10 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Sale

When it comes to selling your home, you want to be prepared. The first impression may be the only chance you have to win the hearts of your prospective buyers. These 10 tips are just a few things to consider when preparing your home for sale. When working with clients, I will help identify areas that may need a little extra attention along with provide a thorough checklist. Together we can make your home shine and make a great impression!

  1. Keep the lawn mowed, trim the shrubs and keep general tidiness of landscaping to help your curb appeal. If landscaping isn’t your strong suit, then consider hiring a lawn care company. Nicely manicured landscaping shows that you take pride in you home.
  2. Paint the front door and mailbox. A nice contrasting color brings excitement and intrigue to the home. Be careful though, just because it contrasts with the home doesn’t mean it works with existing color palette. Check with your local paint store or Pinterest.com for inspiration.
  3. Make sure the door bell works. It seems simple but it’s one of the little things that buyers will remember if it doesn’t work.
  4. Clean the windows (inside and out), vacuum blinds, wash window sills. Clean windows helps bring more natural light into the home and provides clear views to the outside.
  5. Add a fresh coat of neutral colored paint to the walls. A light beige color goes with most natural wood trim where a light gray or light beige looks great with white trim. Stick with colors that are the most common; trends change. Checking with your local paint store will help you decide which color works best.
  6. Clean out the closets; pack away clothes you don’t regularly wear until after the move. Remove loose items off the shelves and floors to make the closet look as big as you can.
  7. Remove all unnecessary counter-top appliances and unclutter the counter space. Show how big and open and clean your kitchen is.
  8. Deep clean the home. If cleaning is something you despise, hire a cleaning service and make sure you ask for the Deep Cleaning service. A deep clean will include wiping down all trim work in the home, scrub showers and toilets, clean all floors, rugs, blinds, etc. – not your typical maintenance cleaning.
  9. Replace all broken (blown out) light bulbs in the house. Make sure to replace them with bright bulbs of the same color temperature. Color temperature is measured in Kelvins where warm orange light is somewhere in the 2,700K-3,200K range and day blue is in the 5,500K-7,000K. Warm is usually common in living area where cooler blue temperatures are used in bathrooms. More information here.
  10. Have a garage sale. Sell, donate, or give away all those items that have been sitting around the house or in the attic for years that you don’t need. The idea is to open up the house as much as possible. If necessary, consider renting a storage unit if you can’t part with all the items cluttering up the basement or garage.

BONUS TIP: Hire a great photographer. Real Estate Photography is not the same as portrait photography. Vertical lines should be vertical, horizontal lines should be level. Lighting should be bright enough to show the space and the exterior views. As a professional real estate photographer, these are all things I pay attention to when taking pictures of your home. See the gallery for photos of past homes.

Chad P. Harris, REALTORĀ®; Licensed Real Estate Agent.

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