How do I prepare my home for sale?

So, you need to prepare your house for sale?

Preparing your home for sale can be forever involving.  However, this list will help you achieve some focus for your future sale.

I’ve heard so many realtors say that the first impression is the most important: what do you think?  When you have guests over to your home, does your entry way look better than your closets?  Of course it does!  And this should be no exception when preparing for sale.  But let’s be further truthful, I am not just an average realtor and this list is going to be more helpful than that.

So here are the main points we are going to talk about when we ask: How do I prepare my home for sale?

  • First Impressions
  • Cosmetics
  • Storage
  • Utilities

First Impressions when preparing your home for sale:  Like stated above, the first impression may be the most important aspect of preparing your home for sale.  And by the way, that doesn’t start at the door; it starts online with the marketing plan.   Make sure your realtor either hires a professional photographer, or has top quality pictures of your home.  That’s where the first impression really begins.

Now, for the home, the entry way and the exterior front of the home should look as good as you can possibly make it look.  Your yard should be greener than normal, your landscaping free of debris, and the front door should be free of dings and dents, and paint chips, etc.  That will provide the buyer with a warm welcome.  When the door is open, consider a candle lit for smell or have the oven going, something that triggers the other senses of our potential buyer.

Cosmetics are by far the most important aspect of preparing your home for sale.  How old are the light fixtures in your kitchen and bathrooms?  These inexpensive touches can add a ton of appeal to a potential buyer.  Of course, paint and carpet are the two items that all realtors talk about, and I think that is important as well.  But let’s not stop with simply touching up the paint.  What if you were to paint the entire home a builder’s caramel?  Isn’t it funny that when you walk into a new construction home, the paint is a deep warm almost burnt tan?  How much would it cost to paint your entire home the same way?  This is something to really consider.  Now, not all homes would need this and I don’t recommend every time, but there is a very good reason that every builder in the nation uses the exact same color scheme to sell their homes; because it works.  Other cosmetics are hardware on doors, cabinets, and closets.  There are dated hardware and there is updated hardware, which do you have.  The investment could be worth it.

Storage is typically overlooked when preparing a home for sale.  Wouldn’t it be nice if your home had more storage?  I know I could use more storage!  When we prepared our home for sale, we removed most of our stuff from the closets to give the appearance that we had plenty of storage.  When in reality, I would have loved more.   Make your closets pop and your storage areas look underutilized, that will go a long way in the preparation of your home for sale.

Utilities are an important piece of your home, and buyers think so too.  Consider cleaning your furnace, A/C, hot water tank, and laundry area from ceiling to floor.  Hire a professional to service the furnace and a/c before a buyer asks you to do that for them.  Be proactive with this area of the home and make your utilities shine.  A good service will go a long way in inspectors eyes.

This list is far from all encompassing, but it is a great place to start.  The first impression is very important, but not the end all be all.   A good cosmetic cleanup of paint, carpet, hardware, and lighting will make your home stand out among its competitors.  Furthermore, if your home had the appearance of good storage, that will also provide the buyer with that appearance as well.  And finally, give your utilities a checkup and clean them from rust and debris.  These little items will help your home prepare for sale over most.

Remember too, that no matter how well your home shows, if it isn’t priced fairly, it won’t attract any buyers. You’ll have to have a good understanding of the market place to price your home so that when you do make these changes, people will show up and buy your home.

Travis Anderson