Laura is a real estate broker for Weichert Realtors near Fort Bragg, NC.
Putting your home on the market can be stressful! Prepping your home is an important, but often overlooked, part of the selling process. These seven tips will help your home go from “For Sale” to “Sold!” as quickly as possible:
1. Curb appeal – First impressions are everything! Keep your lawn freshly mowed and landscaped.
Trim any scraggly bushes, plant flowers, and add a layer of fresh mulch to the flowerbeds. Pressure wash the siding, sweep the front porch, and keep outdoor toys and bikes parked in the garage or storage shed. A fresh coat of paint on the front door or a pretty wreath will add appeal before the buyers even set foot inside.
2. Declutter – Less is more! We want buyers to remember your house, not your stuff. Keep countertops and surface areas as clutter-free as possible. Take down anything hanging up on the refrigerator. Clutter makes the house look smaller, and leaves a buyer to wonder, “If the house seems too small for them, maybe it’s too small for me." Use this as a perfect opportunity to go through your belongings and send some boxes to Goodwill. Doing so will help out later to lighten the load when it’s time to pack! Mom tip: Keep a few empty plastic tubs in the closets for quick cleanup of toys or other items before a showing.
3. Depersonalize – Taking down family pictures will allow buyers to see the house as their future home, not yours. We don’t want buyers to spend the showing fawning over baby pictures or trying to figure out your husband’s MOS based from his unit photo. Again, we want to keep the focus on the house itself, not on the people selling it.
4. Neutralize – Your kids might love their Paw Patrol mural or neon orange bedroom walls, but chances are the buyers won’t! Paint colors can often be enough to scare away a potential buyer. Also, a darker paint color will make the room appear smaller. A fresh coat of paint in a light, neutral color, will do wonders to update your home and attract buyers!
5. Take it down – Are you planning on taking the antique chandelier that’s hanging in your dining room when you move? If so, it needs to be specified in the contract, or else it would be considered a fixture that will stay with the home. If you do have any fixtures you are keeping, replace them before showings start. Chances are, if buyers see the gorgeous chandelier, they will be disappointed when they find out it’s not staying.
6. Be flexible – If you limit the hours your house can be seen, you are also limiting the pool of potential buyers. Have a game plan for last minute showings, including arrangements for pets. Showings are typically scheduled in hour-long blocks of time, but usually don’t last longer than 20 or 30 minutes. Mom tip: take the kids to the park to play, or stop by a neighbor’s house if it’s a rainy day.
7. If you haven’t already—hire a real estate agent! As beautiful as your home might be, if it’s not advertised properly or priced correctly based on the current market, it will not sell. There is so much behind the scenes work that goes into selling a home, from listing to closing. An agent will save you time, money, and keep the process as stress-free as possible.
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