The real estate market remains hot in Central Kentucky (REALLY!  Houses are selling right now!)  we get calls all the time from folks who’d like to sell but need a good plan to prepare their house for market.   This plan sets homeowners up for success, and we walk them through the process all the time.  Here are some of our most common suggestions.

If you can’t see the floor, you can’t see past what’s on it.

Walk in closets, bedrooms, basement storage areas, whatever the space, less is more.

Yes, you’ve heard to de-clutter before, but there’s a little more to it.  The objective is to remove as much as possible to create a clear and open space to allow the purchaser to envision THEIR belongings in the room.  Rent a portable storage unit, store out-of-season items, use under bed storage boxes to create closet space.  Clear out non-essential kitchen and bathroom items, all the DVD’s and magazines in the entertainment center, whatever you can eliminate from the room, while allowing it to still feel homey.  When potential buyers tour your house, the objective is for them to wonder if someone lives there or if it’s been staged.

Yes! Paint! Paint well.

Sure, a new coat of paint makes a WORLD of difference.  And it goes a long way when buyers walk into a newly painted home.   The key is to complete a meticulous paint job yourself, or hire a great painter to do it for you.  If you’ve never painted before, it may be better leave it to someone who has.  Paint on doorknobs, light switches, trim or slightly uneven corners can say “DIY” to buyers, which may make them wonder about the caliber of construction of the rest of the house.  Estimates from professionals may be more reasonable than you’d expect.  And, can save you time and effort.  We keep our painter on speed dial!

Once again, floors can make a sale or break a sale.

Homes can remain on the market for MONTHS without an offer because of worn, dirty or just plain outdated flooring.  Carpet allowances are often offered, but most buyers want to move in without having to make those arrangements.   We took over a listing after 6 months on the market and encouraged the homeowner to install new carpet (the installer moved the furniture).  It sold and closed in less than 2 months.

Create an attractive first impression to compliment the interior.

Landscaping, front door, shutter condition, and walkways reflect the maintenance of the home.  Every aspect of the exterior of the home should reveal attention to upkeep.  Paint the front door if it needs it, a neutral color like black may be good.  Clear out faded landscaping and weeds, set out a new layer of mulch.  Cut in more defined bedding edges.  Consider if the landscaping needs to be minimized.  Is it time to remove those shrubs that line the entire home?   What is the condition of the windows?  Is it time for replacement or professional cleaning?  And lastly, create an inviting front porch experience if you have the space; a tasteful wreath, a pot of flowers.

By walking through your house and making a list of things in need of update (every house has them) you’ll be much closer to being market ready.  And, we’re always available to help!

The Bells are Mother Daughter real estate professionals dedicated to helping buyers and sellers make the Lexington, Kentucky, area home.