Preparing your home to sell

In Indianapolis, the real estate market definitely is tightening up. Although there are still cases of homes being sold in a few days, the majority of homes are taking longer to sell right now. You absolutely must do everything you can to make your home stand out. Buyers know that if your home doesn’t look just right for them, they can easily move on to the next listing. The good news is that it is not difficult to get your home in tip-top shape before putting it on the market. Here are some ideas to help your home show better:

  • Increase curb appeal– of course, the first thing people see of your home is the outside, so be sure it draws positive attention. Plant a few seasonal flowers or small shrubs in the gardens, keep the grass cut and looking green, touch-up any peeling pant, add fresh mulch, be sure all childrens’ toys are put away, consider a new welcome mat. These simple steps can make a huge difference. If possible, be sure there are no cars in the driveway when your agent takes the photo of the front of the house. A good agent will take several front photos to be sure they get it right.
  • Repair what you can– If you know of anything that needs to be repaired, get to work on fixing it now! You may be used to the little things you have been putting off, but when buyers come along, any small problems can seem magnified in their eyes. Also, when they get their inspection done, a long list of items to fix can seem scary, even if they are little things. Think about getting your own inspection to keep the ball in your court. This way, you can fix problems before the buyers see them.
  • Paint and touch-ups— painting is not a major thing, but it can be a pain. If you accidently slipped and got your great wall color on the ceiling, go ahead and get up there to fix it. It your walls looks dirty or have little fingerprints all over, you may want to consider re-painting. Similarly, wild colors can be a turn-off. It is hard for buyers to see past those distractions, so just eliminate them from the beginning.
  • De-clutter as much as possible– closets look bigger with less in them, and your goal is to move out anyway, so start now. Go ahead and have a garage sale to get rid of unwanted items. Pack away personal items and nick-nacks. Your style may be wonderful and tasteful, but if it doesn’t fit someone else’s personality, it can be another distraction. Your collection of Disney memorabilia is certainly beautiful, but buyers are not there to look at Mickey, they are there to look at the house.
  • Clean, clean, clean— Carpets should be professionally steam-cleaned, it isn’t that expensive and it will make every bit of difference. Do a thorough cleaning now, and simply try to keep up with it when your home is listed. Always try to keep your home within 30 minutes of being ready to show. When you do have a showing, make sure the blinds are open, the pets are out of the home and things are picked up. Air fresheners are great, but be sure the smell isn’t too strong. Too much of a good thing can be too overpowering. The best way to improve the smell of your home is to move the pets out, stop smoking indoors if you smoke, and open the windows to air out the house when the weather permits.

If you would like help, I would be happy to walk through your house and help decide what needs to be done at the beginning of your listing. Carpenter Realtors offers a complete Home Merchandising Guide filled with tips and ticks to help “stage” your home.

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