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  • Writer's pictureKira Witherwax

All The Small Things

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Are you thinking about selling your house? Whether it’s now or down the road, “preparing to sell” can make all the difference. And, if you’re thinking “it’s a seller’s market, does it really matter…” Yes, always yes. Houses that are prepared to sell, will sell faster and for a higher price than those that are not.

While these tips may not yield you tens of thousands of dollars more, they just might.

When a potential buyer walks into a house one of 2 things starts to happen. They either start finding little things wrong and start a mental tally of all the things they’ll need to do and how much it will cost…. Or they walk in and start seeing how well maintained it is, how clean & organized it is and start picturing themselves there. That is the goal. The goal is not for them to think how fantastic it is that you don’t have extra clutter on your counters. The goal is they see the kitchen island and picture their kid doing homework there.

The first step is looking at your house with fresh eyes. We all look past our own clutter, smells, burned out light bulbs, etc. Invite your real estate agent over ahead of time and ask for advice. Is there a color, carpet, paint, etc. that is hard to look past? If a buyer walks in and can’t stop staring at the orange carpet, they are not going to see anything else. I also find it helpful to take a picture of a room on your phone and see what stands out. Does the room look “busy”? In real life it might look great, but in pictures, simple is better.

Cleaning and decluttering is your next step. Counter tops, dressers, end tables, etc. should have as little on them as possible. If you have a lot of knick knacks or pictures of family now is a great time to start packing some of those away for the move. Another part of this is having a purpose to each space. For example, if you have a dining room that is often home office as well, stage it as a dining room for pictures and showings. If you have a spare bedroom that holds toys, a guest bed and a computer desk, pick one. Having multiple uses for the same space makes it appear that you are out growing your home. Even if that’s true, that’s not the impression you want to give. Whether it’s true or not, they will assume it’s not big enough for them either.

Fix the small things. Most of us have an ongoing to do list of minor household repairs. Fix an outlet cover, re-calk the tub, clean marks off a wall, etc. These things that are cheap to fix are worth doing! And prior to potential buyers walking in your house. These are exactly the kinds of things that buyers will notice, and start making a list. If they have a running list of little things, they assume you’ve also not maintained the big things. The good news is the opposite is also true. If they don’t see a bunch of little things to do, they assume the whole house has been well maintained.

With just a little forethought you can be ready to put your best foot forward!

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