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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Home to Show

preparing your home to show

Preparing your home to show to potential buyers can feel stressful. You want it to look lived in but not too lived in, and then there’s the daily stress of not knowing when the realtor is going to call with a surprise showing. So we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to preparing your home to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the big things, and you have the opportunity to attend to some little fixes that make a big difference. Buyers will be impressed when you’re finished with this list, we swear.

Consider replacing outdated appliances

It may seem like this is overkill, but outdated appliances can mean potential buyers see the entire home as outdated. Shiny new appliances can easily make your investment worthwhile when you watch the higher offers roll in.

Replace bad plumbing and faulty water heaters

Potential buyers will look if they’re smart – and if they notice that they would need to replace things immediately, they’re likely to lower their offer. Simplify the process and let them be impressed with the knowledge that they won’t have to worry about plumbing for a long time to come.

Replace the bathroom vanity if it looks outdated

Let’s be honest, the ’70s didn’t have great taste in bathroom decor. Scratched or warped mirrors and rusty toothbrush holders that once seemed “vintage”, they’ve all got to go. Homebuyers want to see a clean, sanitary bathroom vanity! Similarly, consider replacing the toilet seat. It’s the little things, right? Add these to your checklist for getting your house ready to sell.

What’s on your floors?

Today’s homebuyers want hardwood and tile. These floor coverings are easier to keep clean of smells and stains. They also allow for greater personalization with area rugs and, in today’s home decor trends, are highly in demand. As such they will increase the value of your home!

Give everything a fresh coat of paint

It makes a huge difference when potential buyers see clean, crisp walls. Paint brightens up the whole space, making everything look clean and well-cared-for. If you have a room that has a lot of stains on the current paint, make sure to prime the walls first to avoid having stains show through.

Updated lighting makes everything bright

If you have any old or grimy light fixtures, make a trip to the hardware store and replace them. Replace existing bulbs with soft lighting to give your home an appealing glow, and use the opportunity to replace that “retro” lamp in the kitchen with something a bit more… modern.

Scrub every single corner that could have mold

Mold is a giant red light for potential buyers, so make sure it is nowhere to be found. Use a mold-killing primer and paint for the bathroom ceiling if that’s been an issue, check behind the toilet fixtures, underneath the cabinets, and in the basement. Set a dehumidifier to run in any damp basement spaces for a good long time before any showings, and consider running air filters in your home too.

Style your home

Pillows and throw blankets, a slipcover for the sofa, luxurious linens and towels, all of these little touches will have potential buyers imagining their own beautiful home when they enter the space. The best part? You can take these with you when you leave!

Don’t forget the yard!

Depending on the season, you might put a little extra attention into the garden, mow the lawn and trim the hedges, clean up any walkways and tidy up any outbuildings like sheds or playhouses for the kids. Take a look at your home from the sidewalk: would you >buy it? Make it look attractive!

De-personalize and clean, clean, clean

Take down photos of you and your family, move your toothbrushes and other personal items, and give buyers space to imagine themselves in your home. Then clean, clean clean! Windows, mirrors, everything needs to be decluttered and tidy. You could consider putting some of your belongings in self-storage to make more space for the open house.

On the day of the open house…

Do one more final clean-up, put fresh flowers on the table, and adjust the climate controls. Consider baking cookies, fresh bread, or something else that will make the house smell inviting!

All of these fixes and details may seem like a lot, but they will be worth the investment when you can get a higher asking price for your home. Best of luck in the selling process!