Getting ready to sell your home involves more than merely hiring a Realtor to plant a sign in the front yard. There are plenty of preparations that, if done right, will ensure that you receive the best offers in the shortest possible time.
Here’s a quick three-step guide to prepping your home for sale:
1. Fix, clean, and repair
You may think of that rattling air conditioning vent as a cute quirk; a potential buyer may consider it a sign of deferred maintenance. The same goes for things like cracks in the walls, sticky kitchen drawers, and loose shingles. Take a close look at your property, inside and out, and make a list of repairs. Fix everything that’s not quite right before listing your home, and you’ll boost your chances of getting good offers quickly.
Don’t forget that potential buyers love to snoop around, so make sure the insides of your cabinets are clean and organized. If your home has hardwood floors that need refinishing, take care of that. Hardwood floors are a great selling point, but only if they are in good repair.
It’s crucial that the outside of your house is as clean and well-kept as the interior. Curb appeal is at least as important as the rest. In fact, some buyers will pass right by if your home doesn’t look great from the road.
2. Take a neutral position
Potential home buyers want to envision themselves living in your home. If your house is filled with personal photos, religious icons, and oddball items, your would-be buyers might not be able to see themselves moving in.
The smell of your home is one of the most important features. Buyers often refuse to consider any home where a smoker resides. Entering a home with pet odor will doom a potential offer unless the person also has a pet. Most of us become noseblind to the smell of our own properties. Trust me, no amount of freshly-baked cookies will counter strong pet odors.
If your home features outdated décor such as chartreuse shag carpeting and weird wall colors, replace them. Your best bet is to go for neutral colors that don’t cause an emotional response in prospective buyers. Beige, off-white, gray, and tan colors are always appropriate for an on-the-market home. That way, would-be buyers can imagine decorating the home their own way.
3. Stage the scene
Once your house is completely clean, organized, and updated, it’s time to create a scene. Small touches such as new patio furniture, fresh bath towels, a bouquet of flowers on the dining table, and pretty throw pillows add dabs of delight without overwhelming a potential buyer.
Staging your entrance is important, too. If your front door has seen better days, give it a fresh coat of paint. Shine up the hardware and lay a brand-new welcome mat on the porch. Try to think of staging as having fun with cosmetics. Even the prettiest face can be upgraded with a flick of mascara and a wisp of blush. Do it right, and nobody notices the makeup, just the natural beauty.