Selling a home isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires numerous steps once you’ve made the
momentous — and often stressful — decision to sell and move. When you’ve found your realtor,
don’t hesitate to lean on him or her for suggestions, advice, and recommendations.
Consider downloading a real estate app to your smartphone to make it easier to access your
listing when needed. Most apps allow buyers to search for the perfect home with the help of
filters, so as long as you’re including every detail of your home in the listing (which you can do
right from your phone!), it can help facilitate a smoother sale. If you’re holding onto an older
smartphone, however, you may run into the issue of the app not being compatible. A device
upgrade to a newer model may be in order. Before you make a purchase, just be sure to
compare phones online to choose the phone that best suits your needs. For example, the latest
Samsung Galaxy smartphones have expandable storage, improved battery efficiency, and a
fast processor. For Apple users, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has fast charging, a gorgeous display,
and design that’s durable.
Next, declutter from top to bottom. Clear kitchen counters of small appliances. Clean out and
organize cupboards and closets. Depersonalize your space, and move as many personal items, furniture, and anything else you don’t need into off-site storage when possible. One realtor’s rule
of thumb? Remove 50 percent of your things from the house.
Hire a cleaning service to deep clean every inch of your home, from the attic to the basement. Scrub windows (inside and out), vents and ducts, ceiling fan blades, baseboards, behind appliances, and everywhere else until your whole home sparkles. Air out and clean places that catch and hold odors and unappealing musty smells.
Engage professionals or use professional carpet cleaning equipment to clean your carpets, especially if you’ve got lots of foot traffic or pets. The enzymatic cleaners they use are great for removing pet odors.
Worthwhile Projects to Maximize Your Sale
Want to really wow potential buyers? Depending on your budget and what your realtor recommends, these projects will help you to prepare your home for market.
Repair any obvious issues or concerns a home inspection might identify. Also, replace broken windows, fix a leaky roof, repair fencing, and address plumbing and electrical issues.
Don’t be afraid to bring on the paint. A seller’s best friend, paint is one of the least expensive yet most effective ways to spruce up a home. Choose more neutral tones, like grays and whites, and paint trim and ceilings white.
Upgrade your kitchen without breaking the bank. Replace older hardware with new knobs and pulls. Reface or paint cabinets — a less costly upgrade than replacing them completely.
Clean up your bathrooms by recaulking moldy areas and replacing missing tiles. Swap out old, unfashionable faucets and lighting fixtures. Replace the vanity if it’s in your budget, but check with your real estate agent first. Add new towels, a bath mat, and a shower curtain for a fresh look, too.
Also, evaluate your lighting. Remove heavy curtains, draperies, and shades. Incorporate plenty of lights — floor, table, task, and overhead — to help each room shine.
The Focus: Curb Appeal
First impressions can make or break a deal. In fact, 63 percent of homebuyers will stop by a home to check it out after they’ve seen pictures online. As critical as a sparkly, clutter-free, well-staged interior is to a sale, don’t neglect spending a little TLC to spruce up your home’s outside, too.
Walk around your home to identify areas in need of paint, repair, or clean-up. Paint the front door, shutters, and trim. Replace older porch light fixtures and outdated house numbers with new ones that complement the home’s style. Upgrade the mailbox, camouflage eyesores (like a clunky HVAC unit) with fencing, and clean up landscaping — plant an ornamental tree or colorful flowering annuals or perennials. Add personality with hardscaping and mulch garden beds. Replace the doormat with one that welcomes visitors into your home.
Thoughtful staging invites potential buyers to see your home’s potential and encourages them to envision themselves living there. Listen to your realtor’s recommendations if you plan to do things yourself or hire a professional stager.
Once you’ve culled your possessions, set up each room to highlight its best features and upgrades while downplaying any flaws. Let in the light with windows and lamps. Assign each room a specific purpose. Check out Houselogic’s room-by-room staging guide for more specific ideas.
It’s Worth the Work
It requires more than luck to sell your home for the best price. Planning, strategy, trust in your realtor’s advice, elbow grease, and the willingness to invest a little combine to increase the likelihood of attracting willing buyers.
Rob is a dad living in Philadelphia. He enjoys DIY projects almost as much as raising his two children. He is the co-creator of FixItDads.com, which offers tips for home improvement projects.