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How to get your house ready to list it on the market!

Jennifer Lovett

More Jennifer's articles

5 min read

Every seller wants their home to sell quickly for a large profit, but it takes more than luck to make this happen. It involves careful planning and knowing how to professionally prepare your home to convince buyers to pull out their checkbooks.

Depersonalize Your House

Pack up anything that makes the house very personalized to you. This may be things like photographs, family heirlooms or very to taste furniture and accents. You want the potential buyers to walk through the house imagining their items in there without being distracted by things that are directly associated with you and your family.

This also goes for furniture, if you have any pieces that are very to taste it is best to remove them as this can be very distracting. You may love your neon yellow accent chair, but things like that can take away from the home. Remember, the buyers are purchasing your home, not all the decor in it. Give them a blank canvas!

Declutter Your House

People tend to collect an amazing quantity of items over the years. Reasons for keeping items include an emotional attachment, an intention to reuse or fix the items in the future, or a wish to pass them on to others. While this is great, an abundance of items can take away from the beauty of the home. It’s hard to see the beautiful tile work on a fireplace if the mantle is being engulfed in decor or clutter. When it comes to getting your house ready for the market, the less items and cleaner the place looks the better.

Make sure you remove books from bookcases and other knick knacks, and clean everything off your kitchen counters. Essential items that you use daily can be tucked away in small boxes that you can place in a closet when they’re not in use. Consider this process an efficient start to your packing.

Organize Bedroom Closets and Storage Cabinets

Buyers will be curious about storage space and will want to check closets and cabinets. It’s important to ensure these are organized, as it sends a negative message if your storage spaces are cluttered with items falling out. When a buyer sees everything organized down to the last detail, it shows that you take care of your possessions and likely took good care of the house. As well it makes the space look more useful when organized. If you cram a bunch of stuff in a closet, it can make the space come off as much smaller and not as useful to the buyer.

Consider Renting a Storage Unit

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage, along with distracting furniture, artwork, and empty bookcases. Removing extra leaves from your dining room table will make the room appear larger. You want to 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

Too many repairs needed can make or break a sale. Most buyers do not mind a few projects after move into the home, but that does start limiting your buyer pool. A house is a huge investment and most buyers want something that is move-in ready.

Examples of items you should do before listing are: Paint all rooms a neutral color and fix any holes in the walls. Fix leaky faucets and doors that don’t close properly, as well as kitchen drawers that jam. Do any updates that fit your budget from updating appliances to light fixtures.

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. Shampooing of all rugs and carpets. Make sure all of the dust is removed from under the furniture, in the cabinets and closets, and everywhere 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 up fresh guest towels. Also, 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 someone opens your refrigerator, make sure it appears clean and orderly.

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, hanging a wreath, adding a cute welcome mat, putting down fresh mulch, and planting flowers. First impressions are most important and the first thing a buyer will see is the exterior of the home.

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