Selling a home or property is one of the biggest business deals that most Americans will ever handle. This can lead to a lot of stress and even frustration. While different real estate experts have different approaches to preparing a property for selling, owners can also help their property to stand out by spending some time, money and effort to getting that it ready. The goal is to make it appealing enough that buyers want to move in or consider it a good investment.

Improving the curb appeal

These are simple and relatively inexpensive steps a savvy owner can take:

  1. Get rid of clutter: Less is definitely more. Not only should countertops, shelves and surfaces be free from clutter, but closets, garages and basements should be cleared out – this gives buyers a blank canvas to project their own possessions into the living space. Be ruthless in throwing out or donating infrequently used items, old furniture and even toys no long age appropriate. Renting a storage locker is an option if there is a plan to use what is stored.
  2. Perform small repairs: Fix leaky faucets, broken appliances, cracked windows and holes in the walls. Touch up the paint if necessary. This all takes time, so a handyman is a good option if the seller does have skill or time to do these things. Specialists may be necessary for plumbing or other specific fixes.
  3. Do a deep clean: Once the clutter is gone, there is an opportunity to really clean. Dust those hard to reach places, clean windows inside and out, scrub or replace the grout in the bathroom, shampoo carpets and clean window treatments.
  4. Give the exterior some attention: A good first impression goes a long way when a buyer drives up to the property. Get the yard and garden landscaped, weeded and trimmed, and maybe add some potted plants. Toss broken, faded or tacky lawn furniture. Fix screens on windows and doors. Touch up the trim, particularly around doors.
  5. Keep it that way: Sellers will need to stay on top of upkeep and maintenance while the property is on the market – it is not uncommon for realtors to “stop by because they were in the neighborhood,” so keep the property presentable within a few minute’s notice. Consider hiring a cleaning service if this is too much for the owner to do.

Spend money to make money

Investing time and money into the preparation and sale of a property will generally pay dividends, particularly in a buyers’ market. Attorneys can also provide insight in handling the paperwork and titles, negotiations as well as closing once a buyer shows interest.