Ready to sell? Looking for ways to improve your listing’s marketability? Prepare your home for market ahead of time so it stands out from the local competition.

You may need to make minor repairs, do some deep cleaning, replace some things and add a few amenities and innovative security gadgets. Also, get your own home inspection, paint or power wash the exterior and add some appealing touches to it. Then, get a second opinion of your home’s curb appeal.

Think of this as a quick guide to help you do the most important thing you can do when listing your Atlanta home for sale: Prepare your home for market, so it looks like a gem in online images, videos virtual tours, as well as during in-person showings and open houses.

Leave Emotions OUT of Preparing Your Home for Market

Always remember, your home is yours. Even when you’re in the process of trying to sell it, there’s a nice amount of nostalgia that comes with decluttering, packing and just looking around your home accessing its condition and various situations.

No matter what, there are emotions involved. You’ve lived, loved and laughed in your home. And that alone makes you attached to it emotionally. But potential buyers are not. They have no sentiments or memories giving the home emotional value for them.

Therefore, with that in mind, you must think of ways to make them see the home as “theirs” visually. That way, you have the opportunity to tap into the emotions through a visually appealing piece of property they can see themselves enjoying someday.

How to Prepare Your Home for Market
Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

The Interior: Cheap, Easy Ways to Prepare Your Home for Market

Over the years, we start overlooking “minor” flaws in our homes. We learn to live with them and eventually forget they exist. But potential buyers and their buyers’ agents will certainly notice that leaking faucet, chirping smoke detector and rusty, ragged-looking door locks.

Simple home improvements can be just as valuable as kitchen and bathroom renovations. There are some easy tasks you can perform within the interior to help boost your home’s value while boosting your return on investment (ROI).

Here are some cheap and simple things you can do now to the interior of your home to get your listing looking cared for so buyers want to see more when viewing it from the curb:

Clean Up and Repair

  • Aerators & Faucets – Fix all leaky faucets. And clean up or replace those aerators to remove all the build-up from the water.
  • Bathtubs & Sinks – Seal up all those cracks in your sinks and bathtubs by doing a thorough re-caulking job. Be sure to do it neatly.
  • Carpets – Give them a deep cleaning. You can hire a professional or rent a carpet shampooer and do it yourself.
  • Cracks & Holes – Patch up any and holes and cracks in walls, doors, windowsills, etc… They make your home look unloved.
  • Tile – Cracks in your tile are very noticeable and unsightly. Be sure to do a thorough tile re-grouting project all over the house.
  • Windows – Give the interior of your home’s windows a thorough cleaning. Fix any cracks and replace any broken windows o windowsills.

Replace & Upgrade

  • Appliances – Make sure all of your appliances are immaculately clean and in working order. If you can’t replace them, remove them. But if you can invest some money into up-to-date matching appliances, including refrigerator, washer, dryer, microwave and dishwasher.
  • Doorbell – If your doorbell doesn’t work or looks dated or outdated, go ahead and replace it. Buyers will love seeing a brand-new smart doorbell camera for both better security and aesthetics.
  • Doorknobs & Deadbolts – Today’s superheroes of the lock industry are smart locks. They fall into various categories:
    • Keypad Locks
      • Bluetooth Smart Locks
      • Garage Door Locks
      • Keypad Locks
      • Wi-Fi Smart Locks
    • Deadbolt Smart Locks
      • Key-Fob Styled Smart Locks
      • Fingerprint Smart Locks
      • Smart Safes
      • Smart Bike Locks
  • Covers – Replace all broken, dingy light switches and electrical outlet covers. Try to ensure that they all match.
  • Light Bulbs – Replace all bulbs with new LED light bulbs. They look nicer, glow better and help save on energy costs.
  • Smoke Detectors – Change the batteries in all chirping smoke detectors. But if you really want to impress potential buyers, invest in smart carbon monoxide detectors and smart smoke detectors. Know when something’s wrong via alerts to your smartphone.
  • Toilet Seats – Change out all of your toilet seats. Choose seats that are warm, soft and comfy. Think about installing heated nightlight toilet seats or a self-cleaning bidet.

Add, Add, Add

  • House Plants – This is one of the ways to make a living space look loved and inviting. They are outstanding for decorating your home as well as staging the listing while you prepare your home for market.
  • Garbage Disposal – Homes without working garbage disposals tend to have plumbing problems. Plus, the process of having gunk built up in your sink is just downright disgusting. Ensure your garbage disposal is up-to-date and in working condition.
  • Motion Light Sensors – Install battery-operated motion light sensors in various places. Think hallways, your garage and inside of closets.
Prep your home for the market by deep cleaning the inside and outside of your windows.
Prep your home for the market by deep cleaning the inside and outside of your windows. Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Home Decluttering Tips for Prepare Your Home for Market

Whether viewing your listing online or in-person, you want buyers to see it as a gem. Clutter AKA “trash” distracts buyers from the positive potential the listing offers, especially its best features. When its time to prepare your home for market, be it Atlanta real estate or property located anywhere else, you must consider these four factors before taking pictures of your listing:

1. Overall Decluttering Tips

As yourself the following questions as you declutter your home to prep it for the real estate market:

  • Do I need this?
  • Do I still like it?
  • Have I used it in the past year?
  • If I decide to keep it, how and where will I store it?

2. Living Room Decluttering Tips

  • Get rid of old DVDs, video tapes and CDs (convert them to online content or save them to USB drives)
  • Get rid of books you’ve already read (donate them, give them away, sell them at yard sales)
  • Remove all sentimental items that buyers might find too personal (box them up and place them neatly in the garage or put them in storage)
  • Hang backpacks, jackets, towels and washcloths on the inside of cupboard or closet doors (use utility hooks or adhesive strips)
  • Clear off all surfaces so they only contain necessary and staged items (this is especially true for mementos, family photos, knickknacks, etc…)

3. Kitchen Decluttering Tips

  • Throw away all food you will never eat or that’s past their expiration dates (including food in cupboards, pantry, refrigerator and freezer)
  • Toss out appliances and utensils you have never and probably never will use (including mismatched dishes)

4. Bedroom Decluttering Tips

  • Purchase bins or pull out your suitcases to use and storage units for bedroom clutter
  • Pack up all clothing that’s not in season and store it off-site, if possible
  • Get rid of items in drawers you rarely use and divide the drawers into smaller compartments
  • Group cards, cords, jewelry and other smaller items together
  • If you haven’t worn it within the past year, donate it, sell it or give it away

5 Tips for Creating Excellent Exterior Curb Appeal

What is curb appeal? It’s the attractiveness of your home and the area surrounding it when viewing the property from the street curb. Because most listings include the property’s address, many potential buyers choose to drive by the property during the day and at night to check it out from the street. Make sure what they see entices them to schedule a showing ASAP.

Also, when people come to open houses and showings, if they don’t like what they see from the curb, many won’t even come inside to check out the rest of the home or they’ll send you low-ball offers. So, curb appeal is a must if you want to get the highest sale price possible for your home.

Here are five tips to help you improve your property’s exterior while you prepare your home for market:

1. Get Your Own Home Inspection

You must get your own home inspection done as soon as possible for a couple of reasons:

  • Buyer Confidence – Having a home inspection to show potential buyers and their buying agents ensures that they get full disclosure of everything “wrong” with the property. This increases buyer confidence in the property itself as well as you as a seller.
  • Seller Confidence – Gives you a full report of any defects in the real estate. This allows you to make changes, upgrades and fixes that increase the perceived and actual value of the home by making it more livable and enjoyable.
  • Concessions & Negotiations – Helps you understand why some offers may come with concessions, such as you not having to fix the HVAC in exchange for you paying the closing costs and points.

2. Pressure Wash Exterior

If you don’t own or want to invest in one, you can rent a good power washer from your local home improvement store or hire a professional. Use it to give the exterior of your home a thorough cleaning. Be sure to wash down the:

  • Outer Walls
  • Windows
  • Porches
  • Deck
  • Patio
  • Driveway
  • Walkways
  • Fencing
  • Siding
  • Gutters

3. Paint Your Home’s Exterior

Give the outside of your home a fresh, new coat of neutral-colored paint. This can completely change your home’s curb appeal on a drastic level. However, if this is not in the budget, paint any chipped, peeling or discolored areas. And definitely paint the trim using a neutral color.

4. Add Minor Touches and Additions

Make your home stand out from its comparables by sprucing up the exterior and making the landscaped look cared for and loved. Here are a few common upgrades known to change the game as you prepare your home for market:

  • Upgrade Mailbox
  • Replace Address Numbers
  • Add a New Welcome Mat
  • Install Pathway Lighting
  • Add Updated Porch Light
  • Install New Flower Boxes

5. Curb Appeal: Get a Second Opinion

Put a second… third… even fourth pair of eyes on the job. As your favorite neighbor, a good, honest friend or even your real estate agent for their opinions of your home’s curb appeal.

You never know. They may notice some things you overlooked or even have some good ideas for even more finishing touches.

Prepping Your Home for the Atlanta Housing Market

Looking for an Atlanta realtor to help you sell your home? You need someone who knows the local ATL housing market as well as how to stage your home while improving its overall curb appeal. Hire a professional with a track record of getting homes sold fast in your area.

To get the job done right, you need a real estate agent who also understands today’s technology and the art of marketing listings. Kereen Henry is Your New Age Realtor here in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.

Ms. Henry will get your listing on the market, promote it to qualified buyers and help you prepare your home for market to get you top dollar. Use the form below to schedule your free 30-minute one-on-one chat to discuss your selling options with Kereen today!

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