How Do I Prepare My Home for Sale?

October 16, 2019

First and foremost, hire a Realtor®! I do not say this because I am a Realtor®; I say this because to get the most value from your home, marketing your home professionally is an absolute must! A Realtor® will be able to give you the best advice on areas that need attention and areas that will not provide more value for your home’s worth. You read that right, I cannot tell you the number of times I have saved a seller money by telling them not do to a specific project that they thought would maximize their profit margin. Think about it, we show homes every day… all day! We know what people want and what turns them away. Another tip, go to open houses to get ideas on what stands out to you as a priority and look for the tips listed below to see if you agree.

Here are a few action items to consider when marketing your home to get the most value:

1) Clean your home! Yes, this means baseboards, windows, floors, inside your refrigerator (although I still do not know why a potential buyer opens refrigerators that do not come with the home but you would be amazed at how many times this actually happens), bath tubs/showers, and please polish everything shiny. If you are not up for this task, ask your Realtor® for a recommendation for a reputable cleaning company. We are your best resource for referrals.

2) Although Fido may be your best friend, keep in mind not all people are animal lovers. (I know, I cannot figure out why either!) This is a great reason for your Realtor® to come visit your home. You know the commercial about becoming nose blind… he/she will let you know if that has happened. Please do not try to cover up smells with other “good” smells because it simply adds another layer of odor rather than remedying the initial cause. Odors can range from pets, your bedding, laundry, trash, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and even mold/musty smells. Your home should have a neutral smell.

3) Remove bulky furniture, excessive clutter and do not over do it with the decor; not everyone has your sense of style, although I am sure it is amazing. Keep everything as neutral as possible. You want a potential buyer to see themselves in your home with their belongings. Keep it cozy and tidy; this means closets too, and do not forget to simplify your counter tops.

4) While your teenager may be going through their best goth look, their rooms should not. Keep all paint neutral! Are you noticing a theme here? Touch up areas in need and do not forget your baseboards. Pro Tip: Be on special look out for door frames that are exposed to outside elements; they tend to need continual attention.

5) Let the light flow! Open all blinds and curtains to allow as much natural light in your home. No one wants to buy a dungeon, unless you’re a dragon! When leaving your house for a showing, turn on every light. Show off that fresh and clean home you have just worked so hard to obtain. Feel free to use lamps to create a relaxing ambiance in addition to overhead lighting.

6) Kitchens and bathrooms are said to sell houses. Make these areas feel like a retreat and update them accordingly.

7) Close your toilet lids; no elaboration is needed here. This is especially important to do before your professional photographer takes pictures.

8) Curb Appeal! Do not spend all your time indoors. Make sure your home is appealing from the outside. Pressure wash your exterior and walk ways if needed. Add a few planters or hanging plants. Do not go crazy with flower beds, while some potential buyers will see the beauty, others may be deterred because of the upkeep.

The biggest tool in your toolbox is your Realtor® so contact a professional today! After all, you would not call a plumber to cut down a tree.

Brandi Crass is an affiliate broker with Southland Realtors. Feel free to contact her directly at 865-323-7723 or via email at for all of your real estate needs!