Getting your home ready to go on the market can be a big undertaking. You want your home to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible, and you want it to go for top dollar.
You want your home to be a place where people can envision themselves living, you want it to feel clean and updated, and you want it to make a good impression from the outside and the inside.
The following are some tips to help you get your home ready to go on the market.
Clean and Declutter
First and foremost, if you do nothing else before you put your home on the market, give it a deep clean and do some serious decluttering.
Of course, you want to keep your home clear of any tripping hazards, but you also have to think about the fact that too much clutter can make your home seem highly personal and make it hard for buyers to see themselves there.
A cluttered home is also going to seem smaller and more cramped.
You want buyers to walk in and see a space that feels bright, airy, and open.
Start from the outside and work your way in as you’re decluttering.
A lot of people will forget about the exterior of their house, but this is the first impression buyers are going to come in contact with.
You want everything to be tidy, and any clutter removed from your yard, beside your house and your front porch.
Then, once you get in, go room by room. Throw away or donate what you can, and make sure everything is put in a place and preferably out of view when possible.
In the kitchen, clear off counters and put away things you don’t use often. Do the same in your bathrooms, and in the living room tidy up stacks of books and magazines, and get rid of things if you have too many accessories.
As you’re going through and decluttering and depersonalizing, try to see your home from the perspective of a possible buyer.
If you don’t have enough space for everything and there are things you don’t want to get rid of, you might think about renting a storage space while your home is on the market.
When you’re deep cleaning your home, you might need professional help. You have to make sure surfaces are all sparkling clean, and this includes things like rugs and baseboards that you might not otherwise clean.
Clean the exterior too. You may need to spray your driveway and walkways with a pressure washer and get your windows washed.
Anywhere you have storage in your home might be somewhere you don’t think much about if it’s out of view. Potential buyers will want to see closets and storage areas, though, so while these areas don’t have to be spotless, they should be organized.
Make Necessary Repairs
Before you put your home on the market, you don’t want there to be any glaring repair issues unless you’re planning to sell it for a lower price.
There is the risk of over-renovating, however.
You don’t need to spend a fortune renovating your home, but you should look for things like chipped paint or other cosmetic issues that can be repaired fairly easily.
You might clean and repair grout, and possibly even replace or remove carpet if it’s very old and stained.
Along with surface cosmetic issues, you also want to focus on functionality. For example, people don’t necessarily care if you have a built-in espresso maker, but they do want working appliances.
If you have repairs that you can’t do, call a handyman. Big issues to fix aside from what’s named above include cracks in the wall, running toilets, damaged hardware, and locks and leaky faucets.
Painting was mentioned as something you should do to repair your home, but you might think about giving your entire home a fresh coat of paint for other reasons.
You want neutral colors that will make your home feel brighter and bigger. It will feel more like a blank slate for potential buyers.
Paint colors that work well for a home on the market include gray, beige, and greige.
Having bright or bold paint colors can feel too personal to you and also outdated.
Depending on whether you currently live in the house or not, you might use your own furniture for staging or you might rent furniture.
Some key things to keep in mind when home staging include:
- You want your home to feel cozy and lived in, although not personal. Achieve this with the use of fresh plants and flowers.
- Let plenty of natural light in when people come to see your home. Remove any window obstructions or heavy drapes before you put your house on the market. If there’s a bad view you’re trying to cover, use sheer curtains that still let light in but don’t showcase the negatives outside the window.
- Never block the flow of traffic, and organize furniture so that it looks conducive to conversation.
- If possible, make some small cosmetic changes in the kitchen that can modernize it, such as adding a new backsplash and updating the hardware on your cabinets.
- Change your outdated light fixtures. You can find beautiful light fixtures online at a relatively affordable price, and you can hire an electrician to replace light fixtures in just a few hours if it’s not something you think you can do on your own.
- Buyers and especially millennial buyers really value outdoor space—in fact, they’re often willing to sacrifice an extra bedroom to get more outdoor space. Don’t forget to stage your outdoor space and make it feel like an extension of your indoor living and entertaining areas.
Finally, make sure your home passes the smell test. No one wants to smell pets or old cooking odors that are lingering. If you can’t get rid of the smells on your own, you may need to have a professional company come and clean out your ductwork.