Deb Tebbs Group

Cascade Sotheby's International Realty

Prepping Your Home for Sale

When you’re prepping your home for sale, there are a lot of things to consider and it can quickly become overwhelming.  The best way to approach this gargantuan undertaking is to break your tasks into small, manageable chunks and attack them one at a time.  Go room by room instead of running all over the house.  Focus on one aspect, such as cleaning, and worry about painting the walls on the next pass.  To make things a bit easier for you, here are some basic areas that are essential to making your home as sellable as possible.

Clean, Clean, Clean!

The importance of a clean home cannot be stressed enough when it comes time to sell.  Ensure that all the bathrooms are spotless, with fresh soap and towels. Carpets should be deep cleaned and wood floors polished.  Make sure the kitchen sink is clean, and that there is no trash in the bins.  Consider hiring a cleaning service to make sure that no square inch is ignored.  Ask a friend to inspect your cleaning job; it helps to have an extra pair of eyes and a good friend won’t be afraid to tell you that you’ve missed a spot!

Make Your Rooms Shine

A fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference.  If you can, repaint any rooms that are losing their sheen.  Painting your living room, kitchen, family room, and hallways the same color will make your home feel more open and connected, increasing the sense of space.  Contrast the bedrooms with the hallway paint to set them apart.  Replace or remove completely any outdated wallpaper.  Repair cracks and damage in the walls.  Make sure that all the room doors open and shut well.  Strongly consider hiring a home inspector to find any issues that could come up in the selling process.  This gives you a chance to fix them before they negatively impact your home’s value.

Get Rid of That Junk

Clutter will distract potential homebuyers from the home.  Sure, it will be gone when they move in, but it makes it difficult for them to envision their own belongings in that space.  One of the first things buyers look for is storage space.  Clean out the garage and the closets.  Hold a garage or yard sale. Get rid of old food, scrapped projects, old clothing, and obsolete electronics.  Ask yourself, “Have used this since I last moved?”  If the answer is No, then it might be time to dump it.  Also, be sure to remove any personal decorations such as family photographs, trophies, certificates, heirlooms, etc.  You want buyers to imagine that they live there, and personal items make it difficult to paint that mental image.  This also protects you, because buyers are strangers, and it is best if you don’t have personal data lying out in the open.

Improve Your Curb Appeal

The front of your house is the first thing the buyer will see on a visit or driving by, and what they say about first impressions holds true.  Clean up the yard, keep the lawn mowed, trim the bushes.  Get a new welcome mat if the old one has become worn, or if you never had one to begin with.  Add some flowers for some color; planters are great because they add to the picturesque feel of the home and you can take them with you when you move.  Replace or repaint any fading house numbers, and touch up the trim.  Consider upgrading the lanterns to more stylish ones, they make a big difference.

Make a Checklist

Your home will most likely not sell right away.  You need to be prepared to maintain the home in a sellable state for as long as it is on the market.  Create a weekly checklist of tasks that should be taken care of to ensure that the house is always ready to be shown.  This checklist should include: weekly landscape maintenance (especially in the summer months), regular dusting, sweeping walkways and porches, checking on fresh flowers both indoors and out, washing windows, regular vacuuming, and cleaning the shower or tub.  Try to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and make sure to focus on what they would focus on.

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