A lot can be done to prepare your home for the market without even spending a dime. Here are a few of the most important and inexpensive things you can do to get ready to hit the market.
Clean, clean, clean. We can’t stress this point enough. Although you may not be able to see dust in the online photos, as people view your home in person, there’s nothing that can turn a buyer off quicker than corners full of dust. When you’re preparing to sell, make sure you hit those rarely touched places like the tops of fans, blinds and baseboards. Wipe down your walls and doors and be sure to clean up those exterior places as well. Don’t underestimate the smell of your home either. Be sure the place smells fresh and welcoming (but beware as smell can also be overpowering.)
Declutter. You knew we were going to say it, but you didn’t want to hear it, right? Decluttering can give the impression of more living and storage space in a home. If a potential buyer sees all of your closets packed to the brim with stuff, they are likely to subconsciously assume that there is not enough storage space in the home. Begin by removing off season clothing and packing it neatly into organized containers. Look at each room with a fresh eye and reconsider each object – is it necessary and does it add to the space or does it just take up room? If it doesn’t beautify the room or serve a purpose, put it in storage. Although this can be the most overwhelming task, it can make one of the most drastic differences in preparing to sell.
Clear your flat surfaces. Part of decluttering is also reconsidering where you store some items. Look at your kitchen and bathroom counters. If you can keep the dish soap and cleaning brushes under the sink, do so. Perhaps put your toothbrush in a holder in the drawer instead of storing it next to the sink. Another thing that can instantly help give the appearance of more space is removing magnets and art from the refrigerator and also removing anything that may be stored on top of the fridge. This is an often forgotten place, but can also give the buyer an impression that you don’t have enough storage in your home.
Reimagine your spaces. Take a good look around your home to see if your furniture is creating an inviting feeling or is making the buyer feel cramped and awkward. If you need to remove some furniture and put it in storage, do so. Also be sure to evaluate your outdoor living spaces. Make sure they are viewed as “living spaces” instead of just a slab of concrete or an empty deck. Place some chairs in a way that looks like you could easily entertain and be sure to throw some color outside whether that is a planter or just some colorful pillows or umbrellas.
Lighten it up. Take a quick trip around your house to make sure every burned out light bulb is replaced. Also be sure that the windows are clean so you can get as much natural light in your home as possible. Natural light is a common item on a potential buyer’s “want list” so be sure to highlight all that you have by getting rid of any heavy black-out curtains and letting the light shine through.
Inexpensive solutions to preparing your home for the market can be daunting and lots of work, but in the end, these are the things that can often bring the most return and highest reward in the end.