Preparing Your Home for the Market

The Spring market is here! If you’ve been following my articles thus far, I gave you a sense as to what to expect on both the buying and selling side of the home purchase transaction. We’ve reviewed how to prepare your home for various types of inspections, the importance of a lender’s pre approval, and pitfalls to watch for to safeguard your investment. I’ve been flip flopping content between the buyer and seller in past articles. This week will be ALL SELLER. Today I will share some fast, quick hit items to get your home ready for the fast selling market. The goal is to help potential buyers visualize themselves in your stylish, well-maintained home.

Curb appeal is crucial. As it states in the name, your home must be attractive and inviting from the street curb. Like many other REALTORS® could attest, I’ve driven up to a home with my buyers. The subject house had either no or poor curb appeal. The buyers did not even want to go inside. Here’s how you not only get buyers inside, but receive an offer to boot. Remove all clutter from the yard, including lawn equipment and kids toys. Keep the lawn mowed, watered, and weeded. Maintain landscaping with fresh mulch/stone and colorful plants/flowers. Arguably the most important place is on the front porch during showings. The buyer’s REALTOR® will need to open the lockbox to access the key to the front door. Meanwhile the buyer’s eyes are inspecting anything and everything on the doorstep and surrounding areas.. Wash all windows, put a fresh coat of paint on the front door, and wipe up any cobwebs in the corners of the doorstep. Make sure light fixtures are cleaned up and operational.

Once inside, fellow REALTORS® say it with me… DECLUTTER DECLUTTER DECLUTTER. Remove excess furniture and unused exercise equipment to open up space. Depersonalize the house by removing family photos, degrees and awards from your ‘I love me’ wall, as well as clean out closets. Clear off horizontal spaces (table tops, kitchen counters, and tops of bookshelves). Kitchens and bathrooms sell and must be updated and spotless.

Give the garage some love. If your goal is to move within the next few months, remove Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and any other holiday decorations that are not relevant to the time of year. The garage tends to be a ‘catch all’ for garbage, recycling, kids’ toys, and miscellaneous off season clutter. Be sure it is cleaned up and de-cluttered. It may benefit you to rent a temporary storage unit to house miscellaneous decorations, memory boxes, etc.

Consider some staging best practices. Replace the welcome mat, door wreath, or flower box to make the house look more inviting. Set the table or bar for two.

As REALTORS® during showings, we are advised to leave the house as we find it. If lights and music are on, we will leave them on. Please be cognisant of this if lighting candles or a fireplace. Turn on lights and lamps. Open curtains, run the vacuum, and quickly polish bathroom and kitchen faucets. Be sure to have arrangements if you have pets. See my previous article on removing pets during showings.

Buyers may only visit your home for about :20 during a house tour of eight to ten homes. What do you want them to remember about your home? Until next week, love where you live. And if you don’t…contact your local REALTOR®.

Brian Haufe, 2022 MBOR President