Prepping Your Home for Sale: 10 Home Selling Tips

If you're ready to move, spring is the perfect time to list your home. Two southeast Michigan realtors provide tips for selling your home.

Tulips blooming, birds chirping, baseball practices at the park, for sale signs perched on front lawns … what do all these things have in common? They’re all signs of spring. Starting in March listings – and sales – start to climb as people put their homes up for sale.

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home sometime in the near future, it’s time to take a good look at what you need to prep your house to list it for sale. Here, two local realtors provide home selling tips for those of you who are asking, “how to sell my house?”

Start packing

You’re planning on moving anyway, right? So, the first key to prepping your home for sale is to clean out your house working one room at a time. Organize items you still need to use and any extra items either get rid of, donate or pack away in preparation for your move.

Clear countertops

The kitchen is a big draw for homebuyers so you want to make it as inviting as possible, explains Conne Terova, a Real Estate One realtor based in Milford. “Take everything off except what’s absolutely necessary.”

Buy some paint – and brushes

“A $30 can of paint can be worth $3,000 when you sell your house,” notes Terova. If any of your rooms haven’t been painted in awhile, it’s time to freshen them up with a new coat. You should also take a good look at the baseboards, clean them first and if they still look worn paint those, too.

Organize your closets

When buyers walk through your home they’ll be opening up closets, cabinets, and other storage places. The last thing you want is for them to see blankets and towels cramped into the closet making it feel small. “Closets are huge when it comes to home buyers,” says Magen Larsen, a realtor with 17 years experience in the southeast Michigan area who currently works for Real Estate One in Ann Arbor. She advises you take everything out of your closet. Box and pack away most of your linens and then leave just a few well-organized towels and blankets in the space.

Stage when necessary

You want to help buyers envision themselves living and enjoying the home. For example, if your basement is finished but empty, you might want to add furniture or toys to suggest how the space could be used.

Clean your carpets

“The number one thing that can turn off a buyer is if your home has an odor,” says Terova. The smell of smoke or pet urine is a real turn off. Terova suggests that you have your carpets professionally cleaned if you have any concerns about smells, even lingering cooking odors.

Wash your doors

“Take a washcloth and clean off all your doors,” recommends Larsen. All those accumulated fingerprints and smudges will need a good scrubbing. Pay special attention to your front door where buyers will be standing while the realtor is unlocking the door to go inside. Get rid of cobwebs and consider adding flowerpots or some other inviting landscape element.

Check out your curb appeal

Imagine homebuyers driving up to your house and think through what they see to give you an idea what you may need to spruce up. Trim down bushes, weed flowerbeds and put down new mulch. “The saying is that buyers make a decision within the first 30 seconds about whether they don’t want your house,” explains Larsen. “You want their first impression to be a good one.”

Dig out receipts

As part of listing your home, and one of the tips for selling your home, you’ll want to point out the age of the roof, windows, carpets and large appliances. Find your purchasing paperwork for these items so you can answer any buyer questions.

Call a realtor

Your realtor can also help you evaluate what you need to do to prepare your house to go on the market. He or she will walk through your home with you to point out areas that might need additional attention.


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