Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

As the market slows, more homes will linger and buyers will have more choices. It has never been more imperative that sellers take extra care to make their house as appealing as possible to buyers.

How much should you spend?

In preparing your home for the market you want to get the biggest "bang for your buck" possible. Buyers might be impressed by a new roof but they may not even notice that roof if the front yard is hopelessly overgrown and a shutter is hanging askew. "Polishes" and "touch-ups" are what will make your house more visually attractive, not costly renovations. As experienced real estate agents, we understand buyer expectations in our local area and can advise you specifically on which improvements need to be made and which improvements will get you the highest return on your investment. We can also recommend the best professionals to help you get those improvements completed. Feel free to contact us if you are in need of a vendor referral. 

Bonus Tip #1: The fewer belongings in your house and garage, the larger the rooms will look. Consider renting offsite storage for extra belongings while your house is on the market. Remember, buyers will want to see the garage. Stuffing the garage to the rafters will only give buyers the impression that the house is too small for the average family.

Maximizing your home's exterior and curb appeal

There is an old saying, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." Not anywhere is this statement more accurate than with home sales. Strong curb appeal can go a long way towards making up for other shortcomings. The backyard appeal is also very important. A well-manicured front yard and a neglected backyard will make buyers wonder where else you might be cutting corners. To enhance your home's exterior and curb appeal, check the following and repair as necessary:

  • Have the lawn edged, cut short and watered. Make arrangements to have this done on a weekly basis while the house is on the market. 
  • Follow the same schedule for trimming the hedges, weeding the lawn, weeding the flowerbeds and pruning the trees (in the front of the house as well as the side yards and the back).
  • Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.
  • Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint.
  • Clean and align rain gutters.
  • Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
  • Make arrangements to have somebody clearing walks of snow and ice, as needed.
  • Re-seal an asphalt driveway.
  • Close your garage door and keep it closed.
  • Remove boats, RV's and unused cars from the property.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and new hardware, if necessary.

Bonus Tip #2: Have your moving sale BEFORE you put your house on the market.

Maximizing your home's interior

The same exterior effort needs to be applied inside as well to make a favorable impression on potential buyers. A few simple "touches" and "polishes" will again translate into positive feedback and higher offers. To enhance your home's interior, check the following and make changes as needed:

  • Thoroughly clean ever room and closet. Remove all clutter (including excess children's toys).
  • Make arrangements to have a professional cleaning service come in every 1-2 weeks while the house is on the market.
  • Items you rarely use (but intend to keep) should be packed up and moved offsite.
  • Mend cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement.
  • Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint and tiles.
  • Consider painting dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as beige or off-white. Paint the ceiling and trim white for a sharp and clean contrast. Neutral colors make rooms appear larger and help prospective buyers picture their own belongings in your home.
  • The same strategy should be applied to floor coverings that you replace.
  • Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork.
  • Inspect and repair your plumbing, heating, colling and alarm systems.
  • Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.
  • Buy and display new towels in the bathroom(s) and kitchen.
  • If your kitchen needs major updating, give it a lift with new cabinet hardware, new curtains and/or a coat of neutral paint.

Bonus Tip #3: Many home shows on TV are dedicated to getting homes ready for sale. One favorite is HGTV's Designed To Sell. Check out a couple of these informative and entertaining shows.

Home Seller's Guide

  • Ask for a Free Home Evaluation: A well-priced home will generate competing offers and drive up the final sale value. Our free market analysis takes into account the most actively searched prices and home values in the area and provides you with a detailed evaluation that puts it all in perspective.

  • Sell Your Home with a Professional: Our tried and true marketing plan will take the guesswork out of selling your home.

  • See What's on The Market: Use the search tools on this site to get an idea of the competition.

  • Connect to a Professional: Contact us anytime you need to know what's really going on in this market. When you're ready to take the next step toward selling your home, we're here to help. We'll make sure your listing gets the best exposure and reaches the right buyer—whether they're out of state, in another country, or right around the corner.

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