I have spent the last three and a half years making my current house into a home for myself and all my guests, but the time has come for me to move on and sell my first home. So I think to myself, and I imagine others do too, “Where do I start?” The first step to prepping your house for sale is mental. You need to separate yourself from your home and look at it like a buyer will. You may love how cute your dog looks when they lay against the wall, but if it has left a dark mark on the wall, a buyer will see that as more work for them. At this point it is a product, not your home. Here are some small fixes that will help add appeal to your home before it hits the market:
Clean it Up!
Just having a clean home can make a huge difference when a buyer is looking so be sure to make it look spick and span! Some spots you may not think of are the baseboards, microwave (if the appliance is staying), garage or grill (if it is staying). If you have carpet, make sure to keep it clean during the process.
Clear Out the Clutter
Potential buyers will be able to envision themselves in the house better if they don’t see all your stuff everywhere. Put as much furniture as possible and other clutter in a storage unit. Make sure to clean out closets. Buyers will be interested in seeing storage space and having things fall out as they open a closet is not ideal. Remove any fixtures or appliances (if possible) that are not staying. The last thing you want is your buyer to become attached to the light fixture that has been passed down in your family for generations.
Apply a Few Touch Ups
You would be surprised how a new coat of paint can brighten up a room! If you don’t have time to paint everything, at least paint over any knicks or scratches so that your home looks as crisp as possible. Make sure to use furniture pads so you don’t scrape up your furniture or your walls.
Finish that Project You Started
Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew in terms of home improvement projects and sometimes that means the project doesn’t get finished. But a half finished project looks worse than never having started the project at all. So make sure to add the gravel you meant to add to the backyard or finish the molding around the front door.
A Couple Last Minute Tips
Once your house is ready to be viewed, make an extra key so your realtor can put that in the lockbox. That way people can visit your home while you are not there. Also, if you have pets you may want to figure out a way to get them out of the house during showings. They may be loveable, but if the buyer is allergic to your cat, your kitty might immediately turn them off.
Remember: You want your house to appeal to as many different people as possible. Anything too specific might alienate a potential buyer.
Do you have tips on how to prep your house for sale? Let us know in the comments below!