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Prepare to Sell

You can do a lot to increase the appeal of your property and to create a lasting impact on potential buyers.

Remember CLEAN = CASH.  The most important thing that a seller can do to prepare their home for sale is to clean it from top to bottom.  From the moment the buyer drives up to the home, they will be assessing the property with a critical eye.  Establish a budget and consider addressing the following items:

  • Pressure wash sidewalks, the driveway and front entry.  Does the roof need to be cleaned?  
  • Does the exterior paint present itself well?
  • Are the landscape beds weeded?  Is fresh mulch or are annual flowers needed?
  • Is there a “welcome” door mat?  (Many times if it’s raining it’s nice to have something for the buyers to wipe their feet on.)  Is the front door clean?  Does the key work well in the front door lock or does it stick?  Polish the door handle.  It’s the first thing a buyer will touch.
  • Remove any cobwebs or mud daubers from the front entry.
  • How does the mail box and exterior signage look?
  • If any landscape is touching the home trim it back.
  • Clean the windows inside and out.
  • Dust the blinds.
  • Remove any area rugs if possible (including floor mats in the bathrooms).  The home will look more spacious and the hard surface floorcovering will be highlighted if rugs are removed.  If the floors are tile, consider hiring a professional grout cleaner.
  • If the floors are carpet, would they benefit from cleaning?  If so, hire a carpet cleaner.
  • DECLUTTER.  You are planning to move anyway, so this is one time that less is more.  Start packing and in the process declutter your home.  Assign a spot in the garage to start moving the boxes to that you will pack.  The kitchen counters and tops of appliances should have as little on them as possible.  The same goes for bathroom countertops and dresser tops.  If it’s not absolutely necessary, pack it up in a box and put it in the garage.
  • Remove personal items and family photos.  Anything that is valuable needs to be removed.  This includes removing any firearms from the home.
  • Remove all memorabilia and pack your collections.  
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  • Replace the filters in your air conditioning system.
  • Clean your oven.  Buyers will open it and look inside.  The same goes for your refrigerator and your microwave.
  • Gather together all of the manuals for appliances, etc. and put them in one spot for the new buyer.
  • Make a copy of the key for your agent to put in the lock box.
  • Make copies of your latest utility bills for your agent.  Many buyers want to know what you pay as an average, and the contact information from the bill will be needed to change over service at closing.
  • Consider a fresh coat of paint if the interior paint color(s) are anything other than neutral or if the walls are very dirty.  If the paint is neutral and in good condition, save money and leave.
  • If you have any wallpaper, consider removing it.  No matter how much it may go with your current décor, wallpaper has lost its appeal, and is considered a negative by many buyers.
  • If there is anything that is “broken”, that you have been putting off repairing, now is the time to have it addressed.  If you need a referral for a handyman, plumber, electrician, or another type of contractor, I can help provide names and phone numbers.
  • Service your air conditioning system.  The A/C system cooling and heating differentials will be verified during a home inspection, and having the system serviced will ensure that it is operating at its peak potential.  
  • Lastly, consider paying for a pre-listing home inspection or offering a one year homeowners warranty with your listing.  

Before listing your home, I will walk through each room with you and provide specific recommendations on what you can do to highlight the room so that your home is “show ready”.  

Moving out of town or planning on selling the majority of your furniture and possessions?  Ask me about Estate Sale referrals as an option to declutter and make some money at the same time.