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    Before You List Your Home

    Spring is still a couple of months away here in Northern VA, but the Spring real estate market seems to be starting early this year. If you are listing your home, here are 3 key things we recommend you do to really help your home sell for more and in less time!

    Step 1:


    This one might seem obvious… Put away everything on your kitchen and bathroom counters. Clear off the coffee and end tables. This goes way beyond sorting through your mail and hiding your remotes though. Step 1 also involves some serious organizing. Go through your linen closet, kitchen & bathroom cabinets one by one. Get rid of the things you never use. An abundance of these items will show a potential buyer that your home doesn’t have very much storage space, and most people want storage!

    Your closet? Get rid of the high heels you haven’t worn in 6 years.  Donate those clothes you wore back in the 90’s.  Less is MORE when it comes to spaces like these. You want buyers to know you’ve taken care of your home, even the closets!

    Yes, you do need to organize your basement and your garage! When buyers walk into basements stuffed so full they have to shift their way through just to see it, they get overwhelmed with thoughts about how the seller can possibly be ready to move.  Buyers want to walk into the basement and be able to freely see into the utility areas.

    Ultimately, you’re going to have to pack all these items when your home sells anyway. You’ll be so thankful you organized it beforehand because you won’t have to do it later when you’re exhausted from packing everything! You’ll also appreciate when you get top dollar because you organized before listing to show your home.

    Please take the time to organize! Take it slow. Go room by room, drawer by drawer, closet by closet. Do not dump everything into one main area and try to weed through it all. You’ll get very overwhelmed and give up, making yourself worse for the wear.


    Step 2:


    This one is so important! Realtors often advise their sellers that personal photos and knick-knacks should be removed so that buyers can visualize themselves and their belongings in your home. Make the home feel inviting so that the buyer wants to plop on the couch and live there! That cozy thought could be disrupted by your family’s photos staring at them…

    Another important thing to consider is concealing your identity. Sure, tax documents are public record, but if you’re staying in the same area, it can be pretty awkward when the buyer knows who you are but you haven’t the faintest idea who they are while walking through a local grocery store. They saw your face on your mantle along with the rest of your family’s faces! That could be rather unsettling…

    The last item to consider here goes beyond photos. Personalization also includes bathroom decor, magnets and drawings on your fridge, even customized paint colors. In order to make your home neutral, try to do away with as much customization as you can, while still enjoying living in your home. Your kiddo may love her pink princess-themed bedroom and bathroom, but a buyer may just see a future project.


    Step 3:


    Some items in this step are situational. Your home should remain vacuumed and bathrooms wiped down while showing it. But there are some additional things you can do before listing it to really make it shine!

    Re-grout and reseal tiling, if necessary. Pull out any mildewed caulking and silicone and re-do it. Wipe down doors and handles to remove fingerprints and stains, and while you’re at it, clean up light switches and outlets! One invaluable tip:  after cleaning your fixtures, wipe them down with wax paper. This will keep them spot free longer!

    If you have skylights, palladium or picture windows, consider having a professional clean them, inside and out. This improves the views and buyers will enjoy looking outside without seeing tiny hand prints, snout marks or weather stains.

    Broken or yellow outlets and covers can make a home feel dated and dingy. Some buyers don’t even realize that is why a room turned them off in the house, because it can be purely subconscious. If you have them, consider replacing them!

    Shampoo dirty or smelly carpets and paint dingy walls. This helps remove odors within your house and will make any room more visually appealing! Pressure wash the home’s exterior including the decking and driveway if they are dirty. Clean the roof and clear out the debris from any overflowing gutters.

    Lastly, adding fresh mulch or rocks and flowers to landscaping can dramatically improve curb appeal if it’s in your budget!


    Following these 3 steps will surely lead to a faster sale. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below or reach out to one of our skilled agents anytime!



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    About our blog

    Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the Northern Virginia area.