Who Needs Luck, 13 Home Prep Tips to Sell your Home Quickly this Spring

If you are planning to put your house on the market this Spring, it goes without saying that you are hoping to sell your home as quickly as possible and get your asking price. Set the stage for success with these 13 tips for styling and upgrading your home and see results — fast. 

1. Boost curb appeal.  This is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips: 

  • Wash all windows
  • Power wash siding and walkways
  • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
  • Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
  • Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed
  • Keep lights on in the home and shades open so buyers can take a peek

2. Welcome visitors with an inviting entryway.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a  single-family home or condo. The buyer makes a first impression the minute they walk in the door. Sellers must always invest in this area. 

  • Paint a neutral color
  • Reduce accessories/personal items and photos
  • Clean overhead lighting. All light fixtures should have matching lightbulbs (same wattage, size and style)
  • Dust, polish & thoroughly clean
  • ONLY if necessary, deodorize with plug-in air freshener. No floral scents but Fresh Breeze or Linen scent
  • Buy a new doormat!
  • If you have a condo clean the common space and stairs that lead to your unit

3. Get your house sparkling clean.  From shining floors and gleaming windows & blinds to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house. Don’t skimp — this step is key! 

4. Clear away all clutter.  If you are serious about selling your home for top dollar, all clutter must go, end of story. It’s not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative’s garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge anything unnecessary or unsightly.     

5. Take a good look at your floors.  At the bare minimum, give all floors a thorough cleaning (and steam clean carpets), but consider having wood floors refinished if they are in poor shape. If you don’t want to invest in refinishing floors, the strategic placement of area rugs can go a long way. 

6. Choose sophisticated neutral colors.  Now is not the time to experiment with that “fun”-looking lime green. But that doesn’t mean you need to go all white, either. Rich midtone neutrals like mocha and “greige” create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together. My personal favorite has been Revere Pewter but I have others depending on the homes light and color palate. 

7. Open those closets!  Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff the heave-ho. Again, this is really important, so even if you need to store a few boxes elsewhere, it’s worth it. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness. 

  • Nothing should be on the closet floors
  • All clothes hung in the same direction
  • Use organizational boxes for loose items
  • Don’t forget bathroom vanities

 

8. Clean up toys.  There will definitely be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn’t mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start. Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids’ room, and they might be swayed. This is a great opportunity to foster giving with your children and donate old toys.

9. Use “extra” rooms wisely.  If you have been using a spare bedroom as a dumping ground for odd pieces of furniture and boxes of junk, it’s time to clean up your act. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose, so think about what potential buyers might like to see here. An office? A guest room? Another kids’ room? Whether you buy inexpensive furnishings, rent them, or borrow some from friends, making a real room out of a junk room will have a big payoff. 

10. Use only perfect personal accents.  Especially in the bathroom, it is important that anything left out for visitors to see is pristine. If you have a gorgeous fluffy white bathrobe, hanging it on a decorative hook on the door can be an attractive accent — but if your robe is more of the nubby blue floral variety, you might want to hide it away. Look at every detail with a visitor’s eye — bars of soap should be fresh and clean, personal items tucked away, towels spotless, the garbage always emptied (you get the idea). 

11. Beware pet odors.  Really, this can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled. 

12. Stage the outdoors too.  Even if your condo has only a teensy postage stamp–size balcony, play it up with a cute cafe table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth and even a little tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. When people look at this scene, they won’t be thinking “small,” they will be thinking, “What a charming spot to have breakfast!” 

13. Think seasonally.   Make sure your garden, deck or balcony is in beautiful shape and that any extra features you have, like porch swing, lawn furniture or a fire pit, are cleaned and ready to go.

For more tips on preparing your home for sale or to get a free home consultation call me at 312.953.5176