Prepping Your Home for Sale | Shelter Insurance®

Easy Ways to Prep Your Home for Sale

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If you've been thinking about selling your house, spring is a good time to do it. In winter, the weather is cold and could be sloppy, the holidays are a distraction and there are fewer buyers out looking. Besides, you'll be doing your spring cleaning anyway, so it's the perfect time to take it a step further.

Outside
Curb appeal is incredibly important if you're selling your house. If a buyer drives by and doesn't like what they see on the outside, why would they want to see the inside? And a sloppy, unkempt yard and exterior might scare buyers off because they will think the inside is just as bad.

Here are a few ways to improve the curb appeal:

  • Paint – Check the paint job on your house. If it's been awhile since you've painted, it may be due. If the paint is in good condition, freshen up the shutters, the front door and any trim. It's amazing how that can brighten up a house.
  • Clean – You might be surprised to see how much dirt can accumulate on your front door. If the paint color is in good shape, make sure the door itself is clean. If your house has stucco or vinyl siding, make sure there's no mold on it, and if there is, power wash it. If your house numbers are faded or outdated, get new ones.
  • Landscape – If your landscaping has weeds, pull them. Mow, trim, or fix any edging or paver stones that are out of place and remove climbing vines. You might consider planting some flowers to brighten things up.
  • De-Clutter – Make sure kids toys, bikes, etc. are put away.
  • Make Repairs – If shutters are falling off, nail them back on. If your roof or gutters are in need of repair, take care of that as well. These things are likely to come up on a home inspection, so you'd probably have to fix them anyway.

Inside
When you're getting the inside of your home ready to sell, the first thing you should do is de-clutter. This means cleaning out closets and basements, then selling or donating items you no longer need. This will make your closets look bigger, which is a huge selling point.

The next—and possibly most important—thing to do is give the rooms a good deep cleaning. This includes cleaning blinds, baseboards, doors, ceiling fans, heat registers, appliances, windows and more that you typically only need to do once or twice a year. 

Just as you did with the outside of your house, determine if any touch-up painting or repairs need to be done and take care of it. Once you've given the house a good cleaning, it will be easier to tell if baseboards, cabinets or doors are scratched or nicked.

The last step is to stage your home to sell. Part of staging is de-cluttering, but there are other things you can do to make your home more appealing: 

  • Rearrange furniture to make rooms look bigger. You might even consider moving some furniture to another room.
  • Increase the wattage of your light bulbs. According to HGTV.com, you should aim for 100 watts of lighting for every 50 square feet.
  • Paint adjacent rooms the same color. This can help two small rooms look larger. Be sure to stick with updated, neutral colors.
  • Put a vase of fresh flowers on the table when you know there will be a showing.
  • Make sure your home smells good. Bake something before a showing or throw some cinnamon sticks into a pan of boiling water to make your home smell inviting.
  • Paint or reface your cabinets. If your cabinets are a bit outdated,  this is an inexpensive way to give them an update.

Regardless of the time of year you sell your house, these updates can help make it more attractive to potential buyers. Who knows—you might make the updates and like them so much that you will decide not to sell!