Ready, Set….SELL!

Spring is here and that means the housing market is warming up and getting ready for busy season! If you are thinking of putting your home on the market this season, consider these top tips for readying your home:

Clean, clean, clean! I’ll say it again, clean! We cannot emphasize enough the importance of a pristine home when putting your house up for sale. That means windows, bathroom drawers, appliances, porch webs and debris, and every other nook and cranny you can think of. We even encourage sellers to dust their basement appliances like water heaters and softeners, as well as furnaces.

Depersonalize and neutralize your space. Pre-pack all family photos, anything with your name on it, calendars, and other items that are very meaningful to you. Imagine you are creating a blank slate for a buyer to tour your home and be able to imagine their life there. I often tell clients, “no signs of life in your house! People know you are living here but they don’t want to know you’re living here.” That means taking laundry hampers and garbage cans with you when you leave or out to the garage, tucking away toilet brushes and plungers, removing any dish towels, rags, soap and accessories — even the cute, just-for-decoration, dish towels!

Repair is essential to preparing your home for market. The goal is for buyers to feel like your home is truly move-in-ready and that they can’t find a single project they must do. Improvements that make a difference, but sometimes get overlooked, can include:

  • professionally cleaned carpets
  • freshly painted front door (no chips or signs of ware)
  • closet doors that open easily and quietly, and shut correctly
  • walls and closet interiors free of scuff marks
  • demineralized faucets and shower heads
  • conditioned wood, especially in areas of high use or next to water sources such as railings and bathroom and kitchen cabinets
  • working lightbulbs with matching hues in all fixtures
  • patched and painted walls as needed

Refresh your home before taking photos or offering open houses. Add crisp, new white bath towels and hand towels to bathrooms. Pick up a few house plants from Trader Joe’s (or fake one’s from Ikea!) to add some life to your space. Toss lemons and limes in a wooden or ceramic serving bowl and set it on your dinner table, they’ll last for weeks! Pick out a fresh, colorful bouquet for picture day and display it on your kitchen island. Perhaps you want new bedding for your next home, buy it early and make your primary bedroom look extravagant for showings. Updating or adding hardware throughout the home can make oak cabinets look new again, and replace yellow-gold fixtures with black or oil rubbed metals. Small, less expensive changes such as updating light fixtures or replacing outlet covers, can make all the difference in the end!

It’s reasonable that preparing to sell your home feels overwhelming. You’ve built a whole life in your home and it can be a lot of work, both physically and emotionally, to prepare to let it go. I find it can be helpful to imagine you are setting up your home to bless the next family to live there. What can you do to make your home the best it can be for them? Or imagine you are a buyer for your home. What would you want to see or not see? What would feel like projects if you were just moving into the property? Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes and you’ll know just what you need to do. Of course, if all else fails, just clean, clean, clean!

Guest Blogger: Katya Larsen, Stager, A Home Revival

Written By

Kelly Zabel is an award-winning stager, recognized nationally by the Real Estate Staging Association in 2021 as the Best Rising Star Home Stager of the Year and in 2020 as a Top 10 Rising Star Home Stager of the Year for Vacant Properties in USA and Canada. Whether new construction, remodeled, or in its original beauty, Kelly knows how difficult it is for potential buyers to imagine a home when viewing a vacant property. She loves taking an empty room, filling it with personality and comfort, and showcasing how homeowners could actually live in that space. Her natural eye for layout and design helps highlight the potential of any space.

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