Everyone’s heard horror stories about harried homeowners who were saddled with two mortgages while their unsold property languished on the market for months. But the scary scenario need not give you nightmares or make you feel like a helpless homeowner at the mercy of unpredictable buyers. Indeed, experts agree you should approach the home-selling process proactively and take some steps to speed the sale well before your listing goes live.

 

Cull Clutter

 

For instance, make clearing clutter your number one priority.  An article from the Balance suggests donating or ditching things you haven’t used in more than a year. From there, start the packing process by boxing up family photos, knickknacks, and other personal artifacts with an eye toward helping potential buyers see themselves in the space. Along those same lines, consider renting a storage unit to stash everything but essential furnishings to make your whole house seem larger. 

 

When you’re ready to list your home, you should also clear the kitchen counters to maximize the appearance of a spotlessly clean and expansive kitchen. Pack everyday essentials like your coffeemaker in a box that can easily be stashed in a closet.

 

Speaking of closets, you should rearrange them and other storage spaces to make them seem spacious and organized. You may want to pack away and store off-season clothes and rarely used dishes elsewhere, such as in a storage unit. Arrange everything else as neatly as possible to extend the image of a well-cared-for home even into closets and cabinets. You may even consider installing an inexpensive storage system to maximize whatever closet space your home has to offer.

 

Keep It Clean

 

Once you’ve pared possessions and packed away items you don’t use daily, it will be easier to give your home a thorough scrub down. You may want to hire a cleaning company to wipe down walls, wash windows, wax floors, and do some of the other heavy-duty chores. When you have a clean slate, keep things tidy by vacuuming and sweeping daily, making sure bathrooms and kitchens are clean, and clearing away laundry and dishes in case of last-minute showings.

 

Make Minor Fixes

 

You should also make minor repairs that will detract from your home’s assets. After all, you may be practically blind to a cracked window or torn screen, but you can bet buyers notice. Also consider some inexpensive renovations. For instance, a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color will help everything look cleaner and brighter. Similarly, replacing dim bulbs and installing new switchplates and outlet covers can make a surprisingly big impact on the aesthetics of a room. Update faucets and fixtures in the kitchen to give that space a new look. Also, consider adding small touches, like new toilet seats, shower curtains, and bathmats to spruce up those spaces.

 

Take the same approach outdoors by trying to maximize impact while minimizing expenses and effort. Start by pressure washing siding, walkways, and other outdoor areas to remove built-up dirt and debris. From there, turn an eye toward your yard. Attend to overgrown shrubs and flower beds and bring your home’s curb appeal up a notch by adding some symmetrical elements, such as matching planters on each side of your front door. Finally, give the exterior a facelift by touching up trim, repainting your front door and adding new hardware, and making minor repairs, such as replacing an old mailbox. Also, don’t forget to provide great illumination along walkways and paths for those late-evening showings.

 

While there’s no way to guarantee your home will sell within days or weeks of going on the market, clearing clutter, cleaning, and giving the property a minor makeover will certainly improve the odds. Now, all you need is to get started!

Article By: Kris Louis

Parentingwithkris.com | kristin@parentingwithkris.com

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.