When you’re selling a house, there are many things you have to consider, and you may be tempted to focus on your upcoming move. However, to speed up the process and sell your house for the greatest amount possible, it is important to properly prepare your home beforehand. Here are some things you should know before prepping your home for sale.
Depersonalize the space
Prep can mean the difference between a quick, reasonable sale and a lowball offer dragged out over months. The Balance notes the first thing you need to do is disassociate
yourself from your house. This can be tough, especially if you’ve lived there for a long time, but is necessary to allow you to prepare to stage your house in a manner that will attract the most buyers.
Staging is the process of turning a house into a blank canvas onto which potential buyers can project their own lives. So, as you take on different projects, keep in mind that your goal should be to increase your home’s appeal (and sale value) to potential buyers. The first step is to remove all personal items
, like family pictures, and things that represent your personal taste, like eccentric pieces of furniture or brightly-painted walls. Instead, opt for soft, warm, neutral color tones and comfortable but traditional pieces of furniture. When in doubt, ask your realtor for insights
into making these adjustments.
Get rid of your clutter and improve your air quality
The other half of depersonalization is decluttering
. This doesn’t just mean getting rid of stacks of mail and books that may litter your counters - you should pack up all your knick knacks and decorative objects. If you have pets, tuck away their food dishes, leashes, litter boxes, and other pet paraphernalia. By removing excess objects, you’ll make each room feel much larger.
Once you’ve opened up the extra space, give the house a thorough cleaning. Be sure not to neglect your air quality! Clean or change your air filters, open windows to let in fresh air, and clean your curtains and rugs to get rid of dust that may have collected over the years. You may also wish to consider purchasing an air purifier
that specializes in removing smoke and bad odors from the air if you have lingering odors.
Beautify your exterior
Once the interior of your home is clean, turn your focus outside. Curb appeal
is another critical part of making your home appealing to potential buyers. With good curb appeal, you can make passersby stop and stare. Begin by updating your front door, a coat or two of paint may do the trick, but if your door is in poor condition it may be time to install a new one.
Next, complete basic yard maintenance - keep your grass mowed and edged, with weeds pulled and all plant debris raked up. If you have any trees with dead limbs, make sure they are tidied up as well. This often requires the assistance of a professional; Angi recommends reading customer reviews before settling on a contractor, and asking for references
if none are available.
Make sure to clean your gutters as well. Plant some bright seasonal flowers
around your mailbox and along the curbside to make it more eye-catching, and add mulch around your trees and bushes to make them seem more intentionally placed. A fresh coat of paint on your shutters and trim along with new siding can make your house seem much newer.
Take on simple projects to upgrade the interior
Repainting your interior a neutral color
can make your already-clean house seem even cleaner. If you have the time and inclination, you may want to take on some additional projects to increase value, like upgrading your bathroom and kitchen. A full kitchen and bathroom upgrade may not be cost effective, but simple adjustments, like updating lighting, faucets and cabinet knobs can modernize those rooms. In addition, you can swap out your old shower curtain for a new one and invest in a matching set of towels. Even if your cabinetry is old, a new coat of paint can make it look new.
When selling a house, it may seem like there is a never-ending list of things you need to know. However, when it comes to home prep, there are only four requirements: depersonalize your house, clean it thoroughly, beautify the exterior, and invest in the interior. Beyond that, talk to your real estate agent to find out which updates would benefit your home the most before completing a demolition of your home.
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Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Article reprinted
with permission. All rights reserved.