So You’re Ready to Sell Your House?
Whether relocating to accommodate a new job or simply because you’re ready for an upgrade, the task of moving is often a stressful endeavor. Searching for a new house can be fun and exciting, but no one looks forward to the process of selling their current home.
Getting your house ready to sell is a major commitment and takes a lot of time and energy. And it can begin to feel like an uphill battle when you are fighting to keep it market-ready while still living there. It’s hard enough to do all of the initial cleaning, organizing, and preparing, so how are you supposed to keep up with day-to-day life and maintain a perfectly staged home?
Though it may sound like too much to manage, it is best to break down the process and tackle each task a step at a time. You can go room by room, decluttering, cleaning, and organizing, and then move on to daily maintenance.
This useful guide is designed to layout the different steps involved in getting your house ready to sell and full of clever tricks and useful tips for keeping it that way. Don’t be intimidated by the task at hand; with the help of this guide, you will have buyers knocking down your door to make an offer before you know it.
The Power of a First Impression
When selling a home, the first impression is often the ONLY impression! You want to make sure that your house is ready to sell when buyers begin looking, so your home will leave a lasting impression that makes it stand out from the rest.
You want your house to be inviting, drawing buyers in and making them feel comfortable and welcome. They also need to be able to visualize themselves in your home, imagining their family and belongings filling the space. When selling your home, you want to create a sensory experience for the buyer that draws them in and helps them to connect to your house on a deeper level.
Though it can be hard, it is best to try and disassociate yourself and your family’s history from your house as you prepare it for sale. This will make the process easier and less emotional, as well as help you to view the sale of the house in a more objective manner. You want to stop considering it to be your home and start thinking of it as just the house in which you happen to be living, which now needs to be sold.
Top 5 Pointers on Preparing Your House for the Market
To avoid feeling overwhelmed while getting your house ready to sell, give yourself enough time to break it up into bite size pieces and remember that you don’t need to do it all at once. Find the best features of your house and work to accentuate those, downplaying its less attractive qualities. You want to prioritize your to-do list and make sure you have time for all the items that will most heavily influence the buyers. If you need help deciding what those might be, here is our list of the top 5 tips you don’t want to miss when prepping your home for the market.
1. Does Curb Appeal Really Matter?
The importance of first impressions cannot be over-emphasized when selling your house, and that starts with what potential buyers see when they first pull up. In fact, people often drive through neighborhoods to look at houses for sale in order to see what interests them, so poor curb appeal could cause you to lose a sale before a buyer ever sets foot inside.
The extent to which you alter the outer appearance of your home will depend heavily on your budget, but there are touch-ups that can be done to spruce up any home for a minimal amount. Plus, you can get a solid return on the money you invest in curb appeal.
Start by taking a step back and seeing what your house looks like from the street. Ask yourself what stands out most or what immediately catches your eye.
You’ll want to make sure your front yard is tidy and well-trimmed and your home looks inviting. Seasonal flowers and live plants make a nice addition to the porch and front walkway, which should be kept free of clutter, and giving your front door and trim a fresh coat of paint can take years off your home.
If you are able and willing to spend a little more, you might consider installing a new garage door or doing more extensive landscaping, but the overall goal is to catch the attention of buyers and make them want to come inside.
2. Make Your House Clutter-Free
Most people are not organized but like to imagine that they are. If your house stresses you out when you walk into it, you wouldn’t you want to project that same feeling onto potential buyers, would you?
One of the goals of decluttering your home is to remove anything that will distract buyers or make it harder for them to picture their lives in your house. You may love your knick-knacks and various other odds and ends (and who knows, they might too), but this isn’t a garage sale. Do you want your potential buyers walking around admiring your unique collections and interesting decor or falling in love with your house as they imagine continuing their lives there?
The easiest way to tackle this feat is to declutter your house room by room. A good rule of thumb is to eliminate at least a third of your belongings from each room and then organize what remains in a way that maximizes the space and is most appealing to the eye.
3. Turn Your Personalized Home Back Into a Blank Canvas
As mentioned before, buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in your house in order to make the sale. This means, as hard as it may be, you need to take your home and turn it back into a house.
Along with decluttering and removing your personal belongings, another way to remove yourself from your home is by taking down and putting away pictures. It will be much more challenging for buyers to imagine living in your house when it is full to the brim of your family photos. And again, they can also serve as a distraction to the task at hand. Your kids may belong in the GAP catalog, but their charming smiles aren’t going to sell your house.
Paint color is also something to consider. If your walls are painted bright, bold, or unique colors that might not appeal to the masses, repainting with more subdued, neutral colors is a must. This will help prevent negative reactions to color schemes potential buyers don’t find attractive and give them a blank canvas on which they can project their own visions for your home.
4. It’s All About the Kitchen
The kitchen is the most valuable room in the house and can be a deal maker or breaker for many buyers. The money you put into your kitchen to upgrade and renovate is likely to have a higher return on investment than any other project you do inside your house while preparing it for the market, but even if you don’t have the budget for a major overhaul, you can still polish the look of your kitchen to attract the attention of potential buyers.
Aside from removing the clutter off the counters and giving your kitchen a good, deep clean, new countertops, appliances, and hardware can completely change the look of the space. If cost is a concern, consider replacing the handles and knobs on your cabinets and drawers to give the whole room a newer feel. It is best to pick something simple that compliments the style of your kitchen but is also versatile.
If you are looking to invest a little more, replacing the countertops with granite or marble or installing new, stainless steel appliances is sure to add value to your kitchen. Even replacing just one appliance can make the everything seem more modern and up-to-date.
5. Light It Up
Let in the light! Good lighting is one of the most sought-after aspects of a home after location, and potential buyers can’t take in the full splendor of your market-ready home if you leave them in the dark.
When preparing your house for sale, make sure there are no burned out bulbs in any of the fixtures around your house, and, while you are replacing those bulbs, you can be sure they are clean and free of dust and cobwebs. You might also consider replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs for better quality light that uses less energy.
During a showing, operate under the rule that the more light there is the better. Capitalize on natural light where you can and utilize lamps and area lighting in rooms with fewer windows or no overhead lighting.
45 Secrets for a Successful Sale
When looking to sell your house, the two main goals are usually to find a buyer as quickly as possible and to get as close to your asking price as possible. In order to do both of these things, you have to be willing to put in the work, but a successful sale is easily worth the extra effort.
Here are the 45 secrets that will set you up for success as you get your house ready to sell, place it on the market, and wait for the right buyer to come your way.
- Preparation & Paperwork
- Repairs & Touch Ups
- Deep Cleaning
- Staging & Finishing Touches
- Outdoor Makeover
- Maintaining While Showing
- For a Showing
Preparation: Before Tackling Your Home
When you decide to sell your home, there are several things you need to do in preparation before you even begin getting your house ready for the market. To save yourself the stress of juggling too many things at once and avoid missing something important, here are some pre-sale tasks you can take care of before you dive into the real work.
1. Gather Your Paperwork
Before your house ever goes on the market, you’ll want to gather all of the necessary paperwork. Both real estate agents and buyers are going to have lots of questions and want to see documentation of different expenses and contracts, so it’s best to have everything organized in advance.
Go through all your files (this is also a great time to shred old files you no longer need so that you don’t end up moving unnecessary paperwork) and locate all of the documents you will need or that you think could be useful, keeping in mind that the mandatory documentation for the sale of a home varies from state to state. You should collect tax and utility bills, details about renovations and your mortgage, warranties, and any other paperwork required where you live.
2. Hire a Top-Notch Realtor
While using a real estate agent is not a necessity, many people feel more comfortable selling their home with the help of a professional and believe the benefits of hiring a real estate agent outweigh the additional cost.
Selling your home is not a simple process and requires a lot of time and energy even with the help of an agent. If you decide to sell your house yourself, you will also have to screen calls from interested parties and make appointment for showings. It will be up to you to market your home, manage paperwork, make negotiations, and sort through all the fine print of your final contract.
Today there is an abundance of available resources if for sale by owner is the route you choose to take, but be sure to know the full extent of the responsibility to which you are committing.
3. Rent a Storage Unit
Once you start cleaning and organizing, you will probably realize you have way more stuff than you realized. In order to achieve a more marketable living space, you will probably want to pack some things away until you move into your new house.
4. Make Several Extra Keys
Once your house goes on the market, potential buyers and their agents will need a way to access your home. You can save yourself the time and hassle of having to constantly wrestle with the lockbox by spending just a few dollars to make an extra set of keys. Simply take your house key to your local hardware store or locksmith and have them cut a few additional copies so that you have them on hand.
5. Pre-Listing Home Inspection
Home inspections are not just for buyers. By having your home inspected before placing your house on the market, you can get a better idea of the condition of your home and if there are any necessary repairs that could potentially raise a red flag for buyers. This gives you the opportunity to address some of these issues yourself, or with the hired help of your choosing, and allows you to more accurately price your house, taking into consideration what work still needs to be done.
6. The Price is Right...or is it?
Pricing is a critical component of selling your home in a timely manner. You want to make sure you earn all that your house is worth but not overreach and turn away potential buyers with an unreasonable price tag.
Check past sales in your area, as well as active listings, to help determine the reasonable range in which your house should fall. You want to leave some room for negotiation but not too much, and you shouldn’t be afraid to adjust your price once it’s on the market if needed. This is one area in which the knowledge and expertise of a professional real estate agent can be very useful.
7. Take Springtime Home Listing Photos
In this day and age, many people utilize online listings when looking for a home. You should approach the photos used in your listing the same way you would the exterior or your house or the entryway; they are a chance to make a good first impression on buyers and entice them into viewing your home in person. This is why, though it may cost a little extra, having professional photos taken to add to your online listing are often worth the investment.
Another trick to making sure your listing pictures capture your house at its most attractive is to take them in the springtime on a sunny day when your yard and home are the most photogenic. This takes planning ahead, but if you know, or even think, you are going to put your house on the market, take photos while your house is at its best. That way, when you are trying to sell your house in the dead of winter, you still have great pictures to show off its true potential.
Touch-ups & Repairs
After you have taken care of all the documentation and planning, it is time to get down to business. No matter how long you have lived in your house, there is bound to be some wear and tear that needs to be addressed. Remember, your old house is going to be someone else’s new house, so you want to make it feel as fresh and well-kept as possible. Here is your chance to fix all the little odds and ends you have been saving for a later date; the time is now.
8. Touch-Up Scuffs, Scrapes, Holes, and Dents
No matter how well you take care of your home, every house is bound to endure its fair share of scrapes, scuffs, and dents over the years. Take some time surveying your walls and doors to identify the areas that need attention. You will usually find the most wear in heavily trafficked areas but be sure to check behind doors and near furniture as well.
In addition to touching up your scrapes and scuffs, fill in any holes in the wall where you’ve taken down pictures or other decor. Once all the touch ups are done, it is time to pull out the paint.
9. What to Paint
Evaluate the state of your walls and decide what needs to be completely redone and what simply needs touching up. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in a room, making it feel vibrant and new instead of drab and worn.
You will also want to assess your color choices and determine whether or not your current color scheme will appeal to the majority of buyers. Light colors and neutral tones are generally recommended to brighten the space and give buyers a blank canvas on which their imaginations can run wild rather than thinking about all the work they’ll have to do repainting once they move in.
10. Neutralizing the Color Scheme
Though people often talk about repainting with more neutral colors when selling a house, few realize that the neutral color scheme should carry over into the decor as well. Neutral tones offer a more calming effect and are easy on the eyes, while bright, vivid colors can be stressful and tend to provoke negative reactions from many prospective buyers.
11. Brighten Up Wood Trim
While many may think of painting their walls, seldom think to touch up the trim work. Dirty baseboards and dingy trim can drag a room down, so add a fresh coat of paint to brighten things up. If you have wood-toned trim, you might consider painting it white. You’ll be surprised at how much fresher your room looks once you are done.
12. Make Repairs You’ve Been Putting Off
Do you have a loose door handle or knob that sticks when you turn it? What about a leaky sink, chipped switchplates, or blinds that don’t cooperate? When moving into a new house, buyers want things to be well-kept and functional, so it doesn’t take many broken components to start bringing down the price of your home. Whatever little repairs need to be done around your house, pull out your tool belt or call up a handyman to have them fixed before your house goes up for sale.
Cleaning Your Nooks & Crannies
After you’ve made sure everything is fully functioning and in good repair, you can move on to giving everything a good scrub down. Cleaning your house to prepare it for market is like adding spring cleaning to cleaning for a visit from your mother-in-law multiplied by ten. You want to get every nook and cranny, so it sparkles and shines more than it did when you first moved in.
13. Call a Cleaning Crew
While it is possible to do all of the necessary cleaning to get your house ready to sell yourself, you can save a great deal of time and energy by hiring a cleaning crew. Not to mention, professional cleaners will likely achieve a much deeper clean than you could on your own. If you are short on time or just feel like your house is beyond what you can handle, investing in a professional cleaning team could be well worth the cost.
14. Go Room by Room
If you decide against a professional cleaning crew, you will need to give your entire house a rigorous, deep cleaning. This goes way beyond the regular cleaning we normally do. Go through each room, dusting and removing cobwebs and scrubbing and polishing any surfaces that might collect dirt and other debris. Clean under and behind furniture and be sure not to skip over those hard to reach places we all tend to avoid.
You will want to pay extra attention to the kitchen and bathrooms when cleaning. Not only are these rooms carefully scrutinized by most buyers, they also have the potential to accumulate the most grime and will require the most upkeep as you begin showing your home.
15. Carpet Cleaning Pays Off
The state of your carpet is one of the most noticeable signs of wear in your home. No matter how careful you are or diligently you vacuum, your carpet still collects dirt, hair, and dust over time that needs to be removed.
If you are up to the task, you can rent a carpet cleaning machine and do the job yourself, but you also have the option of hiring a professional company to come and do it for you. You will likely be surprised by how much better your carpets will look after a good cleaning and even more so by the impact clean carpets will make on the overall appearance of your home.
16. Wash Windows With Windex
You will be amazed at the difference washing your windows can make, allowing more light to shine through and giving each room a more polished look. If you have too many windows to tackle yourself, or simply not enough time, you can hire a professional to wash them for you. Buyers may not notice your clean windows, but they will certainly notice your dirty ones.
Staging and Finishing Touches
The last step for preparing the inside of your home before it goes on the market is getting everything organized and arranged, also referred to as staging, to make your home feel spacious and inviting to buyers and adding those finishing touches that will make it stand out above the rest. You might also consider hiring a professional staging company to maximize wow factor and improve the impression your home leaves on potential buyers.
17. Make the Entrance Inviting
Remember the importance of first impressions when selling your house? Curb appeal may be what initially draws buyers in to look at your home, but it’s what they find when they step inside that closes the deal. The entrance is the first part of your house buyers see (to which most will have an emotional reaction within 15 seconds of entering), so it is critical that this area be welcoming and free of clutter.
If you have the tendency to allow your shoes, coats, and other belongings to accumulate near the door, clear them out and find another place to store them. You should remove any unnecessary furniture or decor from this area that might crowd the space, make sure it is well-lit, and keep it clean and clear of any outdoor dirt or debris.
18. Define a Purpose for Each Room
People often want a floor plan with an open layout, but it is good to give definition to your space using your furniture and decor. This gives buyers an idea of what different spaces could be used for, and, if arranged well, can make the area look even larger since it is able to accommodate several different functions.
19. Eliminate Visual Clutter
Part of obtaining a clutter-free house is to eliminate the visual clutter, much of which falls under the category of personal items and photographs that need to be removed anyway as you market your home to prospective buyers. When there are too many things competing for the eye’s attention, it tends to stress people out, which is the opposite of what you want buyers to feel as they tour your home.
Now is the time to pack away any collections you may have on display and replace your wall of personal photos with one or two simple wall hangings. Look for anything that has loud colors or busy patterns (rugs, pillows, etc.) and swap them out for something a little more low-key. Remember, you aren’t getting rid of them forever; just pack them up and store them until you move into your new house so that you can quickly make it feel like home.
20. Maximize Your Space
Eradicating the clutter is just the first step to maximizing the space in your home. You will also want to carefully arrange each room, utilizing the available space to its full potential in order to make it feel as spacious as possible. If you feel you need outside assistance or want the professional input, you can hire a stager to evaluate your home and make suggestions on ways to position your furniture and other belongings to be most appealing to buyers.
21. Implement Feng Shui
You are probably wondering how you can use Feng Shui to sell your house, but the ancient Chinese practice can actually serve as a useful guide when arranging your home to be aesthetically appealing to buyers. Simple concepts like turning furniture to make a room more open and inviting and being cognizant of the messages certain pieces of decor might send to prospective buyers can help transform your house into a more marketable piece of real estate.
22. Use LOTS of Containers
Have clothing on shelves in your closet? Put it in a basket. Nowhere to store your remotes? There’s a plastic container for that. Junk drawer a little unruly? An extra cutlery tray will do the trick.
When selling your house, leave nothing free-floating. Organizational tools like baskets, boxes, and bins are key to making your house appear orderly and will create an image of an organized life for prospective buyers as the picture themselves in your home.
Do keep in mind that clear plastic containers are useful for some items, but buyers can still see their contents. Be careful when deciding what to use them for and be sure to keep their contents well-organized when you do.
23. Are Your Closets Making Buyers Claustrophobic?
Your closets can no longer be a hiding place once your house goes on the market. Closet space is often a big deal to buyers, and you better believe everyone that comes through your house is going to take a peek inside. The key is to eliminate anything you can live without for the time being and pack it away, arranging the rest in an organized and appealing manner.
For bedroom closets (or any closets in which clothes are stored), remove at least half of your clothing and neatly position the rest on matching hangers. This will make the space seem larger and less chaotic. Everything else should be stored in boxes or containers, which can be stacked on the shelves, and nothing should be left on the floor.
24. Prepare Cabinets and Drawers for Snoopers
Once your house is on the market, nothing is private anymore. Much like with your closets, be prepared for buyers to poke around in all the areas most houseguests would never venture. Make sure everything in your drawers and cabinets is organized, utilizing more of those boxes and containers to keep everything in its place.
25. Organize Kids’ Rooms and Playroom
We all love our children dearly, but let’s face it, they can make selling a home especially challenging. Kids’ rooms are often strongholds for clutter, but preparing to sell your home with moving on the horizon offers the perfect opportunity to do some downsizing.
Go through your kids’ things and sort things into piles of what they are currently using regularly, the toys, clothing, etc. they have outgrown and can be sold or donated, and the junk that just needs to be thrown out. For the keeper items that can’t be stored away until after the move, storage bins, baskets, and boxes save the day once again and are perfect for keeping toys and games concealed when not actively in use.
26. Add Plants & Flowers
Adding greenery around your house, whether real or fake, can liven up the space and make it more aesthetically pleasing. If you decide to use live plants or flowers, make sure they are well tended to and maintained, and if using faux greenery, be sure to use quality pieces that do not seem tacky or gaudy.
27. Clean Out the Garage
One in every four Americans isn’t able to fit a single car into the garage due to disorganization, and even if one can, a quarter are still embarrassed by the state of their garage. For most people, the garage can turn into a makeshift storage unit, housing all the things you don’t use anymore or don’t know what else to do with, but that won’t work once your house is for sale.
The garage is not a space most buyers will expect to be decorated or emptied of all belongings, but it should be kept tidy and organized to maximize the available space. Go through your things and get rid of anything you no longer want, need, or use. Make sure everything else is stored away in its place with boxes stacked neatly and tools put away.
Outdoor Overhaul for an Attractive Exterior
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to the exterior of your house, you can be sure buyers will be examining things with a critical eye. While preparing your house for the market, it can be easy to get so caught up working on the inside that the outside falls by the wayside, but this oversight could easily cost you a sale. Remember that curb appeal is key to selling your house, so take the time to make sure the outside of your home reflects just how nice the inside is.
28. Yard Maintenance
Before you dive into any serious landscaping or outdoor renovations, you first need to address the basics. You can start by removing anything in your yard that detracts from the house or draws negative attention, such as dead plants, fallen leaves, and tacky lawn ornaments. You should also put away personal items like yard signs for your children’s sports team or plaques bearing your family name.
Pull up any weeds that have taken root in your yard or flower beds and trim any overgrown bushes or shrubs. You’ll want to mow your lawn regularly to keep it looking neat and fresh if selling during the spring or summer and do your best to maintain a manicured look if selling during the fall or winter.
29. Landscaping Re-Do
Landscaping plays a large part in curb appeal and can significantly impact the overall appearance of your home’s exterior. Some of the best landscaping strategies include adding flowers to give your house a pop of color, putting down fresh mulch in your flower beds, and removing any unsightly plants that block the view of your home or do not improve your home’s appearance.
The goal should be to draw the buyer’s eye toward the front door and accentuate the most attractive features of your house. The best part about landscaping is that no matter how much you spend, you can enhance your home and reap a sizable return on your investment.
30. Is Your Front Porch Inviting?
As buyers approach your house and enter for the first time, they should feel welcomed and excited to see what’s in store, which all starts on the front porch. Try adding potted plants to liven things up and give the area a little more color and make sure no unnecessary items (toys, shoes, tools, etc.) are left lying around.
Give your front door a good scrub or even a fresh coat of paint if need be and replace your welcome mat if the one you currently have is looking a little worn. The goal is to make sure every detail indicates a well-cared-for house that buyers will want to call home.
31. Backyard Clean-Up
The backyard may not affect curb appeal, but it’s still an important factor for buyers when viewing a home. Just as much care should be taken to create a welcoming and attractive space in the backyard as in the front of the house.
Employ the same techniques used in the front yard to clean up and declutter your backyard. Remove any toys, tools, or equipment from your patio and yard to open up the space and repair or replace any damaged fencing, so the yard is secure.
Be careful not to go overboard in your backyard by adding expensive installations that won’t bring in a good return on investment. Fancy fire pits and intricate water features can be costly and may not appeal to everyone. You are better off keeping the space simple and investing the big dollars elsewhere.
The Art of Maintaining a Market-Ready House
Once you’ve completed your to-do list and your house is ready for the market, the trick is keeping it that way. While it would be nice if you could slowly back away and keep everything exactly how you want it, the reality is that you still have to carry on with your daily routine and occupy the space you just worked so hard to perfect. The trick is to be mindful of the fact that buyers could come by at any time. So keep things tidy as you go but don’t be too afraid to live in you home. Here are some tips on how to show your house and live in it too.
32. Keep Surfaces Clear (Even When Using Them Every Day)
While it may be inconvenient to have to repeatedly take out the odds and ends you use on a daily basis, the extra five seconds it takes to pull something out and put it away after each use is well worth the tidy look it will give your home. Create a new, out of sight, place for items like the toaster and other small appliances or cooking utensils, where they are still easy to access.
33. Make Your Bed (Or Never Un-Make It)
We all have those days when making the bed just doesn’t happen, but it’s a must-do while your house is for sale. Go ahead and make your bed first thing when you get up, replacing throw pillows and fluffing the comforter, so you aren’t in a scramble to get it done should you receive a last minute call about a showing.
If you have children that have trouble remembering this chore or have beds that are difficult to make (e.g., bunk beds or loft beds), you can have them sleep on top of their main comforter and give them an extra blanket to sleep under. Then the beds are already made, and all they have to do is fold up the blanket in the morning.
34. Empty Basket or Bin for Quick Hiding
When your house is on the market, you may only have a moment’s notice that buyers are on their way for a showing. Having any empty laundry basket or plastic bin on hand is the perfect place to hide any clutter you don’t have time to clean up or put away, which can then be safely stored in your car until the buyers are gone and you can return home.
35. Are You in Dirty Dish Denial?
Dishes have a tendency to pile up in the sink or accumulate in the dishwasher over the course of a busy week. While your house is on the market, you will want to keep both clear for showings, so it’s easiest to wash dishes by hand as you go. If you are ever caught off guard with dirty dishes by a last-minute showing, this is a good time to utilize that emergency storage bin. Hide them away while the buyers are there, and you can clean them when you go back to your house.
36. Lightning-Fast Laundry Removal
Everyone has those weeks when they let themselves get down to their last clean pair of underwear as their laundry basket begins to overflow, but dirty laundry is not endearing to prospective buyers.
As you are trying to sell your house, it is best to do several small loads of laundry throughout the week, so the majority of your clothing can stay neatly folded in your drawers or hanging in your closet instead of overtaking your laundry room or filling up your hampers. Again, having a spare laundry basket that you can toss in the back of your car during a showing can be handy for anything that has built up between loads.
37. Wipe Down Counters
Counters quickly seem to accumulate dust, crumbs, stains, and smudges that can detract from the look of your kitchen and bathrooms. Wipe them down daily to keep the grime from building up and as a safety precaution in case an agent wants to bring a buyer by while you’re not around to give them a once over.
38. Sweep and Vacuum Daily
Just like your counters that seem to be constant crumb-collectors, your floors require continuous attention as well. After the initial deep clean, you want to maintain that fresh, new look and not allow dust and dirt to settle back in. You can cut down on the amount tracked in from outdoors by having everyone remove their shoes when inside the house, but you will still want to vacuum any carpeted areas and sweep hard wood or tile floors on a daily basis.
39. Clean Bathroom Mirrors
Bathroom mirrors seem to have a way of catching every stray splatter of water, soap, and toothpaste that comes their way, so it is critical to check them regularly and give them a good wipe down on a daily basis. Buyers pay close attention to the bathrooms in a house, and a dirty mirror could distract them from an otherwise appealing space.
40. Is it “Show-Ready” Every Time You Leave?
Real estate agents can call at a moment’s notice wanting to show your house to prospective buyers, which can be equally stressful whether you you are home and have to hurry to tidy-up and leave or aren’t home to make sure everything is presentable. To make showings less nerve-racking, get in the habit of leaving things ready for a showing every time you go out, especially if you’ll be gone for more than a few minutes.
What to Do For a Showing
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! You receive a call from your realtor and find out buyers are coming to look at your house, but then you panic. Is everything ready? Here are the important questions to ask yourself before a showing to make sure you remember the last-minute details that add the finishing touch to your home.
41. Are All the Curtains and Blinds Open?
As mentioned before, good lighting is something buyers look for in a house, so you want to make sure the lights are turned on and the blinds are open when you know people are coming to see your home. Your home will feel more inviting if they don’t have to walk around turning lights on and off in every room, and open curtains make a room brighter and seem more spacious.
42. Do You Hear What I Hear?
If you live in an area with a lot of noise pollution (heavy traffic, active building or road construction, etc.) or have noisy neighbors that can easily be heard within your house, you might consider playing background music in the rooms in which outside noise is the loudest. Just be careful to keep the volume low and select something that is low-key and soothing (probably not the best time to share your love of heavy metal or gangster rap).
43. Is the Temperature Comfortable?
We all like to save on our utility bills, but a showing is not the time to be stingy with heating or A/C (though you don’t want to overdo it either). Set the thermostat at a moderate temperature that most potential buyers will find comfortable, so they aren’t thinking about how cold or hot they are instead of paying attention to your beautifully staged house. The goal is to allow them to focus solely on the house and not notice the temperature at all.
44. Have You Gone Noseblind to That Smell?
Every house smells like something, and homeowners are often unaware of how that smell comes across to those who have not grown accustomed to it. Even if your home does not smell bad, it smells like you and your family and could be off-putting to potential buyers. The goal is to neutralize any odors in a way that appeals to the largest number of people possible.
You want your house to smell inviting, but picking the right scent can be tricky. Artificial smells like air freshener sprays can make it seem like you are trying to mask something, and not everyone likes the same ones.
It’s best to avoid aerosol sprays and potpourri, opting instead for lightly scented candles or an essential oil diffuser. Your goal should be for the house to smell clean and fresh but not overwhelming. You can also use comforting smells like baking cookies or brewing coffee, but be sure to have some on hand for the potential buyers.
45. Is Everybody Ready to Go?
While you might love to stick around and tell buyers why your house is a much better choice that the one down the street, you need to have a place to go when the call comes alerting you of a showing. If you have children and/or pets (which should never be left at the house while buyers are there because you never know if people will have allergies or an aversion to certain animals), this can take a little more forethought, so have a plan ready and a place you can all go until the showing is finished.
How Can Mr. Garage Door Help?
When selling a home, installing a garage door has been proven to be one of the top renovations in regards to return on investment, often reaching as high as 90%. And even if you don’t want to replace your door, there are things you can do to spruce it up and enhance its appearance to compliment the exterior of your home. Plus, you will need to make sure it is running smoothly and working efficiently, so sellers won’t find anything alarming when they have a home inspection performed before closing.
The list of things to do when getting your house ready to sell may seem overwhelming at times, which is why Mr. Garage Door wants to do our part to make the process less stressful for you. We provide our expert garage door maintenance and repair services for an affordable price and can schedule service within one business day of your call. We know you are busy, especially as you prepare to move, so we make sure to provide quick, reliable service when it works best for you. For questions or to schedule service on your garage door, call us today at (844)-900-3015!