Prepare Your House for the Market

We are often asked by clients who are thinking of listing their homes what to do to get ready, even if selling is months or even a year away. KMS Partners can help you prepare for your transition in many ways. We will visit your home to make suggestions about what could be addressed to make the house more saleable and worth more money at the end. We can also help you find suitable vendors to do needed repairs, staging, painting etc. As the time draws near to put your home on the market, consider the following points:

Say to yourself, "I'm ready to let this home go and move on" Focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.

Check Curb Appeal. If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because they don't like the exterior of your home, they'll never get inside.

  • Keep the sidewalks cleared.
  • Mow the lawn. Put away all the equipment too!
  • Paint faded window trim. Repair any wood rot.
  • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion.
  • Trim your bushes.
  • Paint fences and decks if needed.
  • Clean the gutters and straighten out the downspouts.
  • Paint the Front door and threshold. Make sure the front door is easy for a realtor to unlock and that the door handles are easy to open.

De-Clutter. We all collect an amazing amount of junk. Think of this process as a start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

  • If you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it. Get the dumpster!
  • If you can't bear putting the stuff you no longer need in a dumpster, plan a tag sale or donate it.
  • Remove most of your books from bookcases.
  • Pack up those knick knacks and shells from the beach.
  • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can quickly be stored in a closet.

De-Personalize. Put away photographs and family heirlooms. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls. Buyers lack vision and family photos distract them every time.

Prep your Kitchen.

  • Stack dishes neatly.
  • Clean those counter tops and clear them off. No one wants to see your toaster oven.
  • Clean the oven and refrigerator.
  • Flowers and new dish towels will help.
  • Pick up Fido's water dish

Merchandise Bedroom Closets. Buyers will open closets and cabinet doors. They are nosey!

  • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
  • Store items out of season.
  • Not too many items on the floor
  • Line up shoes. And deodorize them!

If everything is well organized they will think you take good care of the rest of the house as well.

Rent a Storage Unit for extra furniture. Almost every home shows better with less furniture.

  • Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways.
  • Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger.
  • Leave just enough furniture in each room to show the room's purpose and leave plenty of room to move around.

Remove and Replace Favorite Items. If you want to take window coverings, mirrors or lighting fixtures with you, remove them before going on the market. Take down the chandelier in the dining room if it has sentimental value. If buyers never see it, they won't want it. You will need to replace removed fixtures with something else though. You don't want to leave wires hanging down.

Minor Repairs.

  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that don't close properly or squeak. WD-40 can be a great help.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs with high watt bulbs.
  • Service heating and AC equipment.
  • Clean or replace old worn out carpets with new ones or expose the hardwood floors underneath.
  • Install or test your CO2 and smoke detectors. Connecticut has a new law about these detectors.
  • Paint the interior rooms with neutral colors. Fresh paint makes a big impact.

Garage and Basement. Make the garage and basement an asset - these areas are often overlooked and the last places that get attention. These are the catch-all areas where everything goes that has no other place to go, so it’s usually a mess. If your garage and basement are neat, the buyer will think you've taken good care of your house everywhere else.

  • Paint the floors with heavy gray epoxy paint.
  • Paint the walls a flat white.
  • Get rid of old or unused tools and garbage cans.
  • Get rid of old paint cans.

Clean the House!

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Hang up fresh towels.
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors will send those buyers out the door!
  • Wash the dogs. Put their toys away.
  • Clean the kitty litter before each showing. Seriously, every time!

Be Objective:

  • Go outside and open your front door. Do you want to go inside? Is your house welcoming you?
  • Imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense. We have stagers to help you if needed.
  • Make sure window coverings hang level. Remove heavy curtains.
  • Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Do you want to hang out there?
  • If it looks like no one lives in the house you're almost finished.

Call KMS Partners to help you with suggestions, vendors and smart tips to help you get your house ready for the market..