How to Prepare a House for Sale

August 17, 2012

Tips & Trends

From Rory S. Coakley on some of the latest real estate news and happenings.

After you’ve contacted an experienced real estate company like Coakley Realty to help you sell your home, what do you do next? When you want to prepare a house for sale, you want to set the stage for potential buyers so they can envision themselves living in your house, but creating the right atmosphere requires some work. There are certain things you can do to improve the appeal of your home and help it sell more quickly.

  1. De-clutter. Whether it’s a stack of magazines and mail on the coffee table or too many appliances on the counters, clutter in your home detracts from the overall appearance. When every flat surface is covered with your belongings, potential buyers won’t be able to visualize how they would use the open space for their own things. Thankfully, there is an easy solution to this—you’re already planning on moving, so just start packing things up. If necessary, you can rent a portable storage unit to keep things on hand, but out of sight.
  2. Remove personal belongings. This includes pictures of family and friends, birthday cards and other personal belongings that are on display throughout your home. Potential buyers need a blank slate so they can imagine hanging their own family portrait over the mantel.
  3. Hire a cleaning service. When you prepare a house for sale, one of the most important things to do is hire a cleaning service. They will get into all of the nooks and crannies you might otherwise forget when cleaning, such as baseboards, ceiling fans, closets and more. A clean home is going to be more attractive to potential buyers.
  4. Neutralize odors. Often, homeowners get used to the smell of their own home, so ask your real estate agent or a friend to do a quick tour of your home. Whether they detect an odor or not, it’s a good idea to shampoo the carpets and plug in some air fresheners.
  5. Make necessary repairs. Maybe there’s a jiggly door handle or a crooked cabinet door you’ve been meaning to fix—no matter what it is, get it squared away before people walk through your home. Potential buyers are on the lookout for imperfections, so make sure there’s nothing for them to find.
  6. Spruce things up. This can include simple things like buying new towels and bathmats or putting out the nice linens in your bathrooms and bedrooms. Even these small changes can improve the overall appeal when you prepare a house for sale.
  7. Stage your home. You want buyers to look at your home and imagine themselves living there, which is why staging your house is so important. Set the table with your best china, rearrange furniture and repaint when necessary.
  8. Enhance the curb appeal. How your home looks on the outside is sometimes just as important as how it looks on the inside. After all, your yard and home’s exterior will be the first thing buyers see, and you want to make a good impression! When you prepare a house for sale, don’t forget to trim the yard, weed the flowers and prune the bushes. It’s also a good idea to make sure the shutters aren’t broken, the paint on the front door isn’t peeling, etc.
  9. Organize your storage space. Storage space is an incredibly important selling point for nearly every home—make sure your closets, cabinets and drawers are well organized so the space is optimized. Not only will having things more organized simply look nicer, it will also give the appearance that there is ample storage space for all belongings.
  10. Make yourself scarce. When you want to prepare a house for sale, one of the most important things you can do is to leave. Potential buyers are going to feel much more comfortable asking questions and poking around if you’re not there, and if you have pets, try to take them with you whenever possible.

Small improvements can significantly increase the likelihood of your home selling quickly, so prepare your house for sale today. When you’re ready to sell your home, contact Coakley Realty. Our experienced real estate agents can help you get your home ready and sell it quickly.

If you would like to suggest a topic for inclusion in one of our future email newsletters, contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.

Rory S. Coakley
Coakley Realty, Inc.
20 Courthouse Square, Suite 107
Rockville, MD 20850
www.coakleyrealty.com

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