Welcome! The first question that we get most frequently is how to prepare their house to get it ready to go on the market. Before even asking what the house is worth, people want to know what to do to make it show beautifully. Most people have seen shows and have looked at the internet for tips, but we will tell you our tried-and-true MUST-DO tips for getting your house ready to go on the market.
When we take a listing, we go around the house room by room with the owners and let them know exactly what they should do in each room. If you are good at this and have an impartial eye (we are all attached to our own stuff), you can do this by yourself, or you could ask a friend to go around with you and change what needs to be changed.
We may lose friends saying these things, but here goes:
- Make sure your house is clean. REALLY clean. Amazingly clean. Clean where you have never cleaned before.
- Make sure your house smells FRESH. Not like a cookie, not like pumpkins or flowers or fruit. Just FRESH. Don’t light candles prior to showing your home because some people have an aversion to certain smells – you might lose that perfect buyer.
- If you have older furniture, pack it up and store it or get rid of it. Rent something that goes with your space. Old-style furniture and décor just tells buyers that they have to spend more money to upgrade things which, of course, isn’t true because your yucky old stuff moves with you, but it just leaves that impression on people. This will lower what they would offer for your house.
- Update the color scheme of your home, if necessary. A little paint in a currently popular color palette works wonders in getting you top dollar.
- Pack up your stuff and put it in storage somewhere. You’re planning to move anyway, and if rooms and closets look nice and roomy, that equals a quicker sale and possibly higher offers.
- Closets and kitchen cabinets should look like hardly anyone lives there and that those who do are some sort of neat freaks. Towels and toiletries should be placed strategically in linen closets in an artistic way. In the kitchen, it should basically look like you eat, but not that much.
- Bathrooms should be sparse but pretty.
- Photographs: KEEP your family photos, but just know where to place them. A small grouping in certain areas make the home look well-loved.
- Fresh fruit, fresh flowers, and a plate of cupcakes: Keep these three things around and replenish as necessary. This gives potential buyers the feeling that living there would be so lovely (and yummy!).
- Place furniture where it should go, not just where you happen to like it. Rooms need to have a great flow. Make sure entrances aren’t blocked in any way.
- Of course, first impressions are key, so pick up any fallen leaves, pick out all weeds, put a few potted plants around, and make sure there aren’t any patches of ice that buyers have to skate on in order to get to your door.
Well, there’s more, but you just have to figure that out by yourself! OK, if you have any specific questions, just ask. Leah is a certified home stager for real estate and would be happy to help you.
Jeanine Soderlund, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX HomeTowne Realty;
Janet “Jan” Alderisio, Sales Associate
Leah Selig, Sales Associate,