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Home Improvement

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell: 9 Crucial Steps

5 min read

In most of the country, it’s a seller’s market, so you may not think you need to do much to get your house ready to sell. That’s not quite true!

While you may not need to do as much as you would in a buyer’s market, there are still some steps you should take to get your house ready to sell quickly and for the best price.

A good listing agent is a must. You can look at reviews online, but it’s always a good idea to ask friends, family, and colleagues if they have a listing agent they would recommend.

While you’re looking for a listing agent or getting the preliminary paperwork completed, here’s what you can do to prepare your home for sale and entice buyers.

What to Do Before Listing Your Home

Before listing your home, it’s important to stage it. Staging your home simply means helping it sell faster by making it appealing to as wide a range of potential buyers as possible. Home staging is an industry in itself and can range from simply cleaning and making repairs to renting furniture so it looks showroom-ready. 

Here are our top tips for staging your home and getting it ready to sell:

1. Deep Clean and Declutter

You’re probably going to do this before you move anyway, so doing it before listing your home puts you one step ahead and allows buyers to see a sparkling clean home. If you’re short on time, handle the decluttering yourself and hire a cleaning service. The investment will be worth it!

2. Organize Closets

After you declutter, make it a point to organize your closets and storage spaces. These two areas of the home are big selling points. Buyers want to know how much storage space they’ll have, so it’s a good idea to make sure they have a clear view.

organized closet

3. Make Repairs

It’s easy to think that small repairs aren’t your responsibility anymore. After all, you’re selling! But things like leaky faucets, cracks in walls, and outdated windows/doors can seriously deter buyers. Most people don’t want to purchase a new home only to have to make small repairs. And if prospective buyers put in an offer, it may be contingent on you making these repairs. It’s best to get them out of the way from the start. It’ll reduce the chances that a buyer will ask you to fix them and, in the case of upgrades like new windows and doors, will allow you to raise your asking price.

4. Focus on the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home and for many homebuyers, the kitchen will make or break the sale. Upgrading your kitchen doesn’t have to mean a $20,000 makeover, though! Relatively inexpensive projects like painting or staining your cabinets and updating your cabinet hardware can make a huge impact. 

If you have the budget for larger kitchen upgrades, we recommend new countertops (if yours are outdated). Resist the temptation to update one appliance, however. One brand new appliance while the others are visibly older doesn’t have the impact many homeowners think it does. Instead of focusing on the updated appliance, potential buyers are more likely to focus on the older ones.

5. Clean Carpets

Nothing feels quite like freshly cleaned carpet! If your carpets are in good condition, give them a deep clean before listing your home. You can hire a service or rent a carpet cleaner from home improvement stores or specialty rug shops. 

If your carpets are worse for wear, consider replacing them before listing your home. It’s hard for a buyer to overlook worn carpet.

6. Tidy Up Your Lawn

Your lawn has a big impact on a potential buyer’s first impression. Take the time to do some lawn care or hire a landscaper. If it seems counterproductive to spend money on landscaping before you sell, it’s not! Landscaping has one of the highest returns on investment of any home improvement project. You’ll recoup almost all of the money you spend on lawn care and landscaping.

7. Get Professional Photos

If you’ve ever been house hunting, you’ve likely seen your fair share of bad real estate photos. Whether they’re blurry, too dark, or just don’t show the details a buyer wants to see, bad pictures can tank efforts to sell your home. Even if the photos aren’t bad, they’re probably still not up to par with what a professional real estate photographer can do.

According to a 2017 study done by the Association of Realtors, homes in the $200,000-$1 million price range that had professional photography sold for $3,000-$11,000 more. If that wasn’t enough incentive to hire a professional photographer, studies have shown that houses with professional photos sell around 30% faster than those with amateur pictures.

Tips for Home Showings

Congratulations, your home is on the market! Now your listing agent will start notifying you of showings. To make sure the showings go as well as possible, here are a few tips:

1. Remove Your Pets

We recommend removing your pets from the home during showings for two reasons. First, when people are in and out of your home, there is a higher chance that your pets can get out without anyone realizing it. Taking them somewhere else ensures they’re safe and sound.

Second, your pets may not react well to strangers coming into your (and their) home. Taking them to a friend’s house or for an extra long walk will be safer and less stressful for everyone involved. 

2. Use Your Nose

We all know that scent is a powerful thing. It can evoke emotion, make us feel calm, or even conjure up memories. When showing your home, it can make potential buyers feel more  – well, at home. 

Before your showing, light a candle or diffuse essential oils so that your home smells fresh and clean. Choose subtle, universally appealing scents like lavender, eucalyptus, or citrus. These all smell crisp and luxurious, which just might subconsciously nudge potential buyers toward putting in an offer.

Get Your House Ready for Sale With Window World

If you’re getting your house ready to sell, make Window World your home improvement partner. Our range of replacement windows, entry doors, and siding will increase curb appeal and entice buyers. Learn more about our products and what they can do for your home by scheduling your free consultation!