Though we are still in an arctic tundra of snow and freezing temperatures (we aren’t missing spring at all), it doesn’t deter us from preparing for the Spring housing market, when we list your home for sale. The prospect of spring and selling your house comes upon us as we try to get warm and picture a larger house, downsizing, or moving across town.

Selling your home comes with a large list of things to do, from finding an agent to help maneuver the real estate jungle to finding a new home to trying not to freak out about the entire process.

There are 5 important things to do when you list your home for sale:

  1. CLEAN! Clean your house like there is no tomorrow! Break out all the cleaners and go to work. We don’t mean just hitting the high spots; you know vacuuming, dusting, wiping down the stove top. We mean deep spring cleaning like your grandma, mother-in-law and the Queen of England are all staying for an extended period of time and you know they will say something should they see one curtain out of line or a single speck of dust. Clean the vents, wash the ceiling fan blades and light fixtures, wipe down the baseboards. SCRUB THE TOILET! Run your oven through a clean cycle. Make sure your grandma could eat off your floors. Well, Grandma probably wouldn’t like that anyway, but we mean clean and we want it squeaky. (Squeaky clean? Get it?)
  2. De-Clutter! Your stack of HGTV and Better Homes and Gardens magazines? Get rid of them. Your collection of cat figurines, put them all in storage except for one that accentuates the room. Have piles of clothes? Put them in a container and stack it neatly in the closet or storage unit. Simple and plain really sell the house. Less is more when it comes to putting away things on counters, shelves, and furniture. Have 10 appliances out on the kitchen counter? Put them all away, clear up that counter space. Potential buyers want to imagine what their stuff will look like there. Here is a great example of de-cluttering: Kitchen declutter example           Image curtesy of: southerndesign.com
  3. De-Personalize: Love that your kids painted you that picture of your family at age four?   Take it all down. The less of you in the house when shown to prospective buyers, the more the buyers can imagine their pictures on the walls and their memories to be made in the home.
  4. Have your furnace and air conditioning serviced. This is an odd one, but having clean filters and knowing that everything is in good shape makes the potential buyer feel more comfortable about the furnace and air unit being in the home. By having a professional come and look at it, it also helps prevent potential problems that could appear once the house has been sold. The less ability for risk the less anxious buyers will be about buying the home.
  5. Last but not least: PAINT!!!! We don’t care if you are the biggest Hawkeye fan out there and your entire basement is gold and black, future buyers may not be the biggest fan and don’t want to think about paint costs. BHG color paletteLet’s face it, a giant yellow wall isn’t the most pleasant color to most people. Love your lavender bedroom? Paint it in neutral tones, and by neutral we mean like the color palettes below. Stay away from the dark neutrals such as dark gray, dark brown, black, that sort of thing. And if you really aren’t great at picking colors, white works just as well.

Bonus Tip: Do a good job when painting! A crappy paint job hurts the home appeal just as much as vibrant obnoxious colors or dirty walls. If you are painting make sure you are covering it all correctly, using the right tools and rollers, and the right type of paint for the surface you are painting. Painting not your thing? Then hire it out. It can be an extra expense, but is it worth getting that higher offer on the home due to a great paint job, or having buyers turned off by the lack of neutral colors or poor paint job?

These are our tips for getting your home ready to sell. Good luck on selling and if you need realtor services you know who to call!