Question:

I am going to list my home in the future. What is the best way to prepare it to sell?

Answer:

Careful planning, staging, and sprucing are what send buyers scurrying for their checkbooks.

Here’s eight ways how to turn your house into an irresistible and marketable home:

1. De-Personalize.

Pack up personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers need to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there!  Buyers shouldn’t think, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want them to say, “I can see myself living here.”

2. De-Clutter!

Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it, so why not donate it or throw it away? Remove all books from bookcases. Pack up those knickknacks.  Clean off eve rything on kitchen counters. Put essential items in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use. Think of this as a head-start on packing.

3. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.

Buyers love to snoop in closets and cabinets. If items fall out, the only message is, not enough storage! When everything is organized, it says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means: Alphabetize spice jars. Neatly stack dishes. Turn coffee cup handles the same way. Hang shirts buttoned and facing the same direction. Line up shoes.

4. Rent a Storage Unit.

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces that block or hamper paths. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove dining room table leaves to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture to showcase each room’s purpose. You don’t want buyers asking, “What is this room used for?”

5. Make Minor Repairs.

Minor, low-cost repairs more than pay for themselves. Replace cracked tiles. Patch holes in walls. Fix leaky faucets. Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam. Consider painting your walls neutral colors. (Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the orange bathroom.”)  Replace burned-out light bulbs.

6. Make the House Sparkle!

No one wants to buy a dirty home. Wash dirty windows inside and out. Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and the exterior. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors. Clean out the refrigerator. Wax floors. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Bleach dingy grout. Hang up fresh towels. Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.

7. Scrutinize.

Linger in the doorway of every room and carefully examine how your house will look to a buyer. Arrange furniture to give each room a larger feel. Make sure window coverings hang level. Tune in to the room’s statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz? Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You’re almost finished!

8. Check Curb Appeal.

If buyer won’t go in your home because they don’t like the exterior, then none of the hard work above matters. Mow the lawn. Replace the outside lights.  Paint faded window trim. Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion.  Marigolds are inexpensive. Trim your bushes. Make sure visitors can read your house numbers.