Top 10 "musts" for prepping your home to sell for top dollar

Every opportunity you have to appeal to a buyer is important! Maximize your impression by following our top 10 tips on prepping and showing your property... so it can appeal to the largest audience of buyers. 

We know more interested buyers means higher prices, so follow these simple staging rules to ensure more buyers can visualize themselves in your home and quickly fall in love.

1. NEUTRALIZE

Strong statements of wallpaper and paint may appeal to a select group, at the same time, many will see it as additional work if they buy the home. Paint, wallpaper, and carpet are usually matched to your furniture, that will change when buyers move in. Stay with neutral colors so all buyers can see their furniture in the home and not react to strong wall colors that may not be their style.

2. DEPERSONALIZE

The buyer needs to see the house as their new home. Too many personal family items, pictures, trophies, posters, etc. will hinder this process. A few personal items are fine, at the same time, if you find yourself looking in each room at your “things” and not at the features of the room itself, it is time to edit the room down to the bare essentials.

3. DECLUTTER

Take everything off the floor that does not have to be there. More floor space makes the home seem larger. The same goes for countertops. Clutter is worse than dirt. Too much stuff makes the house confusing, and the buyer’s mind gets cluttered. Start packing! You are moving anyway.

4. ATTACK ODORS

People buy homes with all their senses. You may not be able to smell your pet, at the same time, others can. Strong food odors also are a turn-off. I used to buy the frozen cookie dough and cut it into small pieces and put a piece on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees, about 30 minutes prior to a showing. It's also easy and inexpensive to pop in a few mild smelling plug-in air fresheners. Coordinate scents with the season so buyers associate warm feelings with your home. 

5. GARAGE SALE

I have shown hundreds of properties and what people are most surprised by is a nice, clean and orderly garage. It speaks of the care that you take towards the rest of your house. With a bit of effort, you can purge through the things you no longer use or need, and you can make room to pack your boxes.

6. HORIZONTAL SURFACES

The eye naturally scans a room from left to right. By clearing off tables, minimizing shelves and taking things off of your kitchen and bathroom counters, you are not only able to start packing, you will also be making your home more visibly pleasing for the purchaser.

7. MENTALLY PREPARE

Having your home on the market is never convenient. Buyers are on the hunt which means having your home show-ready at all times. Also, constantly playing host to strangers who are potential buyers can be physically and mentally exhausting. Prepare yourself now by understanding your house will have lots of foot traffic, at the same time if you want to sell, it's necessary! Welcome it!  

8. FLEXIBILITY

Being mentally prepared to adjust your schedule is extremely necessary for catering to all buyers. You never know which showing will be "the one" so accommodate them all if possible!  If a buyer is at your front door, you should always open it. If they are in the yard, then they are excited and ready to see it.  

9. DON’T SHOW YOUR CARDS

As an agent, my job is to keep the buyer and seller apart. I ask my clients to not be home when the house is being shown. If you do need to be present, make sure to not let on why you are selling or where you are going next, as it could affect your bottom line.

10. ASK US FOR HELP

I have helped hundreds of home sellers obtain top dollar. Some paid me a commission, other did not. I am happy to be your resource. Everybody needs a great Realtor. Even For Sale By Owners. Every buyer opportunity is critically important.