10 Simple Ways To Prepare Your Home or Condo To Sell

Here are 10 simple ways to prepare your home or condo to sell and stand out from the masses. You've thought long and hard, worked to get logistics in line and you're finally ready to list your home to sell. Preparing your home to enter the real estate market can feel overwhelming and new. There are several options to keep in mind that will optimize your chances of selling fast and for a higher price. The real estate market ebbs and flows, so preparing your home and doing everything that you can to make it stand out is crucial. Staged homes are reported to sell for 18% more than a home that isn’t staged and spend an average of only 11 days or less on the market. We have seen it time after time, staging your home will help your home to sell. Hiring a professional stager is the best option, especially if your home or condo is currently unfurnished. However, if you're listing your home and plan on making the changes yourself,  there are simple tricks you can do on your own to prepare your home for the market.

1. Increase Curb Appeal

Most buyers won't anticipate seeing the interior of the home if the exterior isn't appealing. Ensure that the mailbox is clean, stands straight, and that the house numbers are clear. Landscaping plays a significant role in the overall appearance of a home. Trim trees, pull weeds, and plant new flowers. Replace old droopy plants with fresh lively greens. As buyers arrive you want them to feel welcomed and visualize pulling into the home as if it were their own. Arriving for the first time in a yard that needs love is a sure way to cause them stress thinking about work that already needs to be done.

2. Give It a Deep Cleaning

Every home should be thoroughly cleaned before going on the market. Scrub windows, wipe down baseboards, clean the floors, and all the hard-to-reach places that often get overlooked. Buyers will look in the bathrooms, make sure that tile is bright and clean! It's a great time to go through unused household items, closets, and drawers. Keep in mind the more you do prior to the sale, the less you'll have to do once it's moving time. A good cleanout brings organization to daily life tasks, creates a sense of peace of mind, and makes the moving process simpler.

3. Clear Clutter

Clutter can make a home feel dirty and small. Clear the tabletops, kitchen counters, and other surfaces. Papers, pens, magazines, newspapers, and other objects can easily be well organized into a proper place. Move small kitchen appliances such as blenders and toasters into lower cabinets. Clear the refrigerator of photos, artwork, and magnets. Closets will be peeked in, so make sure things are tidy. Home buyers will often assume there is a lack of storage space if they see packed closets, drawers, and shelves. Laundry rooms and entryways are easy collection areas.  Make sure that laundry baskets are emptied or stored neatly in a closet. Put clothing, shoes, and detergent bottles away. For a nice touch in the laundry room,  add a stack of neatly folded fresh white towels.

4. Think White & Bright

Pure white linens look clean, fresh, and photograph well. Staging your home with white creates a blank slate, helping potential buyers imagine decorating the space as their own. This means switching out old towels that are bold in color, patterned, or dingy for a set of pure white or neutral-colored towels. The same rule applies to the beds, a white bed is inviting and clean. Guests can better imagine their own bedding in the environment. We recommend a natural linen-like duvet cover in white.

5. Let The Light In

Great lighting is essential in making a home look and feels inviting. Pull back curtains and open up blinds to allow natural light to flow in. Turn on lighting fixtures and make adjustments in dim-lit places. When the lights are on it shows that you have nothing to hide. Buyers can see paint, flooring, and room size better when the home is well lit. Light-colored walls reflect light making a room feel larger and brighter, so you may consider trading dark and bold colored walls for white or light gray. We suggest Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore or City Loft by Sherwin Williams. These two colors go well will pre-existing decor and will help create a blank canvas for buyers.

6. Make Repairs

A home that is move-in ready will have a greater appeal to buyers. Take an inventory of what needs to be done and fix what you can prior to showing your home. Small repairs will cause buyers to question if there are larger repairs needed.  The truth is, even the best cared for homes will have at least a few issues in their lifetime. But leaving these issues for the next homeowners to solve can be a major deterrent to potential home buyers. As they tour the home they're most likely calculating repair costs and those calculations will affect the offer.

7. De-personalize

Tuck away personal items such as family photos, paperwork, children's artwork, and bathroom items. You want the buyer to imagine their own things in the space. While these are beautiful things to have in your home, they can distract buyers and make some of them feel uncomfortable. This is crucial in helping the buyers avoid feeling like they're walking through a stranger's home.

8. Have a Plan For Pets & Children

By limiting the sign of pets and children, you'll appeal to the highest number of buyers. For children, neaten bedrooms by tucking away toys and brightly colored decor. You can neutralize their rooms by organizing their toys into attractive storage bins or baskets. Hide pet food and water dishes, leashes, beds, and toys. Finding a dog sitter may not be easy, but it will pay off. It's difficult to have a serene walk-through with a barking dog or cat lounging on furniture. You also want to keep in mind allergies. Vacuuming before each showing will eliminate or lower the chances of buyers noticing pet hair and debris. Walk the lawn to check for any messes or damage left by pets.

9. Make The Bed Every Day

Making the bed is a very simple step, but it makes a tremendous difference. Ensure that all the beds are made and wrinkle-free before the home is shown. An unmade, messy bed can make a room feel cluttered and unattractive. Extra neutral-colored pillows, a throw, and sometimes even a tray with a small stack of books or a couple of glasses can add an inviting touch.

10. Set The Table

The Dining room is a place to gather, enjoy a great meal and spend time with friends. It's a place where everyday rituals take place and where memories are made. Clear the dining table of keys, paperwork, and miscellaneous objects. Set the table with placemats, plates, stemware, and a simple centerpiece or fresh flowers. Creating a dinner scene will help the potential buyer use their imagination.

Remember that staging and preparing your home is essentially merchandising it to sell. This doesn't mean you have poor taste in decor, it simply means that you have to create a clean, well-put-together home that is ready for someone else to picture it as their own. Renting a storage unit throughout the showing process is a great way to keep things that you need while allowing you to simplify your home so it's ready to be shown and ultimately, sell. So, if you're a homeowner in South Florida and you're considering putting your house on the market we'd love to help you prepare. LiveModern has a team of real estate advisors and a well-talented group of professionals to make the staging process seamless and effective. Compass Concierge takes care of staging from start to finish, making sure that your home is beautiful, and ready for photos, and showings.

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