Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Impress Buyers

It’s a given that people are much more aware of their surroundings when they enter into an unfamiliar place and less apt to notice details in spaces that they are exposed to often, such as their workplace and home. While this may be a common trait, it can be a big disadvantage for the homeowner who is trying to prepare their home for viewing by prospective buyers.

Chances are, prospective buyers will see – and remember – condition and cleanliness issues and even odors that are not even on the seller’s radar when looking at homes. If you are preparing your home for sale and wondering how it will rate with the qualified buyers you hope to impress, use these handy tips to make sure every area of your home is ready to impress at each and every showing appointment.

Floors, Carpets, Rugs, and Mats

The first area to double check for cleanliness, signs of wear, and damage is the flooring in your home. Pet stains, spills, raveled edges, and general signs of wear in high traffic areas will all be noted by the buyer. In addition, carpets, rugs, and mats can harbor odors that will not be attractive to buyers.

To make sure that your home’s flooring works for you when showing your home, consider replacing heavily worn or outdated flooring before putting your home on the market. The look and feel of new carpeting under a prospective buyer’s feet can do a great deal to convince them that the home is indeed “move-in ready” and the end result will likely more than justify the cost. It can be helpful to identify which improvement projects are best left to a professional, and which projects can be done with some time and effort on your end.

Walls, Ceilings, Doors, Baseboards, and Trim

These surfaces are the natural landing zone for prospective buyer’s eyes as they enter each room of the home, so it is important to make sure they do their part. Before putting your home on the market, take time to take stock of these surfaces in each room. If they are cracked, scuffed, faded, or just grimy, take time to repair the drywall or plaster and repaint the surfaces. 

Like new carpet, new paint will even help each room feel fresher and more vibrant and, as a bonus, some types of paint can even help to remove stubborn odors like cigarette smoke, cooking smells, or those caused by pets. If your walls do not need to be repainted, make sure to wash or vacuum them as needed, remembering to dust or wipe baseboards, trim boards, window, and door frames, as well.

Windows and Window Coverings

Natural light streaming through a sparkling clean window will give an entire room a soft glow that buyer’s find very attractive, so take time to examine the windows in your home. To begin, make
sure that they are spotlessly clean, inside and out, including the sills, screens, and interior and exterior frames. If panes are missing, cracked, or sporting a rock chip, take time to have the glass repaired before the home is listed or photographed for the market.

In addition, make sure to remove dark window coverings and replace them with sheer curtains or blinds that will still provide a bit of privacy without blocking that all-important natural light.

Interior and Exterior Lighting

Another key factor in making your home show well is to make sure that it is well-lit and that all light fixtures, lamps, and wall switches are clean, attractive, and working during each showing. Dirty light fixtures, cracked switch plates (or those adorned with tape to prevent their use), empty sockets, and burned out bulbs may leave a negative impression in a buyer’s mind and make them wonder if there is a problem with the home’s wiring.

Banish the potential for those doubts by taking time to thoroughly clean or replace switch plates, install working bulbs and clean all lamps, light fixtures, globes, and ceiling fans thoroughly before showing.

Discuss Your Home’s Condition With Your Agent

For more helpful ideas on what to do to prepare your home for showing, consider asking your real estate professional to tour your home with you, inside and out. Take time to note each issue found and ask for ideas on the best ways to address them. Discuss your budget and timeframe honestly and ask them to help you prioritize the work that will need to be done before the home is listed.

Your real estate professional can also help with referrals to reputable contractors in your area, should you need professional help with any of the preparations. Because they work with buyers on a daily basis, they will be able to give you good advice to make sure that your home is ready to make a positive impression during each and every showing.