Preparing to Sell


Selling your home doesn′t justmean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot ofpreparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in theshortest time.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to thecracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer willtoo. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get itdone—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sureto fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to addressany issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all,without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.

Neutralize. You want buyers to seethemselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneledwalls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be muchharder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors andwalls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting andreflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyersimagine all the possibilities.

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’stime to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touchesthat will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home:lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels,patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home isespecially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascaraand rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.