5 Essential Tips To Get Your Home Ready For Sale

How to stage your home to get it ready for sale.

authorWritten by Olga RonisJul 10, 2023
living room set up for staging with blue chairs
Photo by Douglas Sheppard on Unsplash

Are you ready to sell your home? We’ve got you covered. In today’s market, presentation and planning are more important than ever when successfully selling your biggest asset. While inventory remains lower in many markets, buyers are contending with 7% interest rates. Thus, roughly 30% fewer homes are selling this year compared to 2022.

Given how much more expensive it is to buy compared to a year ago, every detail matters when it comes to getting someone to fully engage in and write a competitive offer on your property. So with that, here are 5 key tips you can use to ensure a strong market debut.

1. Clean, Depersonalize, And Stage

Start by deep cleaning to get rid of pesky stains, dust bunnies, and dirty corners. Vacuum carpets and rugs, clean windows and mirrors for optimal light, and cover minor wall scuffs and floor scratches. Think of your home like a real-life magazine ad. You want to sell interested parties on the space and the lifestyle they can enjoy. Once cleaned, it is time to depersonalize. Family photos, religious iconography, edgy artwork – it all needs to go! You want people walking in to envision their life here without being distracted by your taste.

Aside from personal belongings, elements like accent walls and intense colors are discouraged as they can prove divisive. Unless the property style suits such choices, covering with a fresh coat of warm white paint is best to optimize natural light and enhance square footage. Most importantly, stage with stylistically appropriate furniture pieces and neutral colors for a soothing and welcoming atmosphere that will have people dying to get in. Staged listings typically spend around half to a third of the time on the market compared to their unstaged counterparts. These details will help create a home that feels complete and full of possibilities and entice people to want to move right in.

2. Enhance Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the preview before the movie! This is the first impression visitors get of your home as they walk up the driveway. However, it can be hard to determine which of these projects to prioritize when selling. Generally, it is advised to start with the external facade. Not including the kitchen and bathrooms, the facade and general vibe of the outside of the house are among buyers’ most important considerations when deciding to buy a property. Make sure the outside has an up-to-date paint coat that presents the outside in a welcoming fashion. Any standard wear and tear should be addressed to prevent the property from looking rundown.

Aside from paint, also think about the condition of your roof. The roof is a critical item that buyers study and is commonly a point of negotiation during inspections. If it has been at least 15 years since the last roof update, it is advised to repair damaged shingles or replace the roof altogether. Apart from the main structure, the front lawn and landscaping can be excellent cosmetic details for enhanced market value. A freshly trimmed lawn, a new front door, a watered garden with fresh flowers, front porch furniture, and maintained trim are all noteworthy details to consider. These sweet flourishes can help your home stand out from the competition.

3. Study Your Local Market

Do you know what your home is worth? It’s vital to avoid overpricing the listing so that it does not sit on the market for months on end and lose its desirability. When navigating a volatile market like the one we are in today, it is always advised to sit down with your local market Realtor and talk about your neighborhood. Focus on recent sales in the area within the last 30 days when determining your listing price. Even sales from three to six months ago are less relevant, given the rising cost of money.

Look at factors like the year built, price per square foot, and any noted remodeling that may influence the price. In addition to these details, consider how long these properties sat on the market before selling. If your neighborhood has a surplus of inventory, sometimes pricing slightly lower can be a great way to quickly get lots of attention on the property. Account for a premium in your pricing if nothing has been sold in your neighborhood in the last three months; buyers are likely waiting for something to come up for sale.

4. Do Pre-Listing Inspections

You may be unsure of some areas of your house that have not been regularly maintained over the years. If so, one of the best ways to give yourself clarity on your property’s overall condition and offer transparency to prospective buyers is to do pre-listing inspections. Pre-listing inspections allow the seller to get ahead of potential issues that may pop up during escrow in the inspection period and present them to a buyer before they write an offer. This gesture can be tremendously helpful if you are looking to sell the property in “as-is condition.” This means that you, the seller, are not looking to make any repairs or offer buyer credits before the close of escrow. A buyer credit is a designated sum of money from the seller to the buyer to address a given issue.

With pre-listing inspections, always hire licensed professionals with lots of reviews, ideally based on referral. An electrician will be able to provide you with an updated report on essential items like your HVAC, outlets, switches, fixtures, and electrical wiring, as well as make sure that

everything is up to code with local standards. A plumber can give you peace of mind regarding leaks, drainage, faucets, toilets, and piping. A lot of people think they will be able to tell when a roof has deteriorated. Still, it is always good to have a professional come out in case of an unexpected issue or hole that is difficult to spot.

5. Utilize a Skilled Photographer

In today’s market, buyers are swiping through homes like options on a dating app. Grabbing people’s attention by presenting your home with high-definition, emotionally captivating quality photos is essential. A skilled photographer specializing in real estate will be able to elevate your listing substantially. Collaborating with a real estate photographer specializing in lighting, angles, and color will produce high-quality photos that motivate potential buyers to schedule a viewing.

Your photos will be uploaded onto the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and key real estate websites, like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com, that play a crucial role in generating initial interest. When uploading your photos to the MLS, talk with your Realtor about which photos showcase each room best and which should be shown first. The first photo is typically the kitchen, the living room, or the property’s exterior. It should be the best shot that absolutely blows people away. But aside from traditional online marketing, you also want to work with a skilled photographer that can capture editorial-style images and potentially a video tour for Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok. Your Realtor can use these to drum up buzz and excitement around your home.

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