10 Things To Do When Getting Your Home Ready To Market

Dated: 09/07/2015

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We all want to best price for our home and in today’s market the buyers are more educated about what is currently for sale and compare properties.  Before I became a real estate agent, I was one of those buyers who searched on line for a home.  According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2014 Profile of Buyers and Sellers, “…92% of buyers use the internet in some way in the home search process”.  I had a list of 40 properties I liked and I set out to whittle down the list.  Homes that need paint, polish and shine may not make the “cut” so it pays the seller a dividend to prepare the home for the market.  Here is a list of a few things that may help your home become a “keeper”:

  • Curb appeal is the first thing to consider because that makes the difference in drawing in potential buyers.  Walk out to the curb and look at the home.  Would the front view make you want to take a look inside?

  • Declutter and remove large furniture items that you no longer use or can live without while your home is on the market.  Make sure there is plenty of space to walk around furnishings (chairs, beds, etc.).  If the rooms are on the smaller side, I recommend removing items to show the space as large as possible.

  • Clean the home, the carpet, floors, windows, closets—clean it till it shines and then clean some more!  Check for odors, under the sink, laundry room, closets, pet area—everywhere there is a possibility for odors.  Give each room the sniff test, no, not you doing the sniffing.  Ask someone close to you who will tell you the truth or call me!  Closets are notorious for odors, if there are unused rooms in the home, they are too!  If they are bedrooms that are not being used, freshen up the linen.

  • General maintenance items such as changing out the filters and cleaning the gutters.  Make sure the window locks are functional, screens (if you have them) are repaired (if necessary) and put in place.  Check that the sprinkler system is functional.  It’s much better to correct these deficiencies before putting the home on the market.  A home inspector may note these same issues and you could find yourself fixing them anyway.

  • Paint or touch-up scuffs on walls and woodwork.  You might consider painting entire rooms if they “need it” or if your teen’s favorite color is purple or neon green--chances are good that you need to paint.  Neutral colors will likely make the home more appealing to prospective buyers (i.e., showings). 

  • Lighting (inside and out) can be a great selling point.  Make sure your exterior light fixtures are in good shape and have bulbs.  Interior lighting (overhead) may be a lighted ceiling fan.  Make sure the light is clean and the bulbs are good.  Don’t you hate looking at those dead bugs in the ceiling light when you turn it on?  So do buyers!

  • Flooring/carpeting needs to be freshly cleaned.  If there are pets in the home, consider offering a carpet allowance because some buyers are allergic, others just want to be sure there is no residual odors/stains from the pets. 

  • Front door and surrounding area should be cleaned, touched up or painted if needed and the porch area should be swept.  If possible, add a touch of color such as a potted plant or an interesting décor item such as a Fiesta wreath, etc.  It adds a welcome right at the door.

  • Fragrances, diffusers and other odor-absorbing items should be minimal.  Again, many people are allergic to them and to many, the strong fragrances are off-putting.  The idea is to get people in the door to see the home and to allow them to remain long enough to look.  If the smells are overwhelming, they will likely not stay long. 

  • Photos are extremely important when the majority of buyers shop online.  Make sure you view the photos as if you were a buyer.  Do the pictures show too much clutter?  Is there a picture of the toilet?  Do the photos show off the best features of your home?  Analyze them and talk with your agent.

If you are in the San Antonio area and not currently working with a Realtor, I'd love to talk with you.  Call me today!

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Sharon Miller

Sharon is a military wife who moved at the direction of the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years, a Federal employee who retired after 30 years of service, an active Broker Associate/REALTOR in San Antonio w....

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