Are you planning on selling your home soon and don’t know where to start? I was in this situation recently and found out there is a ton of things you need to do to your home to prep it to put on the market.
Some of the things are easy and fast, but there are some projects that require a time commitment. The 16 projects to do before putting your home are the market are:
- Update Up the Lighting
- Fix Holes in Walls
- Paint Neutral Colors
- Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
- Organize Those Closets
- Complete Projects
- Freshen Up Curb Side Appeal
- Add Plants And/Or Fruit
- Smell Test
- Fix Pet Problems
- Add Technology
- Remove Wallpaper
- Update Hardware
If you want to find the best Home Repairs Kit, click here.
1. Update the Lighting
When you are showing off your home to potential buyers all the lights will be on. It is important to always be stocked up on light bulbs to ensure every light in the home is on and brightening up the space.
If possible, it may also make sense to buy some new and modern lighting fixtures or lamps. We want the potential buyers to feel like they would be upgrading their lifestyle when they are in your home, they should not feel like they are taking a step back. Having upgraded lighting is a simple way to give that more modern and elegant feeling to potential buyers.
2. Fix Holes in Walls
Over the years of living in your home you have hung up plenty of pictures, shelves, or art work. Usually this requires nails, screws, or other things that pierce the wall and create holes in the drywall.
When prepping your home to sell it is important to go through all the places where there are holes and repair them. A potential buyer will appreciate the fact you went through and fixed them and will, in turn, be more likely to put an offer down on the house.
To help with this task check out my other article on “5 Easy Steps to Repair Small Holes in Your Wall in Under an Hour”. This will help check this project off your list of must do’s before putting your house on the market in no time.
3. Paint Neutral Colors
Everyone has different tastes. This means the odds of someone liking the bright orange wall in your home are slim to none.
To have people come in the home and have it feel warm, open, clean, and bright, it is important to stick to neutral colors. A fresh coat of whites, light grays, and light beiges are great choices for wall colors. You will be amazed at how a fresh coat of neutral colors can change the vibe of the home and hopefully attract more offers for the home.
4. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
This is an absolute must when preparing the home for potential buyers to look at. Decluttering goes above and beyond in improving the appearance to potential buyers. This helps the buyers visualize a clutter-free home instead of focusing on the mess you and your family may have left behind.
Every room in the home must be decluttered, this very well could be the most important task to prepare your home to sell. The home NEEDS to look livable in the lives of the buyers.
5. Organize Those Closets
We do not want to leave any eye sores in the home when potential buyers come to view the home. It is key to reduce what is in the closets by half and make sure what you have left in them is clean, organized, and maybe even in bins or boxes.
Buyers will open all the doors to closets, cupboards, and cabinets. We need to make sure all these areas are organized and clean.
There is another article on “12 Spring Cleaning Projects” that may help with completing this task. Be sure to check it out, it goes into detail on how to clean your closets, cabinets and much more. All of this will help prepare your home to put on the market.
After living in your home for years you probably have things around the home that need to be repaired. Well, now you have to fix all those things that you have been putting off and have been just living with through the years.
When figuring out what may need to be repaired make sure to look at every corner of the home, from high to low. You might have messy ceilings, cracks in doors, scratched floors, bruises on walls, broken outlets, etc. Don’t forget, we also need to check for things outside the home that might need repairs. This could be broken gutters, cracked deck or patio, stained home, or dead plants.
After going through the home and determining what you think needs to be repaired it might be helpful to ask your real estate agent (if you have one) their thoughts on what else might need to be repaired in order to sell the home.
7. Complete Projects
Everyone’s life gets hectic and busy from time to time. There may have been some projects in the home that you started and never got around to completing. It is vital to wrap up these projects before you put the home on the market.
Maybe you have a bathroom updating project, a room that needs to be painted, a wall that needs patching, or floor tiles that need fixing. There always seems to be something that you intended to finish but for one reason or another you never got to. It is important to get these finished before you have people view the home. You do not want to have potential buyers coming in the home and seeing an incomplete home. It will give them a bad taste in their mouths and you could miss out on a bid.
8. Freshen Up Curb Side Appeal
The first thing a potential home buyer sees when they pull up to the house is the outside. It is vital that we freshen this space up. It’s not an over exaggeration to say that you can’t replace a first impression.
Pick those weeds, plant some new bushes or flowers, power wash the home or deck. These are all things that can impact the curb side appeal and they do not break the bank at all. Think of everything on the outside of the home that are easy to dos that will add that extra sparkle when they pull up for the very first time.
After everything is decluttered, cleaned, fixed, updated and looking fresh it is important to go through the home a depersonalize it. This means clean or put away anything that clearly makes it look like it’s your house.
Put away those pictures of the family and friends, hide those collectibles, clean up everything that shows that someone lives there. The point of this part of the list is to hide anything that shows that it’s your house, that way when the potential buyer walks through the home it is easier for them to visualize themselves and their families living in the home.
10. Add Plants and/or Fruit
Greenery is good! The outdoors and mother nature help make a home seem brighter and more inviting. If we add some plants, flowers, or even a bowl of fruit it adds natural elements to the home and helps create a natural and loving environment, which in turn should get the potential home buyers in a spending mood.
11. Smell Test
This might sound like an odd thing to add to the list, but let’s get real, it could be the most important one of them all. The sense of smell is the strongest and most powerful sense of them all. It helps you remember grandmas cooking or the sweet smell of a fresh spring rain. But it also makes you remember the bad smells, like a cow pasture or a hot portable potty in the summer at a Kenny Chesney concert.
So we need to make sure we take care of anything in the home that may have a foul odor, even if you think it’s just slightly bad. If not taken care of this could be an immediate deal breaker.
Make sure to clean everything that may have a smell and even think about using some room deodorizers, candles or plugins right before a potential home buyer may be roaming through the home.
This should seem pretty straight forward, but make sure you deep clean the whole home. We need to make the home look like it is in move in condition when they tour the home for the first time. We need to clean the home from top to bottom. From the attic to the basement.
Don’t leave anything untouched! Get the ceiling light fixtures, the fan blades, scrub the walls, the baseboards, the windows, the refrigerator, the microwave, the oven, the stove, pretty much anything and everything that is part of the home needs to be cleaned. It is amazing how fresh and new a home can look if it is clean as a whistle! And believe me, they will look at EVERYTHING!
13. Fix Pet Problems
Pets are our best friends but they can make a mess. Have they had an accident on the carpet? Have they chewed up anything in the home? Do you have pet hair ALL OVER THE HOME? Does you house smell like the litter box they use?
These are all things that must be addressed before you have people come and view the home. Nothing is more of a turn off than seeing anything damaged or the foul smells from your beloved pets.
14. Add Technology
Smart homes are the new thing and they make any home look like new. Add some simple updated smart home devices in the home can add that extra bang to any home, especially for the younger buyers that may be coming to view the home.
If possible, let’s install some new smart thermostats, light bulbs, doorbells, or any other smart home devices that could attract some new home buyers. They really will add in that wow factor for any potential home buyer that may be on the edge.
15. Remove Wallpaper
Wallpaper is a hit or miss with potential home buyers. We need to rip it out and get rid of any wallpaper that might be in the home. After ripping the wallpaper off the walls let’s get a fresh coat of paint on that wall and don’t forget, we need it to be a neutral color.
16. Update Hardware
Here is another project you probably never have really given a second thought about. After years of living in your home you may have not realized that the hardware of the home is more than likely old and outdated. A very simple project to add a little upgrade and sparkle to the home is to update all the hardware around the house.
Let’s go through each room and install some new knobs, handles, and outlet covers. This is a cheap and effective way to help give the home an updated and modern look that it may have been missing prior to the new hardware.
There are many things that go into selling a home. Trying to get someone to buy your home is a huge task and should be taken very seriously. There are some big projects and tiny projects that can be done to help improve the chances of selling.
Take some of the tips above and use it as a baseline to prep your home to hit the market. These projects are proven to help get someone to purchase your home quicker than if none of the above are addressed.
How long does it take to sell a home? Recent data from realtor.com shows that the median home takes about 65 days to sell. But home sales and timelines vary greatly by location.
What is the best month to sell a house? Most places it is the first two weeks in May. themortagereports.com says it could sell 18.5 days faster during this time period.