Preparing Your House to Sell, and Sell Quick

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Real Estate

Preparing to sell your house? Well, time to get busy! There's some work to do before even contacting me, your Realtor. If you're looking to get the most money out of your investment (who isn't?) this is a checklist of some things to consider. Some are pretty quick and easy, while others might take some time, but they will pay off in the end.


Connect with me so that I can help you pick what's most important for you to focus on in your home.

In this market, you're likely to get away with doing a minimum effort to spruce up your home. 


1. Check your curb appeal.

The exterior of your property is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Many are doing drive-bys before requesting to see the inside. You want to make that first impression a good one. You want them to stop and request a showing or come in to the open house. Planting colorful flowers and repainting your front door are both quick and easy things to boost curb appeal. The goal is to make the exterior inviting to the buyer. 

2. Declutter.

When it comes to prepping the home, less is definitely more. Kitchen and bathroom counters should be totally cleared off. Windowsills and tables should also be clear of any decorations. It is also important to check closets and kitchen cabinets to make sure there is ample space. If the closets and cupboards are jam packed, it will appear to a potential buyer that the home does not have enough storage space for their belongings. If they feel they would have to rent a storage space to keep their stuff, they are less likely to pay for the house. Take excess items to donate or pack them up and store them off-site. Doing this step will make the house more visually appealing to buyers and puts you, as the seller, in a better situation to move once an offer is accepted 

3. Depersonalize.

Although similar to decluttering, as a seller, it is important to remove any personal photographs and other personal items that are in plain view Any bold artwork or other decorations should also be removed. The goal is to make the home more neutral and remove distractions so that potential buyers can visualize their belongings in the space. The space should be as neutral as possible to appeal to a variety of buyers. 

4. Repaint.

If you have a cranberry red accent wall, you might want to change it to something more neutral. Again, the goal is to make the space easy for a potential buyer to visualize their belongings in the home. They may not like the color or it may clash with their stuff, so it is best to go neutral to appeal to a broad range of buyers. Staying with a neutral color allows a buyer to envision the room with a color of their choice. 

5. Touch up any scuff marks.

If you’re not repainting full rooms, pay special attention to scrubbing and then touching up baseboards, walls, and doors. Pay attention to where the dog may lay or scratch on the door. The goal is to make the home look like it has been taken well cared-for. 

6, Make those repairs.

Selling a place with lots of small problems is not easy. You want the buyer to walk into an open house, or go on a home showing and love the house and not focus on the small things they will need to fix if they buy it. This includes missing or burned out light bulbs, loose knobs, or a warped door that doesn't close. The goal is to impress the buyer with a move-in ready home.  

7. Add some plants or flowers.

When staging your house, plants create a bright and a welcoming atmosphere. Think about adding a bouquet of flowers or bowl of fruit on the dining table.

8. Conduct a smell test.

Grab a trusted friend or relative to come in to try to detect any pet or kitchen odors that might be lingering in your home. Foul odors can often be a deal breaker. It is common that living in the home, you have become nose blind to any adverse smells. It is important not to mask odors with candles or plug-in air fresheners as those stronger odors can turn off a buyer. 

9. Clean, clean, and clean some more.

It is important that the house be spotless, this will also rid the house of any foul odors. The Realtor will have professional photos taken of the house, so you want it to look its best. The house should be kept tidy during the for sale period as you never know when a potential buyer might want to schedule a tour. Bathroom and kitchen areas as well as floors should be the main focus areas. 

10. Hide valuables.

Take care to secure valuables so they aren't out to temp anyone that might come through your house. This is anything from jewelry to collectibles or artwork. 

11. Clean up the backyard.

Pick up any "land mines" that your dog might have put down in the backyard. You don't want a potential buyer stepping into something foul and then bringing it back into the house. 



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Rupa Nunamaker

Coldwell Banker, St.Petersburg, FL