Preparing to put your house on the market entails much more than finding a Realtor, listing it on local MLS and hosting an open house. If you’re considering selling your home, consider this your high priority to-do list for an increased chance at getting top dollar. If you don't even know where to begin, it might be a good idea to have your Realtor walk you through your entire house and give you recommendations. This will help you prioritize and work on a timeline to get everything done.
First impressions matter
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can bet that prospective buyers will judge your home by its exterior. Start stepping outside and looking for opportunities to do a quick and inexpensive refresh. Add color to your front yard, new mulch to landscaping, for example. Be sure the area around the front door is clean. Paint your front door and threshold if needed, since that's one of the first things buyers will notice. Swap out a worn welcome mat for one that’s new and brightly colored. If applicable, keep decorations up-to-date – no deflating pumpkins or dead poinsettia plants on the front porch the middle of January! Another tip to quickly spruce up your front entry without breaking the bank? Consider a decorative wreath to place on your front door.
Stage, don’t just shuffle
Properly staging a home is an art – and it involves much more than simply shuffling furniture in a new configuration. We rely on a professional stager to help clients in some cases, a process that often involves replacing existing furniture with more current pieces.
Staging extends beyond a home’s furnishings. The key is to create an easy flow for traffic and this often requires removal of furniture. In most cases, we are able to work with what you have and a stager isn't necessary. We work with your budget and if you are selling a fixer upper, we wouldn't typically recommending staging. One of the most important yet overlooked areas is lighting, brighter light bulbs may just do the trick!. A fresh coat of paint can also make an immediate impact. Current trends favor a gray palette, but we also have a handful of other preferred colors.
One thing to know about us is that we're passionate about animals. The fur baby in our household is Swanky, a 11-year old Yorkshire Terrier. This is why we pay equal attention to pets throughout the selling process. For pet owners with animals that aren’t used to being put in a kennel, tend to be overly stressed when they are locked in a room or kennel during showings. Instead, consider enlisting the help of a pet sitter to walk your dog during a showing. You could also consider pet daycare, especially if several showings are scheduled in one day. We typically like to schedule showings with a 24 hour notice, so it's easier for your planning purposes. Whatever solution you decide on, the important thing is to simply be mindful of your four-legged friends. Selling your home shouldn’t stress your pets and we will assist in anyway to make you feel comfortable and your pets safe. There are many instances where buyers are allergic to cats/dogs, so it is highly recommended to remove any pet beds/toys for the purpose of the open house and private showings.
Lights, camera, action
Once your home is on the market and the showings begin, it’s important to set the right tone before a showing. Open blinds, turn on the lights and consider playing music at a low volume. Place a plate of freshly baked cookies on the counter for example. As your agents, we typically provide beverages, baked goods, and flowers for all open houses. Nothing smells better than freshly baked cookies!
Two things to avoid
Aerosol and plug-in air fresheners. Our experience is that many buyers are allergic to these products and, if hit with too much artificial scent, may be worried that a seller is trying to hide something. If you’re a fan of scented candles and/or cleaning products, we recommend the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day line, made from plant-derived ingredients and essential oils. These scents are clean and mild and won't be too overwhelming.
The bottom line:
As you prepare to sell your home, make it the “shiny penny,” and don’t waste your time going on the market if you’re not willing to make your home magazine-ready. And if you’re stressed by the process of preparing and staging your home, or not sure where to start? we offer a full-service approach to real estate with a goal of making selling or buying a home stress-free.
We like to describe ourselves as being turn key! Our motto is "We Do Everything But The Packing". If the house needs to be painted, we get bids. If you need a handyman to do odds and ends around your home, we have the right folks for you. If it needs to be staged, we work with our stager. We put our clients first as we are without a doubt people-pleasers. We care about people loving their homes and, for sellers, helping them get top dollar for what’s probably their biggest asset.