So you’ve decided to sell your home. First of all, congratulations! This is an exciting decision — not to mention, a great time to do so.
Secondly, there are several things you’ll want to do to prepare your home to sell. We’re sharing a handy checklist of tasks, from tackling minor repairs to improving curb appeal, to complete before you sell your home. That way, when you list your home, it will look its absolute best — and ultimately, attract more buyers with higher offers!
Declutter Your Home
Moving is a natural time to reevaluate your belongings — and figure out what you no longer need. And a simplified, decluttered space always looks more attractive to potential buyers, so it’s a win-win! Take a weekend to sort through your stuff and be brutal about what you no longer need. This is also a good time to simplify your shelves, tabletops and other visible display areas in your home — as your space will look better in photos and in person with less clutter.
Need some help? Get Organized Omaha is a professional organization company based in Omaha, offering a judgment-free decluttering and organizing services to those who need it most.
Depersonalize the Space
Your personal mementos make your home feel like yours — but you have to set that aside when preparing to sell your home. It’s important to remove any personal items that will distract potential buyers. They should be able to envision themselves in the home, so it’s best to keep it as neutral and impersonal as possible. Make sure you’ve taken down any family photos, diplomas and certificates, political statements, signs with your family name, religious symbols, etc.
Make Minor Repairs
Get ahead of the inspection by taking care of any minor repairs you’ve had on your to-do list. Plus, these small changes will impress potential buyers who are looking a bit closer, checking every door knob and faucet. Whip out the tool box and spend some time tightening any loose handles, filling gaping nail holes, and fixing any leaky faucets. For any major repairs (or if you simply don’t have the time or capability to fix these things yourself), you might consider hiring a handyman to do it all.
Give It a Fresh Coat of Paint
You may love your bright yellow living room and the pink wallpaper in your bathroom, but who knows? Those considering your home may be deterred by the bright colors or printed wallpaper. Consider putting a fresh coat of paint throughout the interior of your home — or at least in the most important and prominent places like the kitchen, entryway and living room. Be sure to stick to a neutral hue, like off-white, beige or light gray — or everyone’s favorite, “greige.”
Stage Your Home
Staging is an important step in the selling process that should not be skipped! Staging just might be the extra touch that gets you a higher offer or helps your home sell faster. Either use your current furniture to “stage” rooms or hire a staging company to take care of it for you — utilizing their own collection of beautiful furniture. Your agent will most likely have a staging company they typically work with and recommend. Just ask them about their favorite(s)!
Consider First Impressions
With all of this, it’s important to take a step back and imagine yourself walking into your home for the very first time. What is the initial “feeling” you get? Make sure the home doesn’t give off a bad odor when you first open the door. Also, ensure the entryway is inviting to guests. You may want to take some time to enhance the look and feel of the entry area, by adding a shoe rack, updating the decor, or even tackling a DIY project. And as far as the smell goes, you may want to hire a professional cleaning service to remove the more intense aromas, like pet odors or other musty smells.
Just before listing, make sure you thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of your home. This means wiping down blinds, dusting fan blades, deep cleaning appliances, and vacuuming and/or mopping under and behind furniture. If you don’t have the time or energy to do it all, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to do the job for you!
Increase Natural Light
Buyers love natural light — so it’s important to increase the light as much as possible. Thankfully, we’re entering a brighter, sunnier time of year, which makes it easier to shed some light on your interior! Let the sun shine through your windows by opening up the blinds or maybe even removing heavy drapery altogether. This will make your space feel more inviting and cheerful.
Tell a Story With Each Room
Along the same lines as staging your home, you’ll want to tell a story with each room in your home. If you have a cluttered storage room that also functions as an office and an exercise room, you may need to rethink the space before listing. You can stage the room to simply be an office or a bedroom, so buyers can imagine what they might use the space for. It’s important to think through the things that might tug on a buyer’s heart strings — like the idea of having an additional bedroom for hosting friends and family or turning a room into a nursery or playroom for future kids.
Consider Renting a Storage Unit
With so much talk about reducing clutter and simplifying your space, you may want to consider renting a storage unit during the selling process. This will provide a place for your larger furniture or things you want to store away while you’re in between places! Plus, many are not able to move into a new place until after they close on their current home, so it will help bridge the gap in the meantime.
Add Thoughtful Touches
Just before showings and open houses begin, there are few small touches you can add to make your home stand out. Consider picking up a bouquet of fresh flowers to place in a vase on the kitchen island. Or pick up a new candle or a fancy bar of soap for the bathroom. These small, thoughtful touches will make your home feel more…like home.
Improve Curb Appeal
We’ve definitely got the interior covered, but make sure you don’t neglect the exterior! In fact, the outside of your home is the very first thing people will see, so make sure it gives off a good first impression. Take some time to spruce up your front yard to improve curb appeal. Power wash or wipe down surfaces, plant a few colorful flowers, trim any shrubs or trees, swap out the mailbox, paint the front door a bright color, and upgrade any hardware, like handles, house numbers or light fixtures. These changes have the power to attract buyers — and potentially put more money in your pocket!
Work With a Trusted Agent
Perhaps the most important step to consider is working with a trusted real estate agent who can help you navigate every step of the selling process, from listing to closing, and negotiate on your behalf (which is perhaps one of the most important reasons to hire an agent). Not to mention, they can help you make decisions in preparation for listing, such as whether or not you should give your home a fresh coat of paint or tackle any other projects.
The agents at NP Dodge know exactly what it takes to sell a home in the Omaha, Council Bluffs and Lincoln areas. Plus, they can help you buy your next home!
We Can Help
Contact us to get connected to a local real estate agent to assist you with the selling process.
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