter

Extra clutter (excessive amounts of furniture, knickknacks) can make larger houses seem small and smaller houses seem claustrophobic. Start packing a little bit early. Rent a storage unit and store extra furniture that is not essential to showing the function of any given room. Tidy up storage spaces such as closets, cabinets, and the garage. You’ll be surprised with how much your house will “open” up when you remove a little clutter.

Depersonalize Your Home

The goal is to make your home as attractive as possible for the potential buyers, and personal items can detract a buyer from seeing the more important aspects of your home. This includes family photos, your children’s beloved soccer trophies, and that crazy one of a kind lamp that you adore.

Let There Be Light

Having a well-lit home makes your home more cheerful and inviting. Make sure that all spent light bulbs are replaced, and have each room adequately lit. A trick of the trade is to increase the wattage of bulbs that are being used in the house to 100 watt bulbs.

Finish Unfinished Projects

If buyers see that there are projects that still need to be finished in the house, chances are they will want to reduce the asking price.

Well Intentioned Rooms

The function of each room should be clear at first glance. This usually applies for extra rooms in the house. If the room is intended to be an office, have it look like an office, and the same for a bedroom. If you have a spare room the collects clutter, try giving the room more focus of what it could be for the buyer.

Constantly Clean up After Indoor Pets

Store food dishes and litter boxes outside the main rooms in the house (possibly placing them in the utility room. Clean up any shed hair, and deodorize areas where your pets usually lie. This will help reduce chances of potential buyers of having allergic reactions.

See What Other People are doing

View model homes, look at magazines, and ask friends (and your realtor) to see examples of how other homes are being shown. After you are done tidying up your home, ask for other’s opinions.