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Preparing your home for sale

The first impression is the only impression.

No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. It’s important to make people feel warm and welcome as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100% return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. Your family may use it as a utility space for coats and keys, but while your home is on the market, make it a welcoming space with a small bench or table with a vase of fresh cut flowers.

Always be ready to show.

Your home needs to be “show ready” at all times. You never know when the buyer is going to walk through the door. Don’t leave the house with dishes in the sink, make sure bathrooms sparkling and bedrooms tidy with beds made. It’s a bit inconvenient, but it will help get your house sold more quickly.

The kitchen comes first.

You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen, that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. The cost of replacing counter-tops, for example, may be a few thousand dollars. However, a buyer may knock $20,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. If painting, use a neutral color.

Take the home out of your house.

One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to depersonalize it. The more personal, the less a buyer can visualize themselves living there. Pack up family photos, memorabilia, collections and keepsakes. De-clutter.

Don’t over upgrade.

Quick fixes and freshening before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. Paint and new carpet go a long way, as do updated lighting and hardware. Don’t invest in a major remodel just to sell your home.

Conceal the critters.

You might think your cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but not everyone is a dog or cat lover. Buyers don’t want to walk into your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have pet hair stuck to their clothes. Conceal the dog beds, pet toys and food dishes. Then be sure to take your animals with you before a showing or open house.

Light it up.

Maximize the light in your home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage in your bulbs, and cut the bushes outside your home to let the sunshine in. In the darker days around here, anything that allows more natural light inside your home is a plus.

Half-empty closets.

Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half of your things out of your closets and cupboards, then neatly re-organize what’s left. Buyers will be sure to open these spaces and the perception of ample storage will go a long way.