Top 10 Ways to Get Your Home Ready to List

You made the plunge & have decided to move!

Homeowner’s often ask us what they can do to assist in this process.  We put together a list of what we feel is the most important (not the most expensive)!

1. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”2230479_xl

We have talked about curb appeal before and we just may again.  Make sure your side walk & steps are swept, newspapers and circulars are picked up regularly & paint isn’t chipping or peeling. If the lock on your door is difficult to use…change it!  New hardware looks great & Realtors won’t fumble around trying to open the door.  Extra points for adding flower pots & having an attractive address plate. Make sure your entryway is clean.  Move a small table there to leave your marketing materials with a house plant or flowers so buyers may take this information with them if they wish.

2. What Would Martha Do?

There is something about walking into a sparkling clean home that makes buyers feel at ease immediately.  Hire a professional right before you plan to start showings or take a day & DIY!

3. Think Hotel…Westin not Best Western

You want a buyer to walk in & feel like THEY could live there.  You want them to see the home, not your belongings.  Get a few boxes & do a room a day.  Pack away personal photos,  trophies, diplomas, books, magazines, papers, knick knacks & anything you think could distract a buyer from the experience.

4. Cut the Clutter

Put away mail, bills & toys (pet or children’s).  Keep a laundry basket somewhere convenient.  When you get notice that there will be a showing just pick up all clutter, throw it in the basket & stash it in a closet.  Make sure  your bookshelves & closets aren’t overflowing.  Start packing!  Why not start now with the things you know you won’t need or miss?  Start with your winter things if it’s summer or vice versa.  Store them in the basement or the garage for the time being.  If you are lucky enough to have a garage in the city..please showcase it!  If your garbage cans smell bad don’t store them in the garage or get new ones.  Move your car if you can.  If you are using the garage for storage make sure you can walk & any boxes are stacked neatly.

5. Kitchens & BathroomsIMG_6016

These rooms are always scrutinized by buyers.  Make sure your kitchen counters are clean & there is nothing on them.  Clean out cabinets inside & out, clean your appliances thoroughly (especially the refrigerator & stove) & sweep the floor regularly.  Consider packing away some of your smaller appliances you don’t use that frequently to help showcase how much room there is.  Overflowing cabinets & pantries don’t look good!  Don’t cook anything with an offensive odor before showings.  Make sure the hard surfaces in your bathroom are sparkling clean and any linens are freshly laundered.  If there is staining, mildew or peeling caulk clean it or fix it!

6. Lighting

Use flattering lighting with a higher wattage.  You want the home to feel bright & cheery on even the gloomiest of days.  Dust all of your fixtures & clean fingerprints off switch plates.  If you can, set the tone before you leave.  Leave a few lights on for the showing so the agent & client can get their bearings right away.

7. Painting

If your house is rainbow colored, very bright or very  dark consider painting it neutral tone throughout.  Neutral paint colors let the buyers have an imagination with what colors they would want as well as opening up a space & making it feel larger.  If this is not possible, go through and touch up any dings, scrapes or nicks. Clean any fingerprints off walls & trim.

8. Make Your Bed

Make sure all rooms have made beds, clothes are off the floor & everything is arranged nicely.  Make sure closets are easy to open & neat inside.  Staging companies do little extras like an artfully draped throw blanket with a tray to hold your remote & a book at the end of the bed.  You want the room to look inviting & soothing.

9. Smell Fresh

The sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses.  Make sure your home smells clean & fresh, however, don’t over do it with scented candles or air fresheners.  Have you ever walked into a Williams Sonoma and noticed how amazing it smells?  This is the recipe they use in their stores.  Terrain at Styer’s (what a magical place!) also has an easy DIY to ensure your home smells fresh.

10. The Devil is in the Details

We would never recommend a kitchen renovation, however,  changing the hardware on cabinetry can make a big difference for a small expenditure.  Replace any broken door knobs or switch plates.  If there is any furniture you were planning on getting rid of because it is old or faded & you can live without it get rid of it now.  Rearrange or remove furniture if it makes the room feel larger.  Staging companies will often set the dining table as if there were a formal dinner.  If you have the ability to do so, do it!  Hang nice towels & hand towels in the bathrooms.IMG_1015

If you don’t feel like doing any of this yourself, it may be a wise choice to hire a home staging company (example of work to the right).  We have a great company that we work with & would be happy to put you in touch with.

We hope this helps!  If you need more information or would like to speak further about listing your home; contact us today!