Below are only a few of the important aspect to selling your home faster. All can be done on your own, however I do recommend hiring licensed professionals for everything.
Throughout the House
- Open the drapes, blinds and curtains
The more natural light that comes in, the better. If you feel this will drastically reduce privacy to uncomfortable levels, then angle the blinds at 45 degrees upwards, so the sunlight hits the ceiling and we cannot see through.
- Turn on all lights, for day or night showings.
If possible, install higher wattage bulbs to show the home more brightly The brighter the home, the better. The general rule is – the brighter the house, the more warm and comfortable buyers feel.
- Remove clutter from every room, as much as possible
The more clutter that we can remove, the better. Small details of your personal décor are great for you, but they are a negative to the buyer. They make the home feel and appear smaller. Mark walks through every sellers’ home before it goes to the market to give further guidance on this extremely important topic.
- Highlight your fireplace
Highlighting your fireplace with 1-2 simple things can draw buyers’ attention to the fireplace. Often this is a mounted TV, large mirror, or 1-3 small items on the mantle.
- Keep a dusted and vacuumed home at all times
Often times due to various circumstances, buyers only give 0-2 hours notice before seeing a home. This may not be enough time to fully clean. Keep a well dusted and vacuumed home at all times.
- Replace or shampoo your carpet
Carpet cleaning is not cheap and can sometimes will do a good job of cleaning the carpets. Replacing carpet is typically a good idea. There are typically one of three colors of carpet that Mark recommends to his clients. While you are doing this, consider painting the baseboards and door trims throughout the house (if possible).
- Have a “game plan” to get out of the home quickly, if necessary
Again, because of many different circumstances, buyers may only give 0-2 hours notice before requesting to see a home. Have a strategy to clean up quickly. Often times this comes in the form of 2 large plastic bins that you put everything into. Put the lid on these bins and stash them in a closet or in the garage.
- Air out the home for 30 minutes before every showing
Does my house smell bad? Do I smell bad? Well… I don’t think so haha… This is because I am accustomed to my odors. When someone else comes in, they WILL notice the smells of my property (hopefully those are good smells). We highly recommend airing out the home for at least 30 minutes before every showing, if time permits.
- Light a few candles 10-30 minutes before showings
Do not use cheap air freshener. No not use cheap candles. Vanilla is often a good neutral scent that works year round. VOLUSPA makes high quality candles that are often a good choice. If you are on the unease at all about a scent, avoid it. It is better to simply air out the home and have no scent than potentially use something that will deter buyers.
- Remove all family photos
Be sure to remove all pictures of all people. Take them all down; put them out of sight. Put them away and cover them. There is a psychology to this – Email or call our team to discuss reasoning for it.
- Improve traffic flow in all rooms by removing unnecessary furniture
For example, every hallway should be wide open wall to wall – remove dressers, credenzas, shoe racks, chairs, tables, etc from all hallways. In all rooms, try to make the natural walking paths excessively wide and easy to maneuver through. Mark walks through every seller home to assist with this.
- Create a spacious entry by removing furniture and accents
There should be a “wow factor” when the buyer opens the door. The first 3 seconds of the showing are extremely important. Creating a spacious and comfortable entry area just inside the font door.
- Patch and paint nail holes and mishaps on every wall
This is fairly self- explanatory. For some people who have excessive holes on a wall, this may require repainting an entire wall.
- Paint interior walls to a neutral, popular tone
Repainting interior walls to a neutral color will help create a luxurious, bright and open feel to the home. Talk to with our team about doing this on a budget and ask him what colors are best for your home.
- Repair or replace damages or loose wall paper
Saggy and scraped up wall paper does not look good. Replace it, or remove it and paint the area to match the wall.
- Clean light fixtures and use bright bulbs
Clean light fixtures inside and outside of the house. Specifically for recessed lights (can lights), consider using a slightly brighter bulb than you would normally use.
- Wash all windows inside and out
Cleaning your windows will brighten up the house tremendously. Many people forget to clean the screens, tracks and window frames. Buyers will notice these small details.
- Use plants in transitional areas throughout the house
If you don’t have plants, don’t buy them for this. If you do have plants, use them to create a subtle break between rooms or areas within rooms.
- Make the most of the attic
Cleaning the attic a little bit can help. No need to clean it up, just tidy up a bit. Inspectors will often take pictures of the attic, and some buyers will like to look at it during the home inspection. This can be a good area to store stuff from your de-cluttering if kept somewhat tidy.
- Remove or hide chords and wires
No one wants to see a bunch of chords and cables around the TV and kitchen areas, nor do they want to see them anywhere else. Figure out how to remove or hide them as best as possible. Remove all phone
chargers from wall outlets and store them in a drawer.
- Open doors to areas where potential buyers will naturally see and walk through
Doors to walk-in closets, bathrooms and the backyard should all be open.
- Remove all smoke and pet odors
If possible remove evidence of owning pets. Remove dog and cat crates, beds, toys. Remove evidence of smoking – this can be tough. Many people are very sensitive to any and all smoke odors. Even faint smoke odors deter buyers.
- Repair banisters and handrails
People will hold onto them while walking on stairs and other areas. If there are pieces loose, missing or with paint chips, they will get noticed. There are ways to efficiently and inexpensively repairs them. Ask our team for more information.
In the Kitchen
- Heat bread, cookies, or cinnamon rolls in the oven 10-15 minutes before showings, if possible
This will help create a great smelling home and kitchen. Take And Bake breads are great for this. As you will leave before any and all showings, this may help provide tasty snacks for the time away from the house.
- Highlight the eating areas and set the table
If you have nice silverware, set the table for a relaxed dinner, not a formal dinner. Keep the eating areas extremely clean and tidy.
- Kitchens and bathrooms should always be immaculately clean
Clean and dry the kitchen sink. Faucets should be set at a 90-degree angle to the sink. Remove all cleaning utensils – soap, sponges, rags, etc… and hide them somewhere out of sight. There’s a lot of detail that goes into kitchens, so have our team walk through your home for more suggestions.
- Expand your counter space
Remove as many appliances, utensils, and decorations as possible. Leaving 2-4 small items is a great idea to demonstrate the functionality of the counter space. Having more than this will significantly reduce the perceived size of the counter, and kitchen.
In the Bedrooms
- Create a master suite effect
Rearrange the master bedroom to create the feel of a luxury suite. Create flow, open space and functionality to the bedrooms. Decluttering is essential.
- Depersonalize and decorate in a neutral scheme
Remove all personal items, including photos. Establish a neutral scheme that a large number of potential buyers would be comfortable living in.
- Make the bed with clean linens in all bedrooms
Change out the linens before making the bed. It should look like a fresh hotel room bed that has never been slept in.
- Organize closets
Organize closets to a reasonable extent. It is better to store things under the bed than it is to cram everything into a closet. Closets often get the brunt of the items removed from decluttering. Try to make the closet space feel adequate for potential buyers. A mostly tidy closet is the goal, no need for excess organizing.
In the Bathrooms
- Cleanliness is extremely important
The key factors are: have folded, never used towels on the racks; clean and dry the sink and shower enclosures after every use; put the toilet seat down (you’d be surprised how many people forget this); hide tooth brushes and bar soap. These are only a few of the more important aspects to preparing a bathroom for a sale. Ask our team for more information and guidance.
- Re-caulk the tub and shower
Re-caulking the tub and showing linings can make your bathroom shine. Consider a re-glaze to make everything look sparkly and new.
- Repair or replace broken shower tiles (do it correctly)
All buyers are concerned with potential water damage. Fixing these items will help avoid these legitimate concerns. If there was water damage, be sure to remediate it with a professional and keep the receipts.
- Replace shower curtains, remove hard water stains from glass shower doors
If your shower curtain is moldy or old, consider removing it or replacing it. Often times Mark McMinn has his sellers remove the shower curtain without replacing it. Also if your glass shower enclosure has hard water spots, have a window cleaner remove these spots.
- Put out fresh towels and decorative soap
Put out unused soaps that are fun. Odorless soaps are preferred.
- Keep the grass mowed and leaves raked
Mow the grass and remove the leaves to make the yard appear more spacious and more calm. Leaves will unconsciously be seen as clutter.
- Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkway and patio
1-gallon plants are ideal for this. The are inexpensive and easy to plant. Use dark bark to cover all dirt between the plants.
- Declutter and sweep
Declutter all patios, porches, balconies, steps and all other extensions of the house. Sweep these areas to remove excess dirt and debris. This will make the entry area appear comfortable and spacious.
- Remove all toys, tools, old furniture, trash
Remove all toys from the yard – this will help declutter and it will further depersonalize the yard. Tools, furniture that is oxidized or rusting, and trash all must be removed from the yard. Clean and organize the remaining items to allow for a natural and spacious flow to the yard.
- Paint all entrance doors when possible
Exterior doors can get beaten up by the sun. Run your finger on the paint, does it come off and attach to your finger? Consider repainting the exterior face of these doors. If this is not possible, wipe down doors with Rustoleum RECOLOR wipes.
- Make sure the garage door works properly and smoothly
Many buyers will test a garage door before placing an offer. Inspectors will undoubtedly test the garage door. Make sure it operates smoothly. Consider repainting the exterior of the garage door.
- Clean and shine hardware and accessories
Cleaning or replacing doorknobs can do wonders to the feel of your property. I do not recommend changing the front door handles. Clean lamps, lights fixtures, mailboxes, address numbers and all other metal objects.
- Trees and bushes should be trimmed and pruned.
- Use a new doormat
Again, the first few seconds of seeing a home can have a lasting impact upon potential buyers.
- Be sure the doorbell is in good working order
If the doorbell sounds terrible, have it fixed. If it is not working at all, this is a different issue and must be addressed on a case-to-case basis. Sometimes it is a quick fix, other times a doorbell replacement would need to be done by a licensed electrician.
- Be sure to the front door opens perfectly
Oil those hinges, make sure it operates smoothly, and if possible/necessary have it rebalanced.