Preparing Your Home to Sell

“Markets always change, and as soon as there's a downturn, cleanliness becomes a major value.” ~ Donald Trump

Enhanced Perceived Value to Increase Sales Appeal

Prepare Your House to Enhance Its Perceived Value. Home buyers’ perception of your home’s value is critical to what they are willing to offer, and ultimately pay. Buyers will often make their decision to buy based on subjective factors (like emotions, experiences, preferences, judgments and beliefs) and then rationalize with logic.

It is essential that you properly prepare and stage your house to sell in order to increase your chance of attracting qualified buyers willing to pay top dollar. The perceived value of your home can easily impact the selling price up to 5% to 10% (or more).

Evaluate your house, create a budget, and develop & execute a smart home preparation plan to optimize the perceived value of your house - before you put it on the market. Consider hiring licensed contractors to help you get your house ready for show time.

Use these four (4) tips to help you set the stage for a quick sale:


4 Tips to SetTING the Stage 




1 | Increase Your Home's Curb Appeal (Exterior)

It is important for a property to make the best possible impression on prospective buyers. Curb appeal is your property's first opportunity to catch the buyer’s eye when driving (or walking) by or arriving for a showing. Boost your property’s curb appeal to entice potential buyers to want to take a look at what’s inside. 

  • Clear the Clutter and Clean Up.
  • Landscape for curb appeal
  • Paint or wash the house exterior.
  • Replace old siding.
  • Wash windows and repair damaged screens and windows.
  • Clean entryway, driveway and sidewalks.
  • Keep driveway clear. Park vehicles in the garage or on the street.
  • Make sure gutters, roof and chimney are in good shape

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2 | Make Sure Your Property is in Good Shape (Interior/Exterior)

  • Conduct your own mini walk-through inspection. Also, consider asking a friend and neighbor for their opinion on your home’s appearance. Create a checklist of all items that need maintenance, updating and/or repair.
  • Make identified repairs before you get a professional home inspection.
  • Get a Professional Home Inspection to reveal any problems. A pre-inspection report provides you with a more complete disclosure of the property’s condition which reduces the chances of legal problems after the sale. Also, it allows the buyer to make an informed decision and reduces the chances of the sales transaction falling through.
  • Use the Inspection Report to create a list of needed repairs. Evaluate each item and decide a course of action.
  • Make necessary repairs and improvements before you put your house on the market. Either properly replace or repair items on the list or provide professional estimates for repairs you can’t fund. This will help buyers determine if they  can afford the home and the repairs. Don’t make repairs yourself if you’re not qualified - call in a licensed contractor.
  • Document all repairs and enhancements. Use an accordion folder to organized and file all reports,  estimates, paid receipts/invoices, etc. 

Remember, the fewer overall concerns potential buyers have about your property, the more at ease (and less overwhelmed) they may feel about purchasing your house over the competition. Ideally, the closer you can get your house to “move-in-ready” status, the more likely you are to attract today’s cautious and discerning buyers.

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3 | Prepare and Stage Your House (Interior) 


* Clean, de-clutter and organize.  
* Get rid of any smells, e.g., cooking, smoking and pet odors.
* Neutralize and de-personalize.
* Lighten and brighten your rooms, e.g., open drapes/shades, turn on the lights, etc.
* Update or replace outdated lighting fixtures and window treatments.
* Scale back on your furniture and personal effects. 
* Clearly define each room's function  
* Arrange furniture/accessories to create an inviting, comfortable and harmonious environment.



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4 | Focus on Key Improvements (Interior) 

To get top dollar, consider investing in improvements that can give you the greatest return when selling your house. Among the most common repairs and enhancements that can add value to your home and yield a greater return include: 

  • Repaint or replace entry and/or garage door(s).
  • Repair or replace sagging screed doors and other entry red flags.
  • Landscape & trim lawn
  • Paint interior walls in neutral colors.
  • Update or renovate the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Steam clean or replace carpeting.
  • Polish, repair or replace hardwood flooring. 

Home sellers wanting to make improvements should consider the findings of the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Mid-Alantic Report (and National Report). It compares national and regional data for 35 popular projects.

The condition of your house is one of the most important factors in attracting high offers. Prepare your house for sale before you put it on the market and make sure your home is in good shape from inside and out. A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to make enhancements and necessary repairs helps ensure your home is presented in its best-possible light, primed for sale.

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