10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Sale

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Photo of 370 S. Hibiscus Drive, build by Oxford Universal. View our Design & Build Portfolio.

By Sean Reichert

First impressions can last forever. If the house you’re trying to sell isn’t up to par on first look, then it could cost you a potential buyer.

Whether you’re getting ready sell next week or might sell in the next few years, there are some things you can do now to prepare your home for sale. Make a lasting and positive impression on potential buyers with the following tips.

Remove clutter

The first big step in preparing any home for resale is getting rid of the clutter. It’s amazing how quickly things can pile up—from junk mail to old toys, and everything in between. Aside from clutter you want to throw away, there are some items you should remove from the home to open the space up. These items include:

  • Excess furniture: Removing excess furniture from the home will allow buyers to envision what the space would look like with their stuff in it.
  • Family photos: Since you’re moving and will need to pack photos away eventually, you might as well start before showing the home. This will help keep the space looking neutral for buyers so they can image where they’d place their own family photos.
  • Area rugs in bathrooms: They make the bathroom look much smaller—you’ll want to show how much potential the space has on its own.

Get organized

Once all the clutter is cleared away, you’ll want to organize the remaining items so everything looks neat. Focus specifically on:

  • Tidying up your desk/office: This is a place where papers can really pile up. Be sure to clear away personal bills, records, etc.
  • Organizing your closets: People will want to see the closet space, and having an orderly closet will make a better first impression.

Clean the entire house

Now that the clutter is gone and everything is organized—it’s time to thoroughly clean the home from top to bottom. Specifically, you’ll want to clean:

  • All of the windows and glass door—both sides.
  • The front door inside and out—this is going to be the first and last thing touched in your home.
  • The garage. Hopefully you’ll have already removed all the clutter and organized the garage, but if not, now’s the time to have a garage sale!

Tidy up the landscaping

Get the gardener to spruce up the yard and trim those bushes you have been meaning to cut back. Freshly cut grass and well pruned flowers are very appealing for buyers to see.

Stage the home

Make sure the furniture is presented in a way that makes the space look open and inviting. Add in some nice touches here and there like flowers in a vase or some burning candles (but avoid bringing in anything with a strong scent).

Focus on the front entry

The front entry way is the soul of your home—it’s where guests are greeted and the first place they really see your house. Make sure this area is clean, neat, freshly painted, and presentable for potential buyers.

Lock up easy-to-take valuables

Before you let anyone come into your home, put away your jewelry, coins, cash, valuables, art, family heirlooms—even prescription medications. If you do not want something leaving with buyers, lock it up!

Improve the lighting

Adequate lighting is a big factor in any home. A burned out light bulb may not be a big deal to you, but to a potential buyer it could signify an electrical problem. Plus, good lighting will allow buyers to really see the home.

Turn off distractions

You’ll want to turn off any appliance that makes a lot noise. This includes the washer/dryer, dishwasher, T.V., radio, etc. One annoying sound could irritate a potential viewer and it’ll cast a negative light on the home.

Get a third-party opinion

Have a friend over and get their take. Ask them to view the house as if they were a potential buyer and voice any opinions they have about what they see.

If you have any questions about what else you can do to prepare a home for sale, let me know. I can provide more tips that will help to get your house off the market as quickly as possible.

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