Many clients ask how they should prepare their homes to put them on the market. As my client, I want to help you get the most money possible during the sale of your property. In addition to these general guidelines, I will provide you with personalized advice custom to your unique property. First impressions and buyer perception is everything. Perception is reality, so it’s critical to present your house in the best possible light from the very first moment a Buyer sees the home. Here’s how you can do it:
Make Your Entryway Shine
The front porch and your front door will be where Buyers are standing and waiting while their Realtor finds the lockbox and fumbles around with the keys. This gives the Buyers extra time to scrutinize the condition of the home. Usually, if a home is well maintained on the exterior, it’s going to be well maintained on the interior - don’t give the Buyer’s any reason to doubt the condition of the home. Instead, do what you can to create a positive first impression, which will put Buyers at ease as they walk through the interior of your home. Be sure all your exterior light fixtures are in good condition & cast a nice bright atmosphere, free of rust, and cleaned to remove spider webs and dust. Paint your front door with a pop of color to remove old scuffs and make the entryway clean and presentable. Add fresh, colorful flowers or plant life to soften the appearance, and add a small seating area if your entryway permits. By primping your front entryway, you are setting the stage for Buyers to fall in love with the rest of your home.
It’s tempting to just shove all your items inside of drawers, cabinets, and closets to help prep for a home sale, but you could be doing yourself a disservice. Buyers absolutely are opening closets, cabinets and drawers to determine how much space there is and whether it will fit their personal items. Remember, perception is reality. How do you make a closet feel big & spacious? Take out half the junk! Start going through your belongings now, and decide what items to take with you, what items you want to sell, what items can be donated, and what items are just plain garbage. In addition to making the insides of your storage solutions organized and half-empty, I strongly suggest removing clutter from countertops in kitchens and bathrooms, mantles and windowsills, etc. Buyers can get distracted by your personal belongings - help them see the features of your home & enable them to picture their own lives there by eliminating most of your personal items.
Make closets and storage areas look and feel spacious and well organized. Now is a great time to go through your personal belongings and separate them into 4 piles - things to take with you, items to be donated, things to be sold and trash. Pre-pack as much of your house as you can, specifically the items that you don’t use everyday.
Light & Bright
Nobody wants to live in a cave. Go through your house and change out any burned out or defective light bulbs. All the light bulbs in your house should be functional so that your house feels as bright as possible. While you’re replacing light bulbs, remember to ensure that the light temperature of the bulbs is consistent throughout the house (ie: soft white, cool white or daylight). Photos of your house will look much if you choose light bulbs with a cooler color temperature (stay away from soft white/warm white bulbs for best results).
Curb appeal is a big deal, and you can instantly improve curb appeal by addressing your landscaping. Edge & mow your lawn, and expect that you’ll have to do this a few more times during the listing period to make sure the house stays clean & pretty. Prune dead or overgrown tree branches and shrubs, remove dead landscaping, and apply new brown (not red) garden mulch in your beds. Also, don’t forget to power wash pavers and concrete walkways to remove any moss or mildew buildup. I know you’re busy, and there are several excellent landscaping professionals at the Oregon Coast if you need a referral.
Time to make your house sparkle! This might mean cleaning parts of your house that you’ve never touched before. Don’t forget to clean the interior & exterior of all windows (including window tracks), remove cobwebs from high ceiling corners, clean dust buildup off light fixtures and fans, scrub the heck out of your kitchen and bathroom, and have your carpets professionally cleaned to eliminate any residual odor. If you need a comprehensive list of cleaning recommendations, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m also happy to help you references to professional cleaners who you can hire if you’re too busy to take care of this important step.