Beyond Cleaning: Getting Your Home Ready to Sell
People who put their homes on the market are often surprised by how much work it takes to get everything in order and to get their home ready to show. Proper staging is essential for making a positive impression on potential buyers; however, it’s very detailed work and may force you to reassess your home’s condition. It’s easy to assume that everything’s in acceptable condition, only to find out that your realtor believes otherwise.
Houses absorb a lot of wear and tear over the years, and much of it is very noticeable to a discerning home buyer, and that’s the problem. Even things that seem minor to you can leave a buyer with a negative impression. Remember that perception is the reality: A leaky faucet may cause someone to assume that the rest of your home is in poor shape. I-Deal-LIfestyle™ Professional Organizer offers some tips and apps you can use as you determine what needs to be done before letting a potential buyer into your home.
Know Your Worth
Before you start making any big staging moves, be sure you know what’s worth investing in based on your home’s value. It probably doesn’t make sense to spend $2,000 repainting your entire home or freshening up your landscaping if you won’t recoup these costs in the profit from your sale, but you should consider spending money and hiring a team to repair things like replacing window glass or tackling any roofing work.
Before you enlist the help of a real estate agent, you can get a ballpark idea of what houses in your area are going for by downloading apps from Redfin, Trulia, or Zillow, to name a few. These apps allow you to check out listings in your area, which can give you a rough estimate of what you can expect when yourhome finally hits the market.
Good Flow, Lots of Space
A house with plenty of flow and open space is more likely to stand out with buyers who can easily imagine how they might transform it. That means clearing out all the clutter and removing any outdated or excessively large and bulky furniture. Go room by room and organize everything in such a way that you know what’s being thrown away, donated, or placed in storage. Remember that clutter means more than loose piles of papers strewn about or shoes and toys that somehow never get picked up. Extra bookcases, televisions, dressers, cabinets, and loveseats may need to be stored or disposed of to ensure that nothing distracts a potential buyer. Need help with decluttering? I-Deal-LIfestyle™ Professional Organizer can connect you with a local organizer who can help you create order and discard the accumulation of belongings that could be weighing you down.
Deep Clean and Depersonalize
It’s hard to keep a home clean when it may be on the market for months, and keeping it clean is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider hiring a cleaning company to make yours look pristine and ready to sell, and continue to keep it clean during the selling process. Opting for freshly-cleaned carpeting can make a home look brand new and get rid of lingering odors. Don’t forget those dark, musty spots that haven’t been cleaned in years, which buyers will surely sniff out. Believe it or not, there are house cleaning apps (Tody, Home Routines, etc.) that can help you out when it’s time to scrub.
Depersonalizing is a crucially important part of staging. It’s how you’ll deemphasize your presence and allow buyers to see themselves as the owners. Many agents advise that your walls should be almost bare, with nothing more than a smattering of generic and non-threatening artwork (i.e. natural landscapes).
The Right Paint
Choosing the right color for your interior walls is an important step in creating a space that’s conducive to prospective buyers. Neutral colors are widely considered the best way to go because they won’t distract visitors the way a rich, luxuriant red or shade of lavender might. Remember, the home you want others to see shouldn’t be a house dominated by your personal tastes; instead, it should be one they can envision as their own. Beige, tan, or shades of gray are considered the best choices by real estate agents. By the same token, slapping on a couple of coats of white paint can be noticeable because it is too bland. A nice mid-range shade is optimal. If you need help, This Old House has a list of apps, including ColorSmart and Paint My Place, that can help when it comes time to select and match the right paint for your home.
Drawing Them In
Giving your property curb appeal is essential for getting people to stop by or make inquiries. You can improve your curb appeal by tidying up your landscaping, planting flowers in a pot by the front door, and making sure the lawn is clear of weeds. Above all, make certain that your house can easily be seen from the street as people drive by, particularly if you have a lot of trees and/or bushes in the front yard. Need some landscaping ideas? Apps such as Houzz and iScape can provide you with some inspiration to make your own yard look great.
Most people expect a lot of cleaning and minor fixes when getting ready to place their homes on the market. But there’s a lot more to staging than vacuuming and dusting. Think of it as transforming your space into someone else’s. With the right approach and a little help from a handful of apps, you can make your home a hot commodity that stands out.
When you’re ready to clear out the clutter for good and to bring organization into your life, look to I-Deal-LIfestyle™ Professional Organizer to connect with a qualified local organizer. And to ensure you make this transformation a lifestyle change, pick up the The Clutter Remedy Book today! Call 949-709-7000 for a free consultation.
Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of