Prepare to SELL!

Neutral is Key!

There are lots of tips to get your home ready to sell.  If preparation doesn't seem worth the effort, you may want to consult a professional stager.  Remember, the amount of $ return you will get may outweigh what you put into it.  One of my #1 Recommendations is NEUTRAL Why? If you go neutral ALL buyers can imagine their own decor in the home.  Remember they're not there to admire your things, they're there to buy a home for themselves.  Neutral Linens, Neutral Colors, and plain texture helps immensely!


Pet owners; 2 major areas you NEED to not overlook.  The areas your pet lays and spreads hair, and the area they may frequently soil.  Nothing turns a buyer away faster than a bad pet smell, or a pet mess.  Not all buyers will be understanding as many buyers don't have pets.  If you do not know how to effectively remove pet odors PLEASE hire a professional cleaner.  Also, for first preference is take your pets out of the home- on a walk, to a friends- if you can't second preference for showings is invest in a pet carrier.  Buyers won't be crazy about your barking dog, but if you put him in a corner of a room they're not likely to spend a ton of time in, say a second bedroom in the corner, they probably won't mind.  For times you have to work and cannot remove your pet it's much safer to have it in a kennel or carrier for a showing.  Nothing is more disturbing than to hear your pet has been accidentally let loose during a showing, or even worse to have bit a potential buyer. 

Also, I need for your home to be clean.  If you regularly keep a clean home, GREAT!  If you don't, I do recommend hiring a professional cleaning company.  They are less expensive than you'd think, and pretty readily available.  If you can't afford to spend on a cleaning service but aren't sure if you are really cleaning well, here's an online guide


Got clutter?  Look around....

  • Do you havemore than 5 pieces of furniture?  
  • Do you have more than 2 or 3 items hanging on your walls?  
  • Do you have more than 2 or 3 items on flat surfaces such as tables or ottomans?  

If you said yes, then you have clutter.  Don't get me wrong- I have clutter!  Right now my dining table has school work, a stack of folded laundry, my cell phone, my child's flash cards from schools, and my centerpiece vase of flowers- but this is WAY too cluttered to be on the market.  As hard as it may feel, put away your extra items in boxes or rubbermaids and store them.  First recommendation would be a storage unit or pod, but if that's not financially feasible, stack the boxes in a garage, basement, attic, or even under a bed with a bedskirt- but get it out of sight! Don't worry.... you're moving so you've saved yourself time.  But if you don't you probably won't be moving anytime soon.  Clutter can be busy draperies, bed quilts, and wallpaper as well- if you have plain or neutral that's best.  Buyers are there to buyer your home, not your stuff- let them focus and see your home!

Sparse Counters: HIDE your appliances and clutter

Neutral Bath. Fluffy white towels. Ambiance.

Clean Living. Remove Personal Photos.


Get the House Ready
A house that "sparkles" on the surface will sell faster than its shabby neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained.

From experience, REALTORS® also know that a "well-polished" house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what they can't see has probably also been maintained. In readying your house for sale, consider:

  • how much should you spend
  • exterior and curb appeal
  • preparing the interior

How much should you spend
In preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed by a brand new roof, but they aren't likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive "polishes" and "touch-ups" to your house, such as putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room, and doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen. Your REALTOR®, who is familiar with buyers' expectations in your neighborhood, can advise you specifically on what improvements need to be made. Don't hesitate to ask for advice.

Maximizing exterior and curb appeal
Before putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to maximize its exterior and interior appeal. Most buyers decide on a home within the first couple minutes- walk in from the time a buyer first comes onto your property, and into the first few steps.  What did they see?  Would they want it?  Tips to enhance your home’s exterior and curb appeal:

  • Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly.
  • Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly.
  • Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling. 
  • Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint.
  • Clean and align gutters.
  • Inspect and clean the chimney.
  • Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
  • Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
  • In Northern winters, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice.
  • During spring and summer months consider adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance.
  • Re-seal an asphalt driveway.
  • Keep your garage door closed.
  • Store RVs or old and beaten up cars elsewhere while the house is on the market.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door.

Maximizing interior appeal
Enhance your home’s interior by:

  • Giving every room in the house a thorough cleaning, as well as removing all clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded rooms have actually rented storage garages and moved half their furniture out, creating a sleeker, more spacious look.
  • Hiring a professional cleaning service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
  • Removing the less frequently used, even daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making these areas much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a move anyhow, holding a garage sale at this point is a great idea.
  • If necessary, repainting dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
  • Checking for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement.
  • Repairing cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
  • Replacing broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork. Inspecting and repairing the plumbing, heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
  • Repairing dripping faucets and showerheads. Buying showy new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
  • Sprucing up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.

(From Realtor Magazine)