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How a Realtor® Preps Their Home for Sale

Do you ever wonder what Realtors® do to sell their own homes quickly, and for the best price? I’m about to list my home in Volusia County for sale, and I thought I’d share some experience and tips on how I prepped my own home so it shows great, every time.

The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that your price must match the condition of your home. A buyer’s search nearly always begins online so it’s vital that your photos and virtual tour justify the price you and your Realtor® have agreed upon so you get those buyers in the door.

Most buyers will make a decision about the property within 15 seconds of entering the home. Homes that are clean, organized, and well cared for will attract more interest and offers, and typically fetch a higher price than homes that don’t show well.

Below are the big items I worked on over the past few weeks before my house hits the market:

Curb Appeal – 

Make sure your grass or ground covering is mowed or manicured, shrubs are trimmed, and cobwebs and dead bugs are removed from the front porch or entry. Get a couple of colorful potted plants for either side of your front door – most nurseries will prep and plant these for you for a small price.

Pressure wash your driveway and sidewalks!! Invest in one of the round-head pressure washers – they don’t leave lines in the material.

Paint the exterior a neutral color. If your home is already neutral, a good pressure wash and fresh paint will do wonders. Make sure the doors are in good repair (including your garage door), and add a new mailbox and fresh mulch if you can.

Interior – 

Clean, clean, clean…and then clean again. And don’t forget to look up. Ceiling fans and light fixtures are often overlooked, and the last thing a buyer wants to see is dust and dead bugs above their head.

We all get used to the smells of our own homes, but strangers can be put off by odors in your home, and some odors will linger even after all that cleaning. Get a friend (or your Realtor®) to come by and do a “smell test”. No scent is best, but if the natural odor of the home needs improvement, go with a lighter scent like eucalyptus oil or lavender in a diffuser. Stay away from strong scents like Lysol, Febreeze, and perfumes that might put some people off.

Declutter all rooms and remove as many personal items as possible…especially religious and political items. You want the potential buyer to be able to envision their own family in the home.

Paint is always a great idea. A light, neutral color will make for great photos and make the spaces feel larger and more clean. Add a few pops of color with accessories like throw pillows…just keep it minimal. Less is more.

Invest in a weekly maid service or come check on the house every week if it’s vacant. Rings in toilets, dust, and dead bugs detract from the buyer’s experience during a showing.

Avoid storing items on the floor – pick up a storage cabinet and baskets or bins to keep loose items like remotes, dog toys, and personal items out of sight. This is especially effective for kids rooms. Get those toys picked up and stowed away quickly.

And keep your counters clear – find a place to store your coffee maker, toaster oven, and other appliances so the kitchen looks larger.

Update the light fixtures, or at minimum make sure you have matching, bright bulbs in your existing fixtures. Think about updating door and cabinet knobs as well. If the home is vacant, or has oddly shaped rooms, consider hiring a staging company. A properly staged home photographs better and sells faster than a home that is left alone.

Not sure where to begin with your own home? We offer a staging and home prep service to all of our clients – Your Florida House Prep. Reach out to me for a FREE home prep consultation.

Want to know what your home is worth in today’s market? Click here for a FREE home valuation.

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