Dear Claire: How Can I Prepare My Home for Listing?
Preparing Your Home for a Quick and Profitable Sale: Tips and Insights
When it comes to listing your home for sale, you may be asking, “What do I do?” or “Where do I start?”
You’ve probably noticed the houses that are listed in Portland these days are flying off the market. Clearly, we’re in a seller’s market. Upgrading to a larger home, looking to get into a better neighborhood, or downsizing after the kids have left are all good reasons to consider selling. You’ll be buying in the same market, however, as a seller right now you’ve got plenty of power.
Here are some frequent questions I get from my clients:
“How can I make my house look beautiful so that I can get the most amount of money possible?”
On average, buyers who are considering purchasing your home will tour it for a total of 15 minutes. This means you’ll only have 15 minutes to wow their socks off.
You’ll want to:
Mulch your landscaping and make it look crisp and beautiful.
Take most things off your walls.
Clean all countertops and remove items such as the coffee maker, toaster, and bread maker. Unless it’s a really nice KitchenAid in a pretty color, these items will need to be removed and stored.
Your ultimate goal in cleaning out and putting items away is to make your house look bright and light, open, inviting, and spacious.
“Should I remove everything, including the furniture and decorations, from my home before listing it?”
The flip side of showing a home with clutter is a vacant home. When a home is empty, it’s harder for buyers to visualize making it their own space. They may think, “Is this room big enough for a king-sized bed or will it only fit a queen-sized bed?”
Many times, it’s useful to have physical things in the space. Buyers will have the ability to conceptualize, “Okay, my bed’s going to fit in there and our couch is totally going to fit in there.” In general, it helps buyers imagine how furnishings and household items will look by having a frame of reference.
“How do I make my house appeal to many different buyers?”
Another thing you can do is paint the walls. I know you may not like it, but that burgundy accent wall should most likely be repainted a neutral color. Warm whites work well, especially in our market where we have a lot of hardwood floors. You don’t want a lot of gray walls because hardwood floors often have gold and yellow finishes that don’t complement cool colors very well.
Having a home usually involves little things, like those pots you have lying around and were going to use for planting, that leftover dirt you didn’t quite get to putting in the garden bed, or the plants you forgot about that died on the side of the house. Most families have these items in their back yards because that’s just the way we live our lives. However, when you’re selling your home, you want to get rid of all of those items so that buyers don’t see them.
You need to be able to tell a uniform, clear story about your home, so that buyers will be able to make an immediate connection, such as, “Oh, this is the house that has a great neighborhood,” or a second bath, or is maintenance-free, or whatever they’re looking for.
Keep in mind you don’t need to navigate this alone. I am here and I consult with sellers. I’ll walk through your home and tell you what I think you should remove, what you should leave, and how you should rearrange the living room to make the best impression possible.
Ultimately, making these efforts will get your house sold for the highest price in the shortest amount of time. Of course, I am always here with any questions you might have. So don’t hesitate to reach out. You can call me, text me, or send me an email.
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Have more questions or want professional advice on buying or selling a home?
Contact us at [email protected] or (503) 926-5213. We’re here to address all your real estate needs!