Your How-To Guide for Preparing Your Home for Sale

Your How-To Guide for Preparing Your Home for Sale

  • Jeremy Willard

For many, home selling is an essential first step to a new chapter in life. However, preparing to sell a home can also be a complicated process that may be difficult to navigate for even the most experienced home sellers.

The top goals of most sellers include moving the property quickly and making a nice profit from the sale. While that sounds simple enough, selling a home in today’s competitive real estate market often necessitates preparing your home meticulously and ensuring it stands out to buyers.

If you want to learn how to get your home ready to sell, follow these expert tips to ensure a streamlined, simplified transaction.

Declutter the entire home

After selling, you will have to move all of your belongings anyway, so the earlier you can start getting rid of unnecessary items, the better. Clearing the house of clutter will allow your agent, stager, and photographer to make the home look its absolute best for photographs and tours.

Go room by room and organize everything. Ask yourself if each item serves a specific purpose in your life. If not, you may want to consider discarding or donating it. Now may be a good time to rent a storage unit to move stuff out of your house. You want to create a truly blank slate for your buyers to envision their own happy lives within the home.

Deep clean everything

After you have moved unnecessary clutter out of your home, it is time to thoroughly deep-clean every inch of the property. No one wants to move into a home that feels like it was lived in before. Ensuring every surface in the home is spotless is an excellent way to reset the property for the new owner. Be sure to wipe down all surfaces, from floors and cabinets to light switches, ceiling fans, and window screens. After the home has been thoroughly cleaned once, be sure to keep it clean throughout the selling process and before each tour or open house.

Make minor repairs

Most buyers do not want to purchase a fixer-upper and are looking for a move-in ready home. Holes in the walls, missing baseboards, and leaky faucets are all minor things that can turn away buyers. Many of these simple repairs can be completed cheaply and without much expertise, but they can significantly impact the success of your sale, making it a good idea for sellers to invest in small repairs as they prepare to sell their homes.

Refresh old paint

Chipped or outdated paint can make an otherwise gorgeous room appear drab and dingy. While an entire repaint on a home is often not warranted, refreshing old paint jobs can help make the property look its very best for buyers. Especially if you have small rooms painted in dark colors, adding a fresh coat in a lighter shade can open up the space and give it an updated, sleek look.

Neutralize odors

Odds are that you are so used to the smells in your home that you no longer notice them. However, buyers touring the property for the first time might be put off by the scent of mildew or pets. While it might be intuitive to burn a strongly-scented candle or add a plug-in diffuser, strong aromas of any kind can turn away buyers. Instead, invest in a good air neutralizer and use it before every open house and showing.

Revamp the landscaping and curb appeal

The exterior of your home will be the first thing potential buyers see. Therefore, you want to leave an unforgettable first impression. Luckily, there are a few simple fixes that can boost your home’s curb appeal.

Even just revamping your home’s landscaping can bring a substantial return on investment. Give your landscaping a refresh by trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, fixing any patchy spots, and planting some long-blooming annual flowers. Make sure your front door and walkway are in great condition. If the front door is faded and worn out, consider repainting or even replacing it.

Update the light fixtures

As light bulbs age, they slowly lose their brightness and take on a yellowish tint that can make your home look older. You may not even realize this gradual decline. Before listing your home, replace any old lightbulbs with new ones. This will help ensure each room looks fresh, inviting, and bright for buyers.

Staging for maximum effect

Staging is an excellent way to ensure each room is designed and decorated for maximum effect to highlight your home’s strengths and can increase its appeal. Many sellers “DIY” their staging efforts, but having input from a professional stager will ensure that your home looks perfect in the eyes of buyers.

During staging, the home will be depersonalized, furniture will be rearranged strategically, and decorations will be set out to ensure the home appears clean, spacious, and appealing at every turn.

Hire a professional photographer

Today, most buyers will utilize the internet in their home search. A quick Google search of the area will bring up hundreds of listings for buyers to sort through. Therefore, you need to have compelling listing images that help your home stand out amongst the rest. While it can be tempting to take your own photos, a professional real estate photographer knows how to capture your home's best features in a show-stopping way.

Get a pre-listing home inspection

Most buyers will have a home inspection done before closing on the property. Oftentimes, they can leverage the findings of their home inspection to negotiate a lower price, ask you to make repairs, or even back out of the deal altogether. As a seller, you can get ahead of these issues by ordering a pre-listing home inspection. This will help you make sure that the structures and systems in your home are in proper working order. If any major repairs are needed that could complicate the sale of the home, you may want to consider addressing them beforehand.

Enlist the help of an experienced Realtor

Having an experienced Realtor behind your listing will greatly improve your chances of selling your home quickly and for top dollar. If you are putting your Fort Lauderdale home up for sale, reach out to top Realtors Ken Calhoun, Jeremy Willard, and Devin O’Neal for expert guidance at every point. Do not hesitate to call them today to get your home ready to list.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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