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7 Steps to Prepare Your House For Sale

In this article I will provide you with seven steps to get your house prepared to list for sale. It can be difficult to know where to start and what is worth the time and effort, so I hope to help remove some of the guess work for you.


First- make obvious repairs. Even minor repairs can make a buyer wonder what else is wrong with your house and it is important to fix those obvious things. Things that come to mind would be a squeaky door. That's going to be their first impression. Just get out the WD40 and fix that right away. Other things would be to replace any burnt out light bulbs in your house.

 

A lot of the repairs will usually be outside. For example, if you have gutters that are falling apart or peeling paint, chipped paint, or maybe your fascia board looks a little bit rotten those are important items to have repaired. Here in the Pacific Northwest oftentimes it is common (in older houses especially) to find these issues just because of the weathering factor. So take a really close look outside of your home at every aspect of it and with a microscope try and zone in on those areas on the outside of your house that need attention because those also could get called out during the appraisal process.

It is critical to make these repairs before listing because it will make the process so much smoother when selling.

 

A few other commons repair items inside of the home are hot water heater straps missing or not installed correctly; missing or defective carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. You're always going to need these items because of state laws and loan guidelines and they're very inexpensive and easy to install. Lastly, is repair anything that is glaringly obviously in need of repair. Such as: holes in the drywall, if there's bare wood showing on the floor, leaking plumbing, or leaking roof/windows, faulty electrical.

 

Make your house a high maintenance zone, that you're going to take care of all of those honey do items that have been on the back of the burner.  If you’re not all that handy and need to hire a contractor, go ahead and do that because it's just going to make such a big difference when that buyer walks through your house if you get all of that handled beforehand and before the photographs are taken.

 

Alright, so enough about making obvious repairs. Next would be to declutter and depersonalize. So, put away the kids’ drawings. They are really cute and adorable to you but put them away please as well as family photos if you can. Anything that is clutter or knick-knacks or things that personalize the home to you, the buyer wants to be able to envision themselves in the house.

Next is adding curb appeal- fresh beauty bark, gravel, maybe some flowers. Installing large, easy to read house numbers on the front of your house and front of your driveway somewhere is extremely helpful for buyers when they’re pulling up to your house.

 

The next item is to deep clean. I really recommend a professional cleaner and oftentimes my sellers don't want to do that, they don't want to spend the money, but hiring a professional cleaner is one of the best things that you can do to get your house ready to list because professional cleaners are just that. They see dirt and grime that you do not notice when you're living in the house every single day, but that other people are going to notice when they walk through it. The photographer can make it look clean, but for showings, it is important to have it spic and span. Cleaning all of the molding, trim, getting those dust bunnies and wiping down every single cabinet inside and out, washing the windows, all of these meticulous details that take so much time make a big difference in the overall appearance of the home. Even taking down your light fixtures and giving them a good wash is going to make a huge difference for how your house presents during showings.

 

The next task is easy- brighten up. We already talked about replacing all burnt out light bulbs. During photos and showings, open all the blinds and curtains, and turn on all the lights. This will make it look so much better. If there’s a dark corner or area considering adding a lamp.

 

Next is keeping smells to a minimum. Even things that don't necessarily smell, but make people think of a bad smell such as: dog beds or crates, litter boxes, diaper pails, garbage cans. Put these items away as much as you possibly can during showings and photographs. Hide them in the garage or a closet. You also don't want any overpowering smells (even if they are good) because it might make the buyers think, "Hmm, what are they trying to cover up?" So, if you do use any scents, consider a light lemon or fresh linen type of scent, but nothing too overpowering. It's always a good idea to have someone do a “sniff test” on your house, a friend, or your real estate agent. It’s easy to go nose blind and not notice smells when you live there every day, have someone give you their honest opinion.

Next is to lightly stage. So, a lot of times you can just use what you have or if it's a vacant house you want to hire a stager. Most of the time, professional staging isn't needed, but it can help. You can just lightly stage it yourself, and with the help of Realtor, but it does help to have the home staged. It just makes it feel a little bit cozier and homier. If it's a small space, it's a really good idea to have it professionally staged because then the buyers can see how they should be using that space. Sometimes it can be hard to picture a table or a couch in a certain area if it's kind of an abnormal size.

In conclusion I hope these seven simple steps to prepare your house to list for sale have been helpful to you. Maybe there were a few items that you didn’t think of. If you have any questions, you can always feel free to reach out to me.

In this article I will provide you with seven steps to get your house prepared to list for sale. It can be difficult to know where to start and what is worth the time and effort, so I hope to help remove some of the guess work for you.


First- make obvious repairs. Even minor repairs can make a buyer wonder what else is wrong with your house and it is important to fix those obvious things. Things that come to mind would be a squeaky door. That's going to be their first impression. Just get out the WD40 and fix that right away. Other things would be to replace any burnt out light bulbs in your house.

 

A lot of the repairs will usually be outside. For example, if you have gutters that are falling apart or peeling paint, chipped paint, or maybe your fascia board looks a little bit rotten those are important items to have repaired. Here in the Pacific Northwest oftentimes it is common (in older houses especially) to find these issues just because of the weathering factor. So take a really close look outside of your home at every aspect of it and with a microscope try and zone in on those areas on the outside of your house that need attention because those also could get called out during the appraisal process.

It is critical to make these repairs before listing because it will make the process so much smoother when selling.

 

A few other commons repair items inside of the home are hot water heater straps missing or not installed correctly; missing or defective carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. You're always going to need these items because of state laws and loan guidelines and they're very inexpensive and easy to install. Lastly, is repair anything that is glaringly obviously in need of repair. Such as: holes in the drywall, if there's bare wood showing on the floor, leaking plumbing, or leaking roof/windows, faulty electrical.

 

Make your house a high maintenance zone, that you're going to take care of all of those honey do items that have been on the back of the burner.  If you’re not all that handy and need to hire a contractor, go ahead and do that because it's just going to make such a big difference when that buyer walks through your house if you get all of that handled beforehand and before the photographs are taken.

 

Alright, so enough about making obvious repairs. Next would be to declutter and depersonalize. So, put away the kids’ drawings. They are really cute and adorable to you but put them away please as well as family photos if you can. Anything that is clutter or knick-knacks or things that personalize the home to you, the buyer wants to be able to envision themselves in the house.

Next is adding curb appeal- fresh beauty bark, gravel, maybe some flowers. Installing large, easy to read house numbers on the front of your house and front of your driveway somewhere is extremely helpful for buyers when they’re pulling up to your house.

 

The next item is to deep clean. I really recommend a professional cleaner and oftentimes my sellers don't want to do that, they don't want to spend the money, but hiring a professional cleaner is one of the best things that you can do to get your house ready to list because professional cleaners are just that. They see dirt and grime that you do not notice when you're living in the house every single day, but that other people are going to notice when they walk through it. The photographer can make it look clean, but for showings, it is important to have it spic and span. Cleaning all of the molding, trim, getting those dust bunnies and wiping down every single cabinet inside and out, washing the windows, all of these meticulous details that take so much time make a big difference in the overall appearance of the home. Even taking down your light fixtures and giving them a good wash is going to make a huge difference for how your house presents during showings.

 

The next task is easy- brighten up. We already talked about replacing all burnt out light bulbs. During photos and showings, open all the blinds and curtains, and turn on all the lights. This will make it look so much better. If there’s a dark corner or area considering adding a lamp.

 

Next is keeping smells to a minimum. Even things that don't necessarily smell, but make people think of a bad smell such as: dog beds or crates, litter boxes, diaper pails, garbage cans. Put these items away as much as you possibly can during showings and photographs. Hide them in the garage or a closet. You also don't want any overpowering smells (even if they are good) because it might make the buyers think, "Hmm, what are they trying to cover up?" So, if you do use any scents, consider a light lemon or fresh linen type of scent, but nothing too overpowering. It's always a good idea to have someone do a “sniff test” on your house, a friend, or your real estate agent. It’s easy to go nose blind and not notice smells when you live there every day, have someone give you their honest opinion.

Next is to lightly stage. So, a lot of times you can just use what you have or if it's a vacant house you want to hire a stager. Most of the time, professional staging isn't needed, but it can help. You can just lightly stage it yourself, and with the help of Realtor, but it does help to have the home staged. It just makes it feel a little bit cozier and homier. If it's a small space, it's a really good idea to have it professionally staged because then the buyers can see how they should be using that space. Sometimes it can be hard to picture a table or a couch in a certain area if it's kind of an abnormal size.

In conclusion I hope these seven simple steps to prepare your house to list for sale have been helpful to you. Maybe there were a few items that you didn’t think of. If you have any questions, you can always feel free to reach out to me.