Prep Your Home for Sale

Of course, each situation is different, and knowing what repairs or updates your house needs to stand out in your local area is critical. Your real estate advocate at The Realty Shop knows the ins and outs of the market in your specific area. We will help you identify the places where you should and shouldn’t spend your time and money to prep your home for sale. Take a look at the list before for some of the most common prep action items we recommend when getting ready to sell:

1. Declutter, depersonalize, and deep clean

This is the number one step across the board to prep your home for sale when you want to list competitively. You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves in the home from moment they drive up and walk through the door. You want them to see all of the beautiful features without focusing on any dirt and grime or crowded closets and cabinets. Cramped rooms full of furniture and clutter make it hard to move around in and challenging to envision the space. You’ll want to consider removing family photos and other personal items as well. 

This goes for basements, garages, and attics as well. Storage spaces often become a cluttered mess. Give them a good dusting, sweeping, and decluttering, or at least organize any boxes and piles.

Need help with cleaning or junk removal? We have several trusted vendors we can recommend to help get your home cleaned and cleared.

2. Boost the curb appeal

A great first impression begins at the curb. A little spruce up of the front yard can boost your ROI with minimal effort, or you can opt to refresh with new landscaping. You’ll also want your entry to be welcoming and inviting to each potential buyer that comes to see the home. Here a few ways to make it happen when your prep your home for sale:

  • Cut and maintain grass
  • Mulch around trees and flower beds
  • Professional landscape upgrades
  • Install new garage doors
  • Paint home exterior
  • Remove any cobwebs or nests
  • Replace your welcome mat
  • Decorate with potted plants
  • Update light fixtures
  • Paint or replace the front door
  • Sweep the porch and walkway
Prep Your Home Curb Appeal
Photo Courtesy of Realty Shots

3. Consider pressure washing

Especially in the Missouri heat and humidity, it’s common for mold and mildew to grow on the exterior of a home. This can be an unsightly first impression for many buyers. You can hire a professional, though most home improvement stores offer pressure washer rentals at a reasonable price. You can use them on decks, patios, siding, walkways, driveways to make them look as good as new.

4. Refresh paint

A good neutral shade of a fresh coat of paint is a great way to revitalize any home. In recent years, we’ve seen grey, griege, beige, and various warm white hues dominate housing trends. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a pop of color though! Just try to opt for a natural, muted green, brown, or blue versus a bright orange or turquoise. Here a few of 2022’s most popular neutrals from Sherwin Williams:

Prep Your Home Paint Color SW Repose Gray
Prep Your Home Paint Color SW Crushed Ice
Prep Your Home Paint Color SW Agreeable Gray
Prep Your Home Paint Color SW Accessible Beige
Prep Your Home Paint Color SW Drift of Mist

5. Neutralize odors

You’ve likely seen those Febreze commercials that highlight people going “nose-blind” to the odors in their home…and that’s a real thing to be conscious of when getting ready to sell. While we don’t recommend spraying your home down with air fresheners, there are different steps you can take to neutralize odors from pets, smoking, and cooking. 

Opening the windows and having a fan circulate the air is a great first step, as is utilizing baking powder throughout the home. However pet odors, especially from cat urine, are a common issue that will likely take more drastic measures like replacing the carpet AND floorboards. 

You don’t want to be overwhelmed by odors or plugins, sprays and candles. You want the home to have a nice, neutral, clean smell. 

Need help mitigated any odors in the home? We’re happy to recommend someone from our list of trusted experts as you prep your home.

6. Let the sun in

A little sun goes a long way in making a room feel larger, brighter, and more inviting. Consider opening your window treatments and blinds before any potential buyers step foot in your home.

7. Consider professional staging

While it may seem like an unnecessary added expense, professional staging can increase your home’s value by 6-10% on average based on research conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). A well staged home can help buyers envision themselves living there, which in turn will them more likely to put in an offer. 

At The Realty Shop, we offer several staging options from full staging of key rooms (living room, dining room, primary bedroom, etc), staging your current furniture and decor in an aesthetic way, and virtual staging of vacant rooms. 

Before In-Home Staging
After In-Home Staging

8. Think about the small details

Little things like replacing light bulbs, wiping down switches and door knobs, taking out the garbage and recycling, and adjusting the thermostat to a comfortable temperature can make a big difference in a potential buyers experience in your home. Look through a buyer’s lens and don’t neglect the small details as you prep your home.

9. Get a pre-listing inspection

This is an often overlooked step when it comes to preparing your home for sale. We are happy to offer this service to all of our clients, as it helps prevent any surprises from popping up down the road when the home is under contract. A pre-listing inspection is just what it sounds like—a professional home inspector will go through the home just as they would when a buyer purchases an inspection. 

Your inspector will find any minor or major issues that need to be addressed and could prevent a buyer from making it to the closing table. You’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to negotiating buyer-requested repairs. A pre-listing inspection can also help determine the price of the home and encourage more substantial offers by instilling confidence in potential buyers. 

10. Be honest in the seller’s disclosure

Whether you get a pre-listing inspection or not, you still need to report any known issues in the seller’s disclosure document. You real estate advocate will review this with you in depth, but there are serious legal implications if you fail to disclose known issues such as leaking sinks, cracks in the foundation, mold, or basements that flood.

You can learn more about out Missouri’s mandated disclosures here.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to sell your home, its important to understand the key steps to prep your home for sale in today’s market. Before you get started making updates and improvements, be sure to contact a trusted real estate advisor—like the ones at The Realty Shop. We will be able to share which updates buyers are looking for most, what documents you’ll need to get started, and provide additional advice to net you the best return on investment (ROI).

Contact The Realty Shop today to get started with a complimentary Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or find out how much your home is worth with our Home Valuation Tool.