94 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster

Suggestions and ideas to improve your home's appearance and help you prepare to sell it faster! If you are thinking of selling your home, there are a number of things of can do to improve the overall impression made by your home.

But first, you must learn to look at your home through the eyes of the buyer.

Pre-Listing Home Makeover Checklist

person replacing light bulb

Brighten Up the Space

  • Install higher wattage light bulbs to show your home brightly- in it's best light.
  • Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures, and chandeliers to brighten the home.
person cleaning up closet

Declutter and Organize

  • Remove all clutter from each room to visually enlarge them.
  • Create the illusion of spaciousness.
  • Organize your closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage.
  • Improve traffic flow through every room and create a feeling of spaciousness in every room by removing unnecessary furniture, knick knacks, hobby items, children's items, etc. However, try to also avoid creating a "sterile" looking environment.
  • Remove all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, tool shed, and especially from the storage area if you have one.
  • Rent a storage area for these items or have a yard sale.
  • Straighten, tidy, and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Put unnecessary items in storage, or invest in under-the-bed storage boxes.
person washing window

Sparkle and Shine

  • Regardless of the season, tackle spring cleaning. Clean everything in your home from top to bottom, from the attic to the basement!
  • Wash all windows, inside and out.
  • Re-caulk if the caulking is not sparkling white!
  • Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them daily.
  • If the carpet does not clean up well, you should Replace It!.
  • Paint all inside walls with an off-white paint. Use two or more coats to cover bold, bright or dark walls.
  • All walls should be painted, not just washed. This will brighten the home and make it look bigger.
  • Clean or paint the basement walls and floors.
  • Clean, repair and paint all gutters and downspouts.
  • Make sure the garage door opens easily. Fix and paint the garage door if necessary.
  • Paint chimney and replace broken bricks or stones.
roof repair

Repairs and Improvements

  • Repair or replace all doors, closet doors, and/or windows and screens so that they open with ease.
  • Repair or replace banisters and handrails.
  • Repair or replace broken tiles on walls, floors or in showers/tubs.
  • If the basement shows any sign of water or structural damage, it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer's report.
  • Replace all toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean.
  • Replace all shower curtains and keep them clean.
  • Replace the washers in faucets and remove rust stains from basins.
  • All roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or replaced. If the roof leaks, Fix It!
staged bedroom

Stage for Success

  • Create a master "suite" effect in your decorating.
  • If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating.
  • Set the scene by setting the table! Highlight the potential of your dining room by setting a grand dining table!
  • Expand your counter space by removing small appliances.
  • Highlight an eat-in area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
  • Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors and putty any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps.
  • Depersonalize teenagers' rooms and decorate in a neutral temperament.
  • Repair or replace loose or dangling wallpaper.
  • Take pictures of your flowering, mature landscaping now, if you are planning to sell you home later in the season. Display these photos in your home in the winter time.
flowers at door entrance

Enhance Curb Appeal

  • Ensure all doors, including screen doors, work well.
  • Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorating accents, mirrors, rugs, etc., and by removing all unnecessary clutter.
  • Mailboxes should be evaluated with a critical eye.
  • Paint and repair the mailbox or replace it, if necessary.
  • Make all those minor repairs to the exterior.
  • Paint all entrance doors.
  • Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace if the color has faded. Remove windsocks.
  • Create an outside living/dining area with furniture and plants.
  • Highlight your pool area, water garden, etc., with lighting, benches, planters, flowering plants, etc.
  • Take nighttime photos of decorative yard lighting systems.

The Ultimate Showing Prep Guide

nice home entrance

Fresh and Welcoming Home

  • Fix the Front Door Bell!
  • Invest in a new door mat.
  • Make sure the front door, storm door, screen door, etc. all work wonderfully!
  • Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorating accents, mirrors, rugs, etc., and by removing all unnecessary clutter.
  • Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios, and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept, and in good condition.
  • Remove all smoke odors, pet odors, and odors resulting from hobbies.
living room with sunlight

Enhance Your Home's Glow

  • Open the draperies, pull up the shades, and let in the sunlight.
  • Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights, day or night. Open the curtains during the day.
person spraying air freshener in home

Ensure Your Home Smells Inviting

  • Keep your home dusted and vacuumed at all times.
  • Air out your home one half hour before the showing if possible.
  • Lightly spray the room with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse and air before the buyer arrives.
  • Microwave a small dish of vanilla twenty minutes before the showing and place it in an out-of-the-way-place in the kitchen.
bathroom towels on sink

Prepare Bedrooms and Bathrooms for Viewers

  • Have a family emergency "game plan" to get the home in order quickly if necessary.
  • Make sure that beds are made and the linens and curtains are fresh and clean.
  • Curtains should be fresh, clean and attractive.
  • Place fresh towels and decorative soaps for showings.
  • Bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean.
  • Do not leave towels around and wipe down the shower areas after each use.
  • Put out fresh towels and decorative soaps for showings.
person watering garden

Plant Care for an Inviting Atmosphere

  • Water and prune all plants.
  • Use plants in transitional areas of your home between inside and out.
  • Either get rid of dying plants or keep them out of sight.
clean yard with cut lawn

Maintain Your Garden and Yard

  • Keep the yard mowed, raked, fertilized and watered at all times!
  • Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash, etc., from the yard.
  • Trees and shrubs should be pruned and trimmed.
  • Lawns and gardens should be weeded at all times.
  • Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkways and patio.
  • Firewood should be neatly stacked or out of sight.
  • Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if necessary.
  • All hoses and garden equipment should be neatly out of sight.
person cleaning kitchen cabinet

Sparkling Spaces

  • The kitchen should always be kept spotlessly clean.
  • Remove all grease form range hoods, ovens, stove tops, walls, etc.
  • Clean rubbish out of fireplace and keep it clean in the winter.
  • Open doors to areas you want the potential buyer to see, such as walk-in closets, pantries, attics, basements, etc.
  • Close all other closet doors and cabinets.
  • Make the most of your attic's potential.
  • Make the attic as pleasant as possible by airing it out and decorating it.
  • Add visual appeal to stairways, especially unfurnished stairways to the basement.
  • Clean and shine all accessories (door knobs, knockers, lamps, mailboxes, address numbers, etc.)

Some final things you can do to help your home sell quickly!

  • An investment in painting your home can really make the difference between "turning on" the buyer and sending up a red flag about the condition of the home.
  • Arrive at an equitable asking price using an appraisal.
  • Don't be afraid to accept the first offer.
  • Never volunteer information.
  • Obtain a floor plan of your home, if possible.
  • Assemble house records for the buyer's perusal.
  • Provide a map of the area and highlight special interest items.

Selling Your Ann Arbor Home?

If you're thinking of selling your home, contact us at The Bouma Group, or email info@bouma.com to discuss what it's worth in today's market!

Let Us Tell You What Your Home Is Worth!