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What low to no cost preparations can I make to best prepare my home for marketing?

I recently worked with a seller on a very tight budget who was hoping to receive top dollar for his home. He wanted to know what he could do to present his home in its’ best light without any serious expenditures. Without any expense whatsoever, to be more accurate. It is easy to advise a seller when they are willing to dish out some money to get their home in tip-top-shape; it is harder to do so when the budget is zero. 

To start him off, I gave him the following tips:

A home’s curb appeal gets buyers in the door. Your goal for your home’s exterior is to create a clean, polished look that says that your home is valuable and well-maintained. This means that despite the season, so long as there is no snow covering up the mess that is your yard, you need to get outside and rake last fall leaves away. The dead weeds growing out of the flower boxes? They need to go to.

If you have a few dollars to spend, rent a power washer and power wash your decks. A little goes a long way and this clean up tool will instantly give your home a fresh clean look.

Moving inside, it is time to pack up everything that you own that is not a necessity. Everywhere – every corner of your home, in and out, and yes this includes the basement and garage, should be CLEAN AND UNCLUTTERED! Leave behind only those items that compliment the home. If HGTV would approve the item (yes I know you are addicted to their shows) it can stay. If you hesitate over something and wonder if it should stay or go, it should go. Pack it.

Once you are packed up, have your home professionally cleaned. I know many of you, my best friend included, who is an absolute neat freak and cleans 24-7 around the house. But you will regardless need to get into all those nooks and crannies you never even notice anymore. The things you overlook in your home will surprise you. This is where your friends and realtor come in handy. 

Don’t forget the other senses – not just sight. People’s sense of smell in your home plays a big role in their feelings about a house. If you have pets, this means that you have to get their smell out of your house. This could require as much as ripping up your carpets.  You may need to enlist your realtor and friends to help you with this too. You are used to all the smells in your home – you are not going to notice what odors are lingering like an outsider will. If your realtor wrinkles up her nose and attempts breathing through her mouth only are she tours your home you have some work to do.

These three items can do wonders to any home. And those friends I keep mentioning? If they owe you a favor now is a good time to give them a call. If you are good at playing up the guilt factor, the only thing you will need to buy in preparation for getting your house on the market is a pizza and a 6-pack.

Our team specializes in personalized assessments of your home’s present-ability. While the above are some general words of advice from Rita, our staging consultant, maximizing the marketability of every home requires an individualized approach. Contact us today to walk with you through your own house. Our advice, as always, is both cost and obligation free. 

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