Tips for home sellers: little things with a big impact

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

As the saying goes, the devil is in the details! 

When preparing your home for sale, don't neglect the little things. Those can yield big results and make for a smooth(er) transaction. 

Below are a few of the tips that I share with all my Silver Spring, MD area sellers:Tips for Silver Spring, MD Home Sellers

1. Organize your closets. Yes, all of them - from pantry to linen closet, from walk-ins to bathroom
 cabinets, from junk drawer to coat closet. There are 2 big reasons why you should not neglect that "little" detail.

  • Organized closets are synonymous with a well-maintained home. Stuffed, over-flowing closets on the other hand may make the buyers wonder what else you didn't pay attention to: maintenance items or little repairs that can grow into big ones when neglected.
  • Messy closets also create the impression that there's a lack of storage in this house... that's not the impression you want to create.

2. Let the sunshine in! Clean your windows, roll up the blinds and open up the curtains. Nobody likes a dark & gloomy home. Rooms that are bright, airy and flooded with daylight create happy & friendly feelings. These are the kind of feelings that you want all buyers to feel in your home - good vibes sell houses!

3.  Make arrangements for your pets - especially dogs & cats. We all understand that your pets are members of your family and it may be a bit of a hassle during the time your house is on the market.

But, dogs - especially big & loud ones - can scare potential buyers away. More than once did one of my buyers decide to cut a showing short or to not even enter a home to begin with because of a dog. 

4. Hide prescription drugs. Please do. They should not be sitting on your counters or stored in the usual places. No, serious home buyers are not out & touring homes to find prescription drugs. But we've heard stories of people pretending to be buyers in the hopes of finding prescription drugs.

5. Lock away valuables, jewelry, spare change, electronic devices etc. ... . There's no need to have any of these items on display. See #4.

6. Replace burnt-out light bulbs, clean vents & ceiling fans and repair or replace your front door lock if it's too hard to open. 

7. Walk through your home and "see" with your nose. What do you smell? Is it pleasant?  Can you smell your trashcan in the kitchen? Dirty laundry? Pets? Eliminate all sources of bad odor and add good ones instead (fresh flowers, plug-in fragrances, candles for example).

8. Don't disclose confidential information pertaining to a contract or your circumstances & motivation for selling on social media or with your neighbors or at the kids play-group or ... Your home is not sold until the last signature is placed at the closing table and the buyer's loan has funded. Until then, stuff can happen. You don't want to compromise your negotiation position.

While I encourage my sellers to share the listing & awesome professional photography, anything else should be kept confidential. When neighbors ask you about the price, tell them the list price but don't talk about if you were willing to adjust it lower or agreed to pay 3% closing help. They'll find out after closing. That's soon enough.  

The devil is in the details! Don't neglect the little things, those can yield big results and make for a smooth(er) transaction!

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Thompson Company, REALTORS

16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860

Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD, who has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers in Montgomery and Howard County, MD (and beyond) for 17+ years now. She always answers the phone with a smile, is fluent in Real Estate & German, pro preservation, passion and coffee fueled. 

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 Andrea Bedard, Thompson Company, REALTORS: from Just Listed to Just SOLD


All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way.
Please get in touch prior to using any of my images and/or my original content. 
All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Comments (4)

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Great tips, Andrea. I tell my sellers to hang all their shirts in the same direction and to button them. I am so finicky. I also want to see all the coffee cups with handles in the kitchen cabinets facing the same way.

Apr 01, 2017 06:49 PM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in German and Real Estate * M.A. ABR ASP

Elizabeth, thank you for your comment. I meant to respond sooner but ... well, you know how it goes! 

Finicky is good! In a well-staged house no detail is too small. 

Apr 06, 2017 02:20 PM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

This is a great list for sellers!!  Putting away the prescription drugs is huge!

Apr 07, 2017 12:06 PM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in German and Real Estate * M.A. ABR ASP

Thank you Susan! You know, that point wasn't on my list of suggestions until a few years ago when some "buyers" made their rounds at Open House trying to collect as much as they could. You can't be too careful. 

Apr 15, 2017 08:20 PM

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