Preparing Your Home for the Market
Listing your home can be overwhelming, so we created a list of our top tips in order to prepare your home to sell.
Consider watching this video by Lisa Moore and Chip Jones on how you can prepare your home to sell! Here is what you must do in order to sell your home more quickly, efficiently and maybe even get a higher offer:
- Improve your landscaping.
- Clear the yard of clutter.
- Make minor repairs.
- Consider larger repairs.
- Make your home smell pleasant.
- Remove clutter.
- Take down personal items.
- Prepare the home to be photographed.
- Keep it clean for showings and open houses.
Improve your landscaping.
Landscaping is a major factor impacting your curb appeal on your home. A professional lawn care company is an investment you will see a return on! A clean lawn, trimmed shrubs, and well-kept trees are minor details that will get buyers through the doors. Think of it as a free advertising opportunity when that "For Sale" sign is outside. Landscaping companies offer the following services that you may find beneficial:
- Lawn Mowing
- Weed Trimming
- Flower Planting
- Shrub and Tree Trimming
Think of the details, and examine the outside of your home. When you pull into your driveway, what do you notice? Here are a few additional tips to getting your home in a position to sell: It may be advantageous to plant fresh flowers and rid of any dying plants. Instead of a fresh paint job to your home, consider power-washing dirt and grime to give your home a newer look. If your grass is looking brown, make sure it is getting a proper amount of watering by putting out sprinklers. Possibly replace your welcome mat with a new one!
Clear the yard of clutter.
First impressions are everything! A potential buyer may be under the impression that you do not take care of the inside if you don't take care of the outside. A clean, well-kept home will always draw buyers in. Be sure to put away any lawn care items such as shovels, gardening tools, and lawn mowers. If there are children in the home, contemplate putting bikes and toys away. If there are swings, play sets, or outdoor furniture, make sure those are also well-kept!
Make minor repairs.
Minor repairs can make a huge transformation on your home. The value of your home can go up by several thousand dollars just by spending a mere few hundred. It is worth the investment! Acknowledge any holes, loose knobs, or missing light bulbs. Here is a list of repairs to make on your home before selling:
- Scratched Floorboards
- Holes or Cracks in Plaster
- Grout Tile
- Loose Knobs
- Missing Handles
- Dead Light Bulbs
- Missing Curtains or Blinds
- Painting Cabinets
- Install Smoke Detector
- Replace Light Switches
Consider making large repairs.
Any faults of the home will need to be disclosed and will be brought to light eventually by an inspector. Large inconveniences to the purchaser of the home may completely turn them off from buying if you're either not open to negotiation or open to making the repairs. Consider this when choosing your price point and budget for pre-sale home repairs. An open line of communication between yourself and your realtor will be essential in determining what is necessary! Repairs may be anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Some aspects of your home to consider are:
- Electrical Work
- Architectural Errors
- Foundation Problems
- Water Damage
- Sewer Line Problems
- Mold Growth
- Septic System Repair
- Termite Damage
- Pipe Repair or Installation
- Heating or Air Conditioning Repair
Give your home a pleasant odor.
Making your home pleasant for all the senses is a must! Unpleasant odors can turn a buyer off that is touring the home. You may need to especially consider this if your home is an older build, you have pets in the home, or if you just cooked a dinner that has a lingering smell! Here are some helpful ways to help your home smell better:
- Bake a fresh pastry, cookies or desert
- Use cleaning sprays that smell good
- Make sure to take out your trash!
- Light some candles
- Plug in some of your wall diffusers
- Add some fresh flowers to your home
- Diffuse essential oils
- Clean any animal beds, litter boxes or toys
- Use baking soda on any stinky shoes and spread on your carpet
- Place dryer sheets in drawers, cabinets, etc.
Too many smells can be overwhelming, so pick out only a few ideas to use. Make sure the scents coincide with each other throughout the home. A positive reaction to your home's scent may add just the finishing touch that seals the deal!
When a person, couple or family cannot see past your items into the home, they may not be able to visualize themselves living there. Take a tour around your home and find particular parts that need to be worked on. If you're moving anyways, consider packing items you don't use on a daily basis and putting them in storage. Here are some areas to look out for:
- Kitchen countertops
- Dining room tables
- Accent chairs with clothes, coats, or blankets
- China cabinets
- Tops of dressers
- Bathroom countertops
- Bedroom closets
- Storage rooms or closets
- TV consoles
If you are expecting an upcoming showing, think about putting your personal belongings in drawers or cabinets temporarily. It is usually best to sort, get rid of, sell, or pack items anyways because many buyers want to see what the drawers/ cabinets will look like if they decide to make the move. At the very minimum, give some thought on clearing all surfaces of the home!
Take down personal items.
You do not want the people touring your home to feel like they are invading your space. It is hard to picture yourself living in a home when another family has pictures on the walls. Below are some items to store away when you are expecting a showing:
- Any slippers, shoes, jackets
- Toiletries such as toothbrushes, face creams or hair brushes
- Family photographs
- Refrigerator magnets
- Children's drawings or artwork
- Decor with family members' names
- Any pet food, bed, or toys
- Holiday or birthday cards laying out
Some of these items can be packed away, but some of them require daily use! Contemplate which items in your home can stay and which ones can be packed.
Prepare the home to be photographed.
Sometimes, a realtor will hire a professional to come and photograph the home. If you want the home to get more showings and sell quicker, follow these quick tips to prepare your home before the photographer gets there.
- Make sure there is enough lighting. Check on lightbulbs, open up blinds and curtains.
- Make the beds
- Clean up children's toys and store away
- Vacuum any carpet
- Mop any hard flooring
- Straighten all pictures or decor
- Clean off all surfaces
- Manicure the lawn
- Arrange furniture in a way that opens up the home
- Add fresh flowers to the table
- Remove personal items
Keep it clean for showings and open houses.
After the home has been photographed, keep it clean because you will be getting traffic to the home! The buyers want to see what they see in the pictures. Make sure that while the home is on the market to keep it cleanly. There may be times where your realtor at MTM Realty will call for a last minute showing with an eager buyer. You do not want to miss out on these potential selling opportunities!