Selling your home can be a daunting process. From making the decision to move and finding a new home to preparing the home for sale to moving out, there’s a lot to consider. Investing the time and resources into your home before listing it for sale could mean a higher sale price. Properly preparing your home could help you see a great return on investment!

Making a great first impression is important, but that first impression must continue through the rest of the property. At a minimum, you’ll want to complete these tasks to make sure your home is a standout on the market.

  • Declutter: The first step should always be to declutter the home. Start with non-essential items that you don’t plan to keep once you leave your current property. Trash, recycle, or donate items. Then work to organize what you will be keeping. A beautiful home that feels cluttered will turn away buyers! Be careful to make each room feel open and clean. Don’t forget to declutter utility areas like the garage, basement, attic or storage shed. This also applies to your yard and any other outdoor areas of your home like a patio or deck.
  • Clean, Clean, Clean: Both inside and out, you should clean every inch of your home. From simple dusting to shampooing carpets, it’s important that your home look and feel clean. Unwanted dirt, grime, and dust can send the wrong message on the care the home has been given over the year. Collect and dispose of any remaining fall leaves or other yard debris. If necessary, power wash outdoor areas like driveways and walkways, and potentially even your home siding. Hiring professional cleaners can be a great way to save yourself work, while also getting a second opinion on where and what needs to be cleaned.
  • Paint: Once you’ve cleaned, chances are you’ll find areas with wear that could use a touchup. Use high quality paints that are correct for their environment- make sure you use exterior paints if painting a porch, for instance. Inside, nothing brightens up a room like a fresh coat of paint. Moldings and trim pieces are small details, but buyers will notice them! Make use of these areas, or create an accent wall, to help add some style into your home.
  • Tackle Repairs: From a cracked step on the back porch to a leaky faucet, you should address repairs throughout your home. When your home is inspected, these “small issues” could become negotiating points that end up costing your money at closing- or derail a sale entirely. If you don’t feel confident completing repairs on your own, hire a professional. If you’re committed to making the selling process as easy as possible, consider getting a pre-inspection from a licensed home inspector. This will allow you to address any issues ahead of time helping to ensure a clear path to closing.
  • Boost Your Curb Appeal: What makes your home special? What makes it stand out? Enhance your home’s innate qualities and let them shine! If your home is situated on a beautiful piece of land, you should make sure that the land is well landscaped and not overgrown with weeds or dead shrubs. If your home has historic or exudes rustic charm, embrace it with décor that matches the architecture. Make your home a warm, cozy, inviting space for potential buyers. Make sure to make good use of both natural and artificial lighting, both inside and out.
  • Find the right real estate agent: Often, sellers are compelled to hire the agent who says they’ll list the property for the highest price. Perhaps they’ll be tempted to select the one who’s willing to take the lowest commission. These are not always factors that work in your best interest. When looking for an agent, you should focus on finding one who has a track record of success in your area with comparable listings. Experience is priceless! A great agent will have contacts who can help you throughout the selling process- lenders, movers, inspectors, etc. Find an agent whose marketing plan will help you get the most for your property. Simply listing a home for a high dollar amount won’t garnish much interest- in fact, it may drive interest away! An agent must be motivated and willing to do what it takes to present your home well to the market.

The goal when selling a home is to maximize its value and appeal to a broad range of buyers. Follow these steps and your home will stand out on the market attracting the right kind of attention from buyers serious about buying a home!