Top tips to prepare your home for sale

If a life change is upon you and that includes listing your home, we’ve got your to-do list to prepare your home for sale. There are many things you can do to get your property in the best possible shape come list time. As we always tell our sellers, “It’s all about first impressions when listing your home. After all, you only have one shot at being the new home on the market.”

Our top tips to complete 1-3 months before listing your home for sale:

1. Declutter

Remove excess furniture, personal items, and any clutter that might make your space feel crowded. This process can take time depending on how long you’ve lived in your home and have been accumulating items. It’s a great time to finally donate and sell things you no longer need. Consider hiring a Professional Organizer if you need help parting with things or the job feels like too much. The key is to start early in the process and tackle small spaces or rooms at a time so that you can work your way through your home without getting overwhelmed. Ultimately, you want to show off the size and space of your home, so that means the ‘stuff’ needs to be removed.

2. Depersonalize

Buyers want to envision themselves living in your home, so minimizing personal touches like family photos can help with depersonalization. Another area that can get overlooked but is very important – remember to remove all medications and personal items of value. It’s best to not have these items in your home (or at the least have them locked up) for showings.

3. Deep Cleaning

A clean home not only looks better but also sends a message that the property has been well-maintained. Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas, kitchen, and bathrooms. As a part of our real estate services, we can help coordinate the deep cleaning of your home.

White kitchen from a house in Lynnwood, WA.

4. Make Repairs

Walk through your home and identify any needed repairs. Fix leaky faucets, squeaky doors, or any other issues that could deter potential buyers. And don’t forget to replace all burned out light bulbs! Addressing these small problems can make a big difference in the perceived value of your home. This is another area that we can help you. We always do a walk-through with our sellers to make a punch list of repairs. We have trusted vendors that we work with closely that we can coordinate to make the repairs.

5. Paint and Refresh

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Choose neutral, light colors to make your home feel more spacious and inviting. If your budget allows, consider updating fixtures, cabinet hardware, or outdated appliances to give your home a more modern look. Our brokerage offers an interest-free loan that can be paid back at closing for this type of work. We see great returns from painting and other cosmetic updates, so don’t shy away from making these changes, and if budget is a concern, learn more about a Compass Concierge loan.

6. Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, so pay attention to your home’s exterior. Ensure the lawn is well-maintained, trim bushes and trees, and add some colorful flowers and new mulch to enhance your curb appeal. Repaint your front door and spruce up your porch with potted plants and an outdoor rug.

7. Highlight Storage Space

A well-organized space can give the impression of ample storage, which is a significant selling point. And if you took the time to declutter and remove personal items, then you’re well on your way to showing off your closets and pantries!

8. Service HVAC and Furnace

We like to make sure that every home we list has a recently serviced HVAC system. If there are any issues that are detected, then you will be alerted to them before the buyer inspection. And it’s another perk for the buyer….buyer’s want move-in ready.

9. Remove Hazardous Items

Remove all hazardous materials (ie old paint, fertilizer, chemicals) from your home prior to listing it for sale. You will need to remove these items before you move, and it’s best to get them out of the home before you have showings.

10. Make a Plan for Pets

This is another area that is often overlooked, but we always recommend that pets are removed from the home while the house is on the market. It makes it easier and more convenient to show the home, so it’s important to make a plan ahead of time for your beloved pets.

If you check off all these items to prepare your home for sale, then you are well on your way to getting a SOLD sign on your front lawn. Now if this list feels daunting, we can help! Our team is deeply involved in helping our sellers with all of the above tips, and we have trusted resources to assist you. Click here to read more about our seller services, or reach out to us directly to let use know how we can help with your specific circumstances. Happy selling!

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