Preparing your home for sale

When considering selling a home in Massachusetts, you may overlook an important aspect and that is properly preparing your home to go on the market.  With competition for buyers, you need to leave a very strong first impression on a buyer so that you end up selling quicker and for more money.  You have one chance to make a first impression on a buyer when they walk through your front door.   Studies show that a buyer will know within the first 10 seconds of entering a home if that home is for them!! Just 10 seconds! So you want to make sure that first impression is warm and inviting.

Buyers will go through your home with a critical eye and ALWAYS over-estimate the cost for repairs (imagined or real) that they feel they will need to do so optimizing your home’s appeal is critical is preparing the home for sale.  If at all possible and time allows, you should always have a pre-listing home inspection done and take care of as many items on the report as you can.  This will prepare you for any surprises and save you some money because buyers always want more than what is actual.

Another thing you often hear mention of curb appeal, and while this has some importance, there is not as much emphasis for a buyer than a real estate agent.  A buyer, believe it or not, will not dwell on the curb appeal as much as some real estate agents would have you believe.  Of course, you don’t want trash all over the place or giant holes in the ground, but it doesn’t have to be loaded with flowers and trees and manicured within an inch of it’s life either.  It just has to be neat and maintained.  A buyer will add any finishing touches they want in their yard.  So just clean up the yard and shed and keep it all tidy.


  • declutter, declutter and declutter!  If your finances allow, rent a storage container and pare down your belongings.  Remove personal photos. Minimize clutter on shelves, bookcases, walls.  Less is better.
  • Re-paint any rooms that have non-neutral colors to colors that are soft and neutral.
  • If you like the country decor and have lots of it, remove it! Not everyone likes country decor.  Make your home as neutral as possible but still keeping it warm andhouse-construction-3102356_640 cozy, never sterile and plain.
  • keep closets uncluttered and free from too many clothes that make the closet look small.  Less is better.
  • keep cabinets neat and orderly.  Remove and store any kitchen appliances that you don’t use every day.  When you stuff cabinets to overflowing, it screams no storage.
  • organize cabinets and closets.  Buyers always appreciate a meticulously maintained home and nothing says meticulous than when your spices are arranged alphabetically!
  • keep counter tops free of anything.
  • clean the windows
  • spring clean the entire house and garage
  • organize the garage and basement
  • touch up any paint that needs touching up
  • remove stains from carpets
  • install natural light light bulbs in rooms that are dark.  Buyers love bright and sunny homes!
  • Make sure the key and door knob your real estate agent is using, works.  Nothing is more frustrating that have to wiggle and jiggle a key to get into a home.  If you don’t care about the very first detail, it will set the tone for future showings.
  • Buyers pay attention to kitchens and baths so make sure those rooms are in perfect condition.  Fix leaking faucets and/or caulking.

The more your home looks meticulously maintained, the higher the interest level will be of the buyer.  They appreciate a well maintained home.  And although the list looks long and daunting, it can be done in a weekend.  When you meet with your real estate agent to sign the contracts, just give yourself enough time to get the list done.  Usually 2 weeks is sufficient time and then your agent can get the photos and your home listed.  Of course, timelines don’t always work the way we want and sometimes you have to hurry and get the house on the market, still try and do as much as you can.  Even if it means not getting on the market for 3 days or so.  It will go a long way in getting your home under agreement quickly.  An untidy house makes a buyer think you don’t care and therefore didn’t take care of your home. So the time you think you will lose by preparing your home for sale will catch up to you when your home sits on the market because of condition.


  • if you have a deck, power wash it and freshly paint or stain it
  • power wash the exterior siding and remove any mildew that may have accumulated
  • inspect exterior trim and replace/repaint whatever needs attentionbackyard-1474128_640.jpg
  • get some potted yellow flowers for the front stoop (studies show that yellow flowers have more appeal)
  • tidy up and  trim any bushes and shrubs (especially those in front of the house)
  • rake up the leaves and branches
  • dispose of any old piles of leaves and branches
  • fill in any holes in the yard
  • pick up any pet waste (if applicable)


HGTV Prep Your Home
Nobody wants your filthy house – Property Brothers
30 Can’t Miss Tips

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