Updated: Feb 24
As a full-time Realtor and mom-of-three, I know that getting your home ready to sell can feel overwhelming, especially when you add work and kids into the mix. With the market so hot, and homes for sale in such high demand, many sellers are wondering, “do I HAVE to do all the prep work, or can I cut some corners and just list my home how it is now?”
And while, yes, we are experiencing a seller’s market (there are more people trying to buy homes than there are selling) and some homes on the market are selling for record highs; receiving multiple offers and selling above list price and above appraised value, not all homes are.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I would be quite reluctant to buy a house, likely for above list price and above appraised value, that has dingy walls, smelly carpets and a long list of to-do items like leaky faucets and broken hinges that were never taken off the list.
So, back to the original questions… do you HAVE to prep? Only if you want to walk away from your home sale having extra coin in your bank account after receiving multiple offers.
Don’t believe me? Ok. Here are the numbers:
According to Forbes.com, “a staged home will sell for 17% more on average than a non-staged home” and a National Association of Realtors survey found that 82% of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
Now that I have convinced you to invest a little time and money into selling your home, let’s get started. A lot of my clients find it helpful for me to break down the process into steps so that it feels a little more manageable. I always tell my clients, if you want to get TOP DOLLAR for your home, you need to PRESENT the best product (your home) possible. Make sense?
The first thing any potential buyer is going to do when they see a home they are interested in is drive by and check it out in person. They want to see what the home looks like and check out the neighborhood. So, the first goal is to give the front yard and exterior of your home a little spruce up. (Remember, you still have two more weeks before they get to see the inside of the house-plenty of time to get organized!)
Step 1: Curb Appeal
Fix anything that may be broken
Make sure exterior lights are working
Wash front windows & Front Door
Regular lawn maintenance
Not too bad right!?
Now that we have made a good first impression, our next goal is to wow them when they walk in. Most buyers will decide if they love, or hate, a home within the first few minutes of a home tour. Luckily, your home is already beautifully furnished, so this is going to be an easy job. The main goal is going to be de-personalizing so that buyers can imagine themselves living in the home.
Step 2: Living Room & Dining Room
Remove evidence of kids including artwork and toys
Remove photos or anything religious or political (yes, this includes the gallery wall) and patch walls
Replace light bulbs as needed
Fix anything that is broken like leaky faucets
Declutter and done!
Our next step is the kitchen and bathroom. Buyers are looking for kitchens that are clean, with clear counters and shiny appliances, and bathrooms that are clean with fresh white towels. Our goal is to let them see the home finishes, not the stuff.
Step 3: Kitchen & Bathrooms
Clear off counters and store anything you won't need in the next week (daily use items can be put away the night before, or day of, photography)
Deep clean appliances and cabinets, both inside and out
Remove kid art and magnets
Add fresh towels and flowers
Declutter and done!
Step 4: Family Room
Depersonalize by removing kid made art, photos, and anything religious or political
Hide electronic wires
Add fresh throw pillows and blankets
Buyers are looking for homes with bedrooms that feel like a retreat and offer plenty of storage space for their personal belongings.
Step 5: Bedrooms
Store clothes, bags, shoes out of sight.
Declutter table-tops and shelves
Add lamps to bedside table for ambient lighting
Add new white bedding and pillows
Quarantining completely changed the way we use our homes, and the backyard is no exception. Buyers are searching for homes with outdoor entertainment spaces to host friends and keep kids busy.
Step 6: Back Yard
Check that all exterior lights are working
Wash glass doors and backyard facing windows
Add comfy conversation areas - fire pits are very popular and inexpensive
All done! Your home is now de-cluttered, de-personalized and ready for photography.
Looking for some resources? I created a free step-by-step guide with instructions on how to get the most money for your home. Download my 30 Day Guide to Home Prep here.
If at any point home prep feel like too much, I’m here to help. My team and I can have your home ready to bring all the buyers to your yard in about 2 weeks, at NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. All my listings include:
Þ Professional Cleaning
Þ Storage Space
Þ Professional Media Package with video, drone, photos
Þ Individual Property Website
Þ Local Pricing Expert
Want to learn more about selling your home in Miami? Contact me, Janice Garcia, top Miami Realtor. I am here to answer all of your questions.