Tips For Getting Your House Ready To Sell

Selling your home in an uncertain economy may seem like a frightening experience. Just a few years ago, it seemed like multiple purchasers were lined up with offers. Today, properties can sit unsold for 6-24 months without any action. How can you successfully sell in a challenging real estate market and get the best price possible? It’s all about differentiating your property from the others and the following home staging tips are a great start in doing just that:

  • Create an atmosphere in the house that will appeal to a wide range of potential home buyers. Your particular likes and dislikes are not important so discard them now. De-personalize!
  • A big part of home staging involves replacing clutter with cleanliness. Purge, purge, purge! Err on the side of minimalism in every room. After that, clean, clean, clean – hire cleaners if necessary but trust me, the more effort you put into this step, the more you will reap the rewards.
  • The exterior should also be clean. You may need to pressure wash the siding and decks or other exterior areas. Everything that looks cluttered or messy should be removed. Don’t worry too much about the garage if you need to store boxes/items there.
  • Remove all of the clutter from the bathroom countertops, from the tubs, from the shower stalls and especially the commode tops. Coordinate your shower curtains, towels and rugs. Create a spa-like feel.


The following are more tips for getting your house ready to sell:

There are fewer buyers in the market at the moment and you need to entice one of them (at least). Therefore your home must compare favorably to the others listed in your area. It needs to be memorable!

There is a wide range of things you can do to enhance both the value of your home as well as the curb appeal. Ask yourself “how well does your home show to prospective buyers?”

1. The Exterior.

The first thing that people will notice is the exterior of your house. It sets the tone for their visit. If a buyer is turned off by the outside of the house, they may not care much for the inside either.

  • Mow & water the lawn and/or shovel the snow regularly. It should be well kept at all times. Remember, some people may drive by just to look at the house before coming to an official open house.
  • Pick up any trash. Unfortunately, trash sometimes makes its way into our yards. You don’t want buyers to see this, so make sure to pick it up right away.
  • Plant some flowers or add an attractive wreath in winter. Flowers freshen the place up or in winter spruce up your front door with an attractive wreath or outdoor planters/decor.
  • Clean your exterior if possible – just a good scrub can make it look brand new.

2. The Interior.

Now that you’ve got them inside the house, you still need to make a good impression. The inside of your home should feel cozy and invite.

  • Wash the windows and open the blinds/curtains. It will make the house seem brighter and more spacious. Natural light is so important to most people.
  • Every inch of your house should be clean. If this is not your strong point, hire a professional to come in and do the dirty work. Then you just have to do a few touch-ups here and there. I cannot emphasize this point enough.
  • Eliminate any unnecessary furniture and stash some of your knick-knacks. Potential buyers want to be able to imagine the home as their own. Your furniture is hindering their imagination. Depersonalize & clear out your clutter.
  • Take out half of the clothes in each closet, rehang what you have on matching hangers. Do the same for any overstuffed drawers, cabinets. If buyers see that you don’t have enough room for your stuff, they assume there certainly won’t be enough room for theirs.
  • If there are small repairs that are easy to do, then do them. Retouch chipped paint, replace the weather stripping that has hanging off of the back door for years etc… just little things. Look critically at your house and think like a buyer.
  • Increase the wattage of your lights and ensure there are no burnt out light bulbs. Bright is better and instant light is preferred – avoid the bulbs that take 5 minutes to get their maximum wattage. Buyers will be in and out of the room long before that.
  • If you have pets, try and remove any evidence of them – clean litter boxes thoroughly, remove pet droppings from the yard, remove or hide pet toys or structures. Many buyers are put off or have allergies to certain types of animals. The best thing to do during your listing period is have someone you trust take your pets so that showings can be done easily without having to remove your pets each time a request comes in.
  • Avoid the use of strong plug in fresheners as many people find these strongs scents off putting or wonder what scent the seller is trying to hide. The smell of vinegar or a good pure cleaning product is always welcome.

The preparation for listing and selling your house might seem onerous but you have one chance to make a good first impression and this preparation will pay off!

Please contact Livia (403-542-1112) or Brendan (403-560-1673) of McCabe-Hughes Real Estate Inc and let’s discuss your particular situation. Email or