Selling a home can be a lot of work, with a lot of coordinated effort. All at once, you have to select a real estate agent, get your belongings ready to move to a new place, and get the home for sale in as best shape as possible.
The latter, of course, is very important. In order for your home to sell quickly and for as much money as possible, it has to be in great condition when it comes time for prospective buyers to see it. Whether in person or on a virtual tour, those buyer prospects will be scrutinizing your home.
That doesn’t need to be as daunting as it sounds. A simple-but-thorough checklist can help, so here are six tips for prepping your home for sale.
1. Sort and de-clutter
You probably hear about de-cluttering when selling a home. A house packed with stuff is unappealing to buyers, so create some space by packing away what you definitely want to bring to your new house. Sort out what you want to part ways with, and get rid of it. The sooner you start the process, the easier it will be.
2. Do a deep clean
A clean house is a nicer house in the eyes of homebuyers, which means a floor-to-ceiling cleanse is necessary. If there are things you do only every other time you clean house, do all of them this time. If you washed windows or dusted that high chandelier only a month ago, do them again. There’s no such thing as a house that’s too clean. If it requires hiring professional cleaners, it could be worth the cost.
3. Do a repairs walk-through
Completing a thorough cleaning might help you notice things in your house that need repair. It still helps, however, to do a top-to-bottom inspection of your entire home, writing down any blemishes or malfunctions. A walk-through would include looking for slow-draining sinks or tubs, loose door handles, scraped or gouged drywall, cracked wall plates, and more. Once your list is complete, you can make necessary repairs.
4. Paint what you must
Sometimes, painting must be done when you’re selling a home. Funky wall colors should be changed to neutral tones. Dingy or faded walls that don’t respond to just washing can be freshened up with a coat of paint. You might be especially surprised by how much newly painted white ceilings will brighten up a house.
5. Depersonalize the home
Homebuyers like to envision their belongings in a home, not yours. So, your wall of family photos, while endearing to you, is not going to endear your home to potential new owners. Any collections you have on display or any sports memorabilia should be packed away, too. Also, remember to remove anything you want to keep that might be considered a fixture, as buyers could ask you to include it.
5. Don’t forget the outside
Curb appeal is an important aspect of getting homebuyers’ attention, so sprucing up your home’s exterior is a near-must when selling your home. That means pruning any overgrown trees or shrubs, mowing the lawn regularly, weeding any beds, power-washing the siding, and maybe planting new flowers.
6. Set the stage
Home staging is a way to help homebuyers picture the ways a home can be used. You don’t necessarily have to hire a professional company to stage a home. You can at least somewhat do it yourself by making sure each area of the home has a specific purpose, furniture is arranged to maximize space and flow, and features that are strong selling points are highlighted. Remember to pay close attention to your home’s entryway, making it as welcoming and inviting as possible.
The bottom line
When you sell a home, it can feel like there are a lot of balls in the air. But getting ready to move and getting your home ready for sale at the same time can be a little less stressful if you follow a checklist of sorts.