Guest Blog by Cat Dobson

Getting your home ready to sell can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. After first choosing the right real estate agent to represent you and market your home well, these 5 tips can get your house ready in no time!

clean living room declutter organization

Declutter & Donate

First up, declutter! This is above and beyond the best thing you can do to get your home ready to sell. If you think you might want to list your home within the next year, start by going through one space a week and donating or selling things you don’t need or use. Even if you’re short on time and need to move suddenly, decluttering needs to be a priority! Consider storing oversized or excess pieces of furniture to help spaces feel roomier. File and store all papers, as well as clear the outside of the fridge of anything on it. Additionally, make sure your kitchen counters are clear and all small appliances are put away.

Stay Neutral

In order to have your home appeal to the largest amount of prospective buyers, it’s important to neutralize your decor and interiors. While this can be hard for some sellers to do, it can help to think of the home as no longer yours as soon as it hits the market. It’s there waiting for its next owner! Neutralize any shocking paint colors that may be off-putting to buyers (your son’s room that is bright orange, or your living room accent wall that’s deep red), and take down any overly personal bold artwork. While it’s not necessary to replace every single small family photo, make sure large scale portraits are taken down. From a security standpoint, don’t leave up any family photos or items that could release personal information (for example, job certifications, or photos of your children in their school or sports uniforms).

house exterior curb appeal

Check Out Your Curb Appeal

Thirdly, make sure your curb appeal is up to par! The outside of your home is the first thing buyers see, and often they may skip entering your home altogether if the exterior is lacking. Invest in some fresh mulch to draw attention to outside flower beds, and brighten your entrance with some potted flowers. Make sure your front door is fresh with no peeling paint, and that the door handle is well attached and secure.

Along those lines, make sure all the quick fixes around your house are completed! Any burnt out lightbulbs need to be replaced, all interior door knobs secured, and trim and wall paint touched up. Often buyers who find low-level maintenance hasn’t been completed are left wondering if there are more serious things wrong with the home. As a seller, you always want to make sure your home is presented as fresh and well-maintained as possible. It can sometimes be easy to overlook little things such as scuffed walls when you live day in and out in a home – to get fresh eyes on what you might need to touch up, invite a close friend over to critically examine your home.

Highlight the Best Features

Lastly, make sure you show off the best features of your home! Look around your home and decide what are the selling points (you can ask your real estate agent for help if you need) and make sure you’re showcasing them. Buyers will miss out on seeing your amazing transom windows if they’re crowded and full of knick-knacks. Consider picking up small throw rugs and runners to make sure your floors are the star and removing curtains or blinds if you have a spectacular private backyard view. Above all, remember that the buyers are looking to buy your home, not your things! Showcase the great things about your house, and make sure your personal things don’t detract from them seeing and loving your home.

These fixes are often easy and mostly free. They can make a big difference in getting your home market-ready and under contract faster. It may be more work on the front end, but the potential for a faster sale and an easier less stressful move can be worth it!

Cat Dobson

cdobson@cbeva.com | 703-582-8509 | Massaponax Office

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