PREPARING THE HOUSE

Preparing the House for Sale

If you are in a market with lots of homes for sale but few buyers, the best advice is to put your home in the best possible condition.  That way, you won't lose a buyer due to the condition of the property when an offer is submitted. Thus, even some major repairs such as replacing a leaky roof may be needed.  

Next, work on the curb appeal of the home. Make sure your landscape is pristine. Mow the grass, clean up any debris, and weed the garden beds. Plant a few annual flowers near the entrance or in pots to be placed by the door.  

Other quick fixes that don't cost a lot of money but can help you get top dollar for your home include:

  • Clean the windows and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking.
  • Be sure that the doorbell works.
  • Clean and freshen up rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings.
  • Make sure that bathrooms and kitchens are spotless.
  • Organize closets.
  • Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. 
  • Replace leaky faucets and frayed cords.
  • Eliminate the source of any bad smells, such as the kitty box. 
  • Use air freshener or, better yet, bake a batch of cookies before your open house to ensure that the house smells inviting.
  • Invest in a couple of vases of fresh flowers to place around the house.

De-personalize the House

The reason you want to "de-personalize" your home is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home. When a potential homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about owning the house. Therefore, put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box. Rent a storage area for a few months and put the box in the storage unit.

Do not just put the box in the attic, basement, garage or a closet. Part of preparing a house for sale is to remove "clutter," and that is the next step in preparing your house for sale.

Preparing the House for Showings

Before anyone visits, prepare the home so it looks its best.  Be sure your agent has placed a supply of brochures in a conspicuous location and that the brochure has a number of colored photographs that will help the buyers recall which of the houses they visited is yours.

A to-do checklist of what to do before the scheduled appointment:

  • Turn on the interior lights and exterior lights if it is dusk or later.
  • Turn the radio on low.
  • Take out the garbage and anything with an odor (dish rags? sponges?)
  • Dry the basins and sink and put any discards in the washing machine.
  • Put pets in the garage in a carrier (with sign on the door) or take them for a walk.
  • Take children to the park or the ice cream store.
  • Leave!  Sellers mean well, but their presence can do more harm than good, so leave the house and help the agent who will try to sell it for you.
  • If possible, avoid cooking around the time visitors are expected.  This may be a good night to take the family to the local pizza house to avoid the mess and odors.
  • Call your agent to after the showing and retain the business card for your agent.

Donna States
Donna States
Broker