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9 Quick Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Listing

There are many ways that you can get your home or property ready for listing if that is the route you choose to go when selling.  From the second people pull up to the house to the moment they leave, they are making judgements about the property down to every little detail they notice. You need to be prepared to impress because marketing a property well can have a major impact on the offers you receive, time on the market, and price.  Understand that you don’t have to do any of these items but they will help in making a house more appealing to potential buyers.

House for sale (compressed).JPG

Put yourself in their shoes and be honest about the positives and negatives of your house and do what you can to eliminate the negatives and accentuate the positives.  Keep in mind that people are using all 5 of their senses when making decisions. Let’s get right into the list:

Great Landscaping and Curb Appeal - The first thing people see is what does the property look like from the end of the driveway.  A well-maintained lawn with some nice landscaping work will surely entice buyers.  Until you close on the property, you should be maintaining the yard for the future owners.  Tall grass, weeds, and an overall poorly maintained exterior will turn people off immediately (they may not even go into the house).  On top of landscaping, there are other things you can do such as power washing that will give your house a better look.  Maybe you can give the house, deck, or fence a fresh coat of paint or even do a nice accent color on the front door. 

Make The House Smell Nice - Some plug-in air fresheners can make a home inviting when people walk through the door.  Try not to get anything too strong though.  Another idea is to put some vanilla extract in an oven-proof dish and bake for a short time before a showing or open house. It will make your entire home smell nice.  You can also boil some cinnamon sticks in water. If you really feel up to it, bake some fresh chocolate chip cookies before an open house.  Not only will your house smell nice but people walking through can help themselves to some bakery.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cleaning and Clutter - A thorough cleaning will do wonders for the appeal of your house.  Dusting, vacuuming, sweeping and washing every square inch of your home will impress people.  If you don’t have the time, find a local cleaning company.  It is well worth the cost.  Having someone like Stanley Steemer do your carpets isn’t a bad idea either.  You also need to reduce the clutter.  Putting things away where they need to be and organizing your home can display the functionality of your property.  Clothes need to be put away, beds made, etc.

Big Ticket Items - These can really add value and marketability to your property.  A 25 year old roof will deter buyers but a brand new roof is a great selling point.  Some of these items include: siding, concrete work, driveway, roof, HVAC, and more.  If any of these items are near the end of their life, it can worry buyers because they know there is a possibility of having to replace them shortly after buying the house. 

Necessary Updates - Besides the big ticket items, there are plenty of things that will make your property more appealing to buyers.  This can be as simple as painting that purple room a more neutral color or replacing the green carpet to doing a partial or full bathroom or kitchen remodel.  If you are considering doing a lot of cosmetic updates, it isn’t a bad idea to hire a designer because they will have a good idea of what the buyer market is looking for and can help tie everything together well in your home.

Warm Interior

Staging - This can be a game-changer.  It will show potential buyers the potential of the house.  The furniture that a staging company uses is newer, stylish, and can be purchased if the buyers like it.  If staging is a little bit out of your budget range, you should be able to talk to your agent about virtual staging.  It is an inexpensive way to show buyers in the pictures what the possibilities are.  Staging may not make sense for every market though so make sure it will be beneficial.

Home Inspection - Here’s a pro-tip: have 2 home inspections done before listing.  First, have the inspector come out so you can find everything out regarding the property.  Then, fix most or all of the issues that are on the report. Lastly, have the same inspector come out again and he/she will do a new inspection report that is clear or almost clear of any issues.  You can then give the inspection report to buyers when they look at the house or during an open house and show them that there are no issues.  Buyers will feel comfortable and may even decide to not do their own inspection.  A home inspector will most likely be willing to give you a good deal to do both because the second time they come, they already know the property and what they are looking for.  It should take them minimal time.

List of Updates - Along with the inspection report from the last tip, you can leave a list of updates that you have done recently and the cost to do those updates.  It can show buyers that you put money into the house to maintain and improve it.

Pictures and Lighting - Make sure the property is well lit especially before taking pictures.  Any burnt out bulbs should be replaced.  You want it to be bright throughout and the pictures will attract more people if they are bright. Make sure you or your agent get plenty of pictures for the listing that showcases the positives of the property.  Also, a detailed description definitely helps.


That is a great list to get you started.  It is always good to keep in mind that all aspects of your home overlap with each other and doing one of these items may not compensate for another.  For example, great curb appeal will not make up for the inside being extremely dirty, cluttered, dated, or ugly.  An owner needs to understand that parts of their property that are dated, older, damaged, and/or not up to code will transition to less money on the selling side if you are not willing to fix or update.  You really need to look at the time, effort, and resources you are able to put into a property when getting it ready for listing. Also, hiring professionals for the updates can reduce stress and allow the pros to do what they do best.  Feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to come out and give advice on what you can do to enhance your property for listing.  Or, if you don’t want to deal with any of these things, we can sit down and talk about selling your house as-is. Either way, best of luck on selling your property!

Do you have a property that's ready for listing?  For maximum exposure and an efficient and successful selling experience, contact us today today at (216) 505-0651.

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