10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Sale (and wow potential buyers!)

Ready to sell your home? If you’re worried about how your home will measure up for potential buyers, there are a few steps you can take to up its appeal factor. First things first, don’t make the mistake of opening your home without any advance preparation. Your Realtor will be able to give you great advice for improving your home’s appeal, but you should also take a walk through your home and look at it through the eyes of a buyer seeing it for the first time. Make notes on what you, as a buyer, would turn you off and then repair, replace or improve those things.

To help you get started, here are 10 ideas you can accomplish in a weekend that will help your home stand out and leave a great impression with potential buyers.

  • Spruce up the lawn: First impressions are critical when it comes to buyers. Make sure your lawn and landscaping is immaculate. Mow the lawn, prune bushes, get rid of weeds and plant colorful flowers.
  • Clean the outside of your home: When it comes to cleaning, the outside of a home is often forgotten. But sloppy gutters, dirty windows and drab exteriors can really hurt your curb appeal. Clean the gutters, pressure wash your siding, and remove any debris from around the exterior walls.
  • Freshen up your front door: Now, to really seal the deal for a fabulous first impression, look to your front entrance. Wash the front door, or even add a fresh coat of paint in a color that contrasts your home to make it stand out. Add a few colorful plants or tasteful potted flowers to flank the front entrance. Polish house numbers so they shine. And add a new welcome mat to set the mood.
  • Make a grand entrance: As buyers come through your front door, extend their positive first impression with a clean, bright entrance. An attractive and practical table, fresh flowers, stylish rugs or strategically placed mirrors can do wonders.
  • Clean, clean, clean: Deep clean your home before every open house and have every family member commit to making the home a clutter-free zone while it’s on the market. If you’re too busy to stay on top of it, hire a cleaning service to come by as needed.
  • The right scent sells: One element that has the ability to either excite buyers, or turn them off, is the scents that greet them when they first visit. Start by getting rid of off-putting odors from cooking (onions, bacon, fish, etc.), soiled carpets, pet odors, etc. Now add simple scents, such as citrus, vanilla or lavender that are universally appealing and easy to identify, making them less distracting. For more ideas about using scent to sell, check out this article: The Right Scent Can Help Sell Your Home.
  • Tone down personal items: The ideal situation is for a buyer to envision themselves living in your home. Remove overly personal items like family photos in the hallway or kids artwork on the fridge, so they can use their imagination to place their family in the home instead.
  • Illuminate: Open all windows to let in natural light and turn on or add floor or table lamps to illuminate areas that are dim. Bright, light rooms always seems bigger and more inviting.
  • Add some green: Potted plants or freshly cut flowers are perfect for adding color and energy into a room. Or even for drawing attention to features you want buyers to notice. Just make sure that plants are freshened regularly. And pots are kept clean with plants in good health (and bug-free).
  • Organize closets: Storage space is a huge selling point. If closets are messy and overflowing it will seem like you are short on space. Clean out closets, invest in a few simple organizers, store off-season wardrobe items out of site and keep that closet looking neat, clean and spacious.

Selling your home can quickly get overwhelming if you don’t have the right person on your team. With more than 30 years as a licensed Realtor in the Arlington, Virginia area, I have the knowledge, experience and resources to help you with everything from establishing an asking price, to creating an effective marketing campaign, to positioning your property for the right exposure to the right people. Give me a call at 703-593-6320, or email mike@mikesellsvirginia.com for a free market analysis and to get the support you  need today.