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Checklist for Preparing Your Home to Sale

By Heidi Hitt

If you are thinking of selling your home, there are several things you should do NOW!  Not only will these steps help you prepare and get a JUMP on the market, they could even help to boost your sales price!

After living in your home for some time, its natural to have accumulated a lot of stuff.  But over-stuffed drawers and jam-packed closets do not show well.  Buyers want to see that there is plenty of room for their things. The same goes for garages that are so full you can't even park in them. Plan ahead and go through your home one area or room at a time. Seasonal items that you won't be using between now and the time you sell your home can be boxed and stored off-site. Think of it as pre-packing for your upcoming move after the successful sale of your home. Get rid of stacks and piles of books, magazines and mail. Try to purge or donate what you can with the goal of having near empty shelves and racks so buyers can see the available storage space.

Buyers want to be able to visualize themselves living in the home, so its important to neutralize the home as much as possible. Reduce the amount of personal photos, mementos, and collectibles you have on display. By doing so, buyers are able to visualize their own things in your house instead of getting distracted by your cool collection of cat figurines. Paint the room a neutral color like cream or gray...warm colors that appeal to most buyers.

If you have high quality hardwood floors, roll up those area rugs and let the beauty of your floors shine. If the floors need a little TLC, consider spending a little money to have them polished or refinished.

Very few of us live in pristine conditions and its easy to overlook the mess you live with every day. Even so, buyers will expect your home to be as clean and spotless as a model home. Clean homes sell faster than cluttered, dusty homes do.  Before your home goes on the market, clean those areas that don't get regular attention. Focus on cleaning the baseboards, ceiling fans, and blinds. Clean out the dust bunnies in the crevices of your closets, get the bugs out of the light fixtures and replace bulbs that are burnt out, clean the refrigerator, deep clean the oven, and have the carpets professionally cleaned. Hiring a professional housecleaner can be a big time saver.

Staging your home is more than just decorating. A professional stager can help you optimize the look, use and feel of every room in your home so that it is presented in the best possible light to potential buyers. For example, stagers can advice on your furnishings and placement to showcase your home at it's best.

We all tend to procrastinate or forget to fix the little stuff...the leaky faucet, the peeling wallpaper, the light switch that doesn't work or the wobbly ceiling fan.  Hire a handy man to fix those things now so you are ready for peak selling season! I CAN RECOMMEND A HANDYMAN FOR ANY REPAIRS NEEDED.

Of course we all love our fur babies! They are like children to us but our buyers don't always feel the same. The smell or evidence of pets can kill a deal faster than anything I have ever seen. (Same goes for smoking.)  Get rid of any rugs or blankets that smell like pets. Put away pet food bowls, toys and beds for showings and pictures and try to make arrangements for Fluffy to not be home for showings, or at least contain her.

Most buyers decide if they like a home or not just by driving by.  Make sure your yard stays mowed and edged, flower beds weeded and mulched, fresh flowers in pots, and keep shrubs trimmed. Paint or stain the front door and shutters if needed for a clean, crisp first impression.

If all of this seems overwhelming, just call me.  I have professionals lined up ready to work for you.  I will aggressively market your home and I have the experience and expertise to get you moving!