Prepare Your Home to Sell: 10 Easy Tips for Home Sellers

By
Real Estate Agent with Colleyville, Texas Real Estate Expert - Synergy Realty

prepare your home to sellThe way we LIVE in a home and the way we SELL a home are two different things. Think about when you sold a car in the past. I bet you took it to the car wash and gave it the very best cleaning you ever have! You probably vacuumed it out, wiped it down with armor all, and even put a new air freshener.

If you would do all that work for a car, shouldn't you give even more attention to your house when you are ready to put it on the market?

When selling your home, our goal is to sell it for the highest price in the shortest amount of time. With a small budget and a little effort, you can significantly increase your home's appeal to prospective buyers. 

Here are a few things you can do to prepare your home to sell:

Tip #1: Refresh the exterior
First impressions are critical in todays market! Many buyers won't even get out of their car if they don't find the exterior appealing. The best ways to improve your home's exterior include: 
-Touch up paint on the trim and shutters.
-Pressure washing walkways and the driveway.
-Washing windows.

Tip #2: Spruce up the landscaping
Home buyers associate the condition of your lawn and landscaping with the condition of your home's interior. By improving the outside, you can positively affect buyers' impression of the entire property. The best ways to enhance the yard include:
-Trimming overgrown trees, shrubs and hedges. 
-Add fresh mulch to plant beds.
-Planting colorful seasonal flowers.

Tip #3: Create an inviting entrance
The front door to your home should invite buyers to enter. The best ways to improve your entry include:
-Painting the front door in a glossy, cheerful color that complements the exterior.
-Repairing and/or replacing the screen door, the doorbell, porch lights and house numbers.
-Placing a new welcome mat and a group of seasonal potted plants and flowers by the entry.

10 easy tips for home sellersTip #4: Reduce clutter and furniture
A buyer cannot envision living in your home without seeing it. A home filled with clutter or even too much furniture distracts buyers from seeing how they can utilize the space your home offers. If you have limited storage space, you may want to consider renting a temporary storage unit to place items you wish to keep. The best ways to declutter your home include:
-Holding a garage sale to eliminate unnecessary items.
-Removing clutter such as books, magazines, toys, tools, supplies and unused items from counter tops, open shelves, storage closets, and the garage.
-Storing out-of-season clothing and shoes out of sight to make bedroom closets seem roomier.
-Organizing bookshelves, closets, cabinets and pantries. Buyers will inspect everything.
-Putting away your personal photographs, unless they showcase the home. Let buyers see themselves in your home.

Tip #5: Clean, clean, clean (Did we say CLEAN?!)
The cleanliness of your home also influences a buyer's perception of its condition. The appearance of the kitchen and bathrooms will play a considerable role in a buyer's decision process, so pay particular attention to these areas. The best ways to improve these areas include:
-Cleaning windows, fixtures, hardware, ceiling fans, vent covers and appliances.
-Cleaning inside the refrigerator, the stove and all cabinets.
-Removing stains from carpets, floors, counters, sinks, baths, tile, walls and grout.
-Eliminating house odors, especially if you have pets.

Tip #6: Make minor repairs
The small stuff does count, especially with first-time home buyers. Without dismissing the importance of repairing major items such as a leaky roof or plumbing, you do not need to spend money on replacing these items. Instead, focus on the minor repairs that will make your home visually appealing. The best ways to improve your home include:
-Repairing ceilings and wall cracks.
-Caulking and grouting tubs, showers, sinks and tile.
-Adding fresh paint to ceilings, walls, trim, doors and cabinets.
-Lubricating door hinges and locks.

Tip #7: Showcase the kitchen
The heart of any home is the kitchen. If you are going to spend any money on renovations, this is the one area where you will see the greatest return. Even with a modest budget, focusing on a few key areas can make a great difference in getting the asking price for your property. The best ways to showcase the kitchen include: 
-Update the cabinet hardware.
-Installing under-cabinet lighting.
-Remove items from the counters to make the space seem bigger

-Baking cookies or cupcakes for a showing, to create a homey smell.

Tip #8: Stage furniture
Furniture placement can enhance the space of your home while giving buyers an idea of how to best utilize the space with their own belongings. Take some time to rethink how different areas in your house could be used. Some ideas to think about include:
-Moving couches and chairs away from walls in your sitting and family rooms to create cozy conversational groups.
-Creating a reading corner in the master bedroom.
-Turning an awkward space into a home office.
-Setting the dining room table with your best china.
-Set wine glasses in front of the fireplace or next to a Jacuzzi tub.

Tip #9: Light up the house
Create a sense of openness and cheerfulness in your home through its lighting. To improve the lighting try:
-Opening shades and drapes to let the sunshine warm and brighten rooms.
-Installing brighter light bulbs in rooms that tend to be dark.
-Adding additional lamps for ambient lighting.
-Turning on all the lights for a showing.

Tip #10: Add fresh touches
You can easily add color and style to your home by adding fresh touches throughout. Some ideas to consider include:
-Placing fresh floral arrangements in the entry and master bedroom.
-Placing bowls of bright-colored fruit in the family room and the kitchen.
-Filling an empty corner with a potted leafy plant.
-Setting new hand soap in the bathrooms.
-Displaying fresh towels near sinks.

These are some great tips for Homeowners considering to list their home with a Realtor®! If you are thinking about possibly moving in the next 3-6 months, get a free online Market Snapshot emailed directly to you with information on the home sales in your neighborhood and see what your home could sell for in todays market, or give us a call at 817-410-8769.

Tips courtesy of Lowes.com

Comments (4)

Michael Ford
Coldwell Banker Heritage Homes - Marion, AR
Matching Families with Homes

Tony you are so correct.  The way we live in our house is not the way we sale our house.

Aug 10, 2010 04:38 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I find that #2 makes a great first impression along with painting the front door.

Aug 10, 2010 04:42 AM
Shana Bohnsack
Stewart Title North Texas - Southlake, TX

I like the fresh perspective you gave to these crucial pointers :)

Aug 10, 2010 05:41 AM
Troy George
Colleyville, Texas Real Estate Expert - Synergy Realty - Colleyville, TX
Real Estate Broker - Colleyville/Southlake - (817-

Thanks for the comments!

Michael - Many of our clients need coaching on this concept!

Harry - You nailed it! Fresh flowers and a fresh coatr of paint on the door can make all the difference.

 

Aug 11, 2010 07:02 AM