Prepare Your House for Listing Day

As Winter drags on here in Iowa, continued cold temperatures and more snow mean more time spent indoors. While there are downsides to being cooped up, if you’re in the market to sell your house soon- now is a great time to prepare the inside of your house for its upcoming listing day!

Although the task of prepping your home might feel overwhelming, some thoughtful planning and a little bit of elbow grease can go a very long way. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression after all, and you can follow some simple concepts to get your house ready to sell and make a positive impression on your future home buyer prospects.

Paint-
Interior paint colors are very important. Paint colors invoke feelings and affect our moods so it’s generally best to use neutral shades and steer clear of any potentially offensive colors that evoke bad feelings.

Prospective home buyers typically have a difficult time visualizing a home’s potential so do not assume “they can just repaint it if they don’t like it”. We are a busy people. If a buyer sees a room he will need to repaint, that will translate into work. If a buyer sees door dings and scuffed baseboards he will need to touch up, that will also translate into work.

If you were a buyer, how much money would you pay for a house that needs work? Work equals time and money so impress your future home buyer with your home’s current condition. If you’re unsure about paint colors, just ask me!

Depersonalize-
When a potential home buyer walks through a home, he is trying to envision “could I live here”? Buyers are easily distracted by personal items left out in view such as family photos, personal documents with names on them, and knickknacks or collectibles.

The goal is to make your home buyer prospects envision your house as their new home. This is not the time to show off your affinity for pets with your ceramic cat collection or flaunt your impressive hunting skills with your antler collection. Failing to remove personal items will leave buyers with visions of who the people are that live there and make them unable to envision it as their future home.

Clean/Declutter-
Home buyers are very curious creatures who tend to complete a full investigation before making the big decision to purchase. When was the last time you wiped down your ceiling fan or cleaned your refrigerator coils? Is there dust on your windowsills? Unsightly things such as these can be red flags to buyers and lead them to believe the house has been neglected.

Do you have multiple seasons of clothing in your closet? Do you have extra pieces of furniture in your living room? Too much clutter is another red flag to prospective purchasers who may begin to wonder “will all of my belongings fit here”?

Don’t rely on a buyer to overlook that space you’ve been neglecting. Clean any area in your home that is dirty and pack up and label any unnecessary items or furnishings in boxes or totes. If you have a lot of extra furnishings, consider renting a storage unit. Preparing these things now will not only make your house appear more attractive, it will also make the upcoming move and closing day easier for you.

Repair-
If the storm door screen is torn, replace it. If the hinges on the door are loose, tighten them. If the caulk in the bathroom is peeling, reapply it. While these repairs may seem insignificant, nothing screams house neglect more than visible issues.

Replace your furnace filter and ensure the house appears to be lived in, yet cared for and well-maintained. There are many resources online for do it yourself repairs. If it’s something major or beyond your skill level, hire a repairman.

Final touches-
Remember: it’s human nature for us to view our homes subjectively. When you believe you’re ready to list yourFor sale sign house, invite your real estate agent and some trusted friends over to walk through and point out any remaining areas of concern. They can view your home objectively so don’t take criticisms personally. A well-planned presentation will soon payoff in intrinsic rewards and financial gains for you!