Dollars and Sense: How to Prepare Your House for Sale (Part 2)

The Paseo Financial Group

Consider Renting a Storage Unit

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces that block paths and walkways, and put them in storage, along with distracting artwork and empty bookcases.

Removing extra leaves from your dining room table will make the room appear larger.

Leave just enough furniture to showcase the room’s purpose with plenty of room for buyers to move around.

Remove or Replace Favorite Items

If you plan on taking certain window coverings, built-in appliances, or fixtures with you, remove them prior to showing the house. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great-grandmother, be sure to take it down before a buyer sees it and asks that it be included with the house. Telling a buyer they can’t have an item that appears with the house and enhances its appeal can hurt the sale.

Make Minor Repairs

In some seller’s markets, you can sell a home in lived-in condition without much complaint. But in normal markets or a buyer’s market, repairs can make or break a sale.

Replace cracked floor or counter tiles, and patch any holes in the walls. Fix leaky faucets and doors that don’t close properly, as well as drawers that jam. Consider painting walls neutral colors, especially if they’re hot pink or purple. Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the one with the orange bathroom.”

Replace burned-out lightbulbs, and also consider replacing those that have been in service for a while. Avoid the potential of having a bulb blow out when you flip the light switch during a showing. It’s a small incident that can easily be avoided if you are mindful. You want the buyer’s experience to be as positive as possible.

Open the curtains and blinds, and turn on those lights. Houses show better when each room is clean and bright.

Make the House Sparkle

Preparing your home to be viewed by potential buyers may require hiring a professional cleaning crew. Cleaning may include washing the windows inside and out; renting a pressure washer and spraying down sidewalks and the exterior; recaulking tubs, showers, and sinks; and polishing chrome faucets and mirrors. Make sure dust is removed from under the furniture, in the cabinets and closets, and anywhere else it could be hiding.

Try to maintain this cleanliness by vacuuming daily, waxing floors, dusting furniture, and keeping the bathrooms and kitchen spotless. Hang fresh guest towels, and keep the toilet lid closed when it’s not in use.

Kitchens are a big selling point for many buyers, so make yours as spotless and uncluttered as possible. In the event that someone opens your refrigerator, make sure it appears clean and orderly.

Above all, clean and air out any musty areas. The night before a showing, avoid cooking particularly odorous foods such as fish, garlic, or cabbage. These smells can linger the day after. If you have pets, monitor litter boxes or any other areas affected by them.

Scrutinize Curb Appeal

A potential sale is lost quickly if a buyer won’t even get out of their agent’s car because the exterior of your home turns them off. Make the exterior more appealing and welcoming by painting your front door and placing one or two flower pots on your front porch. Hire a landscaper to clean up your lawn and add a few shrubs or flowering plants. Consider hiring a contractor to fix any cracks on your front steps or walkway. Make sure visitors can clearly see your house number.

The Final Step

Back inside your home, linger in the doorway of each room, and imagine how your house will look to a buyer. Arrange furniture so each room has visual appeal. Make sure window coverings hang evenly. Once you’ve cleaned and gotten everything repaired and organized, you can begin staging your home.

Douglas Sedam is the Owner/Broker of SBRanchRealty & The Home Loan Pros. He can be contacted at 520-829-5219 or [email protected].