By Lou Anne Dunn

The warm temperatures, blooming flowers and longer days of Spring encourage people to get outside and play, and, provide the perfect backdrop for an upswing in the real estate market. If you’re planning to put your home on the market soon, Neatly Dunn Professional Organizing is available for general organizing as you prepare to stage your home. Follow our pre-listing checklist to help your home sell faster.

Before calling an agent, do your homework. Selecting the right agent to help sell your home is critical, but keep in mind that real estate professionals are not magicians. A properly prepared home will sell faster, so get your to do list in order now. To make the process as smooth possible, follow these steps before contacting an agent.

Step 1: Declutter & Organize

First and foremost, you must organize your home. When a potential buyer is viewing a home, they have to be able to imagine themselves living in the space. Seeing your stuff in “their” new home makes it more difficult to visualize. When the counters, closets, and drawers are full of unwanted, unused, and outdated items, it sends the message that the home is inadequate to house their belongings. Regardless of how nice or well-built a home is, if it is cluttered and messy, viewers will have a hard time focusing on the selling points of the house.

The decluttering process also includes excess furniture. You want to have enough furniture to show how the space functions but not so much that it makes the room look small. Make sure that furniture does not obstruct walking space or the flow of the room. Remember that a potential buyer should be focused on how well the room functions rather than how much stuff it can hold.

Open spaces and simple decorations invite buyers to imagine moving their possessions into place. Make “less is more” your mantra and remove distractions to make it easy for a buyer to see and fall in love with the actual house.

Step 2: Depersonalize

It’s hard for a buyer to visualize living in a space that has your happy family hung on every wall. Depersonalizing actually involves much more than just removing photos. The goal is to create an environment that appeals to the largest number of people. 

Consider the color choices in your home; you may love the bright red dining room and your kids may love their hot pink or lime green walls, but a potential buyer is likely to view bold paint as something that will need to be fixed immediately, costing them both time and money. Where possible, and as finances allow, tone down or neutralize the colors in your home. Beiges and grays are excellent neutral colors which work well as a base for most color schemes. Use lighter colors to allow the home to feel more spacious. You don’t want buyers to spend their time looking at your decor instead of the space and function of the home. Paint gives the greatest impact for the least investment. 

Next, remove your curtains. It may seem strange, but removing curtains allows for more natural light, which makes a space feel bigger and brighter.  If you choose to leave neutral shear panels up, always open them during the day to allow natural light in. 

Step 3: DIY Fixes

Any repair projects that you’ve been meaning to get around to, but haven’t? Now is the time to get them done. Tighten the loose door knob; replace burned-out lightbulbs; fix the running toilet. If you are not able or don’t have the necessary skills, watch an instructional video, ask a friend, or hire a local handy man or contractor. If you really want to get ahead of the game, consider hiring a home inspector for a pre-inspection in order to find (and fix) problems before the buyers do. 

Once you have decluttered, depersonalized, and completed your repairs, your next step is to find a realtor. Ask around and get recommendations from those who’ve been through the process. Talk with several realtors and pick one you’re comfortable with, who communicates well and is successful in the field.

If prepping your home, packing, and moving feels overwhelming, know that you don’t have to do it on your own. Neatly Dunn Professional Organizing can help prepare your home for listing, especially in the decluttering process. We offer staging services and can recommend several others in the area. Neatly Dunn can even help you find a moving company if needed. Neatly Dunn also offers unpacking services for when you find the perfect new place to call home; our team will quickly and efficiently unpack, organize, and place furniture so that you can settle into your new home and community even faster.

For a handy pre-move day checklist and to learn more about our organizational services, visit Call Lou Anne for all of your organizing, downsizing, and moving needs at  252.341.2437.