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Top 3 Things You Need to do to Get Your House Ready to Sell

There is only one opportunity to make a first impression. As you think about putting your house on the market, you want to put your best foot forward. After all, you may only have a few seconds to convince someone to take a closer look at your home. 

At Buffington Real Estate Group, we encourage all of our clients to invest a little bit of time, money, and effort into getting their house ready to put on the market. While no one really wants to update a house they are about to sell, we have seen it pay off time and time again. 

One of our seller’s agents will do a walk-through with you and offer tips on how to make your home more marketable. Our goal? To bring you the biggest return on your investment. When people come to look at your home, we want them to be wowed by your level of care and attention to detail. 

Sure, if you don’t feel like you have the time or money to invest in these three simple things, it doesn’t mean your house won’t sell. But the truth is, if you list your home in as-is condition, you will limit your pricing options. If you put in a little sweat equity, you will be able to list your home at a higher price point while more easily catching the eye of potential buyers.

In the end, we have the same goal – to sell your home. Shorten and improve the selling process by doing these three things to get your house ready.  

#1 Declutter Your Home

Humans are accumulators by nature. Year after year, we manage to buy more stuff. Whether it’s trinkets or furniture, homes are often overflowing with unnecessary items. By decluttering your home, we will have a much more successful time photographing each room.

Keep in mind that today’s buyers are starting their home search online, so the photos in your listing matter. We need your space to look clean, inviting, and organized. If your home looks spacious and appealing to buyers online, you will experience much more traffic when it comes to showings and open houses. There are two major parts of decluttering. 

Decrease the Amount of Furniture in Each Room: 

When it comes to selling your home, we want to maximize a buyer’s ability to see the space as it is. The more furniture you have in a room, the smaller the room looks. If the space is cluttered, people will notice the mess, not the potential of your home. 

One thing we always tell our customers is that for every five years you have lived in your house, you should remove one piece of furniture from each room. That seems like a lot, but it will allow potential buyers to picture themselves living in your home. This is not the time to show off your perfectly curated furniture. This is a time to show the strong and well-appointed bones of your house. 

So, what can you do? Many of our customers worry that we are going to tell them they need to rent a storage unit to store the “extra” stuff. But don’t worry, the solution is much simpler than that. All you need to do is move additional furniture to your garage. Buyers expect garages to be full and frankly, they know you’re moving! Instead of spreading everything out from room to room, consolidate it all into one space. 

Define the Space:

We all use our homes differently – sometimes a bedroom becomes an office or a music room or your dining room becomes your kids’ homework station. While you may live in your home one way, you may have to sell it in another. We understand that you indeed still need to LIVE in your home and need it to function well, but we want you to define each room clearly. 

While you are selling your home, use the rooms for their intended purposes. Clear away all of the paperwork off of your dining room table and gather all of the musical instruments from around the house and keep them in the one designated area. 

Again, the key is to help potential buyers imagine what it is like to live in your home. The last thing you want to do is confuse them or cause them to wonder why the house is designed a certain way. This is not the time to share your family’s story, it’s time to help them imagine living out their own family’s story in your house. 

#2 Create Curb Appeal

After you have decluttered the inside of your home and we have taken quality pictures for your online listing, the next step is to capture the interest of drive-by buyers. 

As you can imagine, if the outside of your home is in disarray, people are going to keep driving. Even if your house looks fantastic on the inside, they will not give your home a second glance if your lawn is unmowed, overrun by weeds, or if you have toys and tools strewn about. So, what can you do? 

Give Your Lawn Some TLC: 

Whether you do it yourself or you hire a landscaper, you need to spend time weeding, watering, raking, and mowing your lawn. Depending on the season, the amount of work will vary. The key, however, is to make it clear to potential buyers that you care about your property. 

Mowing and trimming around your trees once a week can make a big impact on the curb appeal of your property. If you are selling in the winter, it is important to make sure your driveway is cleared and salted. 

Take a Second Look at Your Front Door:

While your front door may not seem like a big ticket item, it does make a difference. In fact, the actual color of your front door matters. 

You may love your lime green door, but the best way to attract potential buyers is with a neutral colored front door. Most importantly, your front door should blend with the rest of your house. 

Make sure your door doesn’t have a lot of dents or scratches, and that it has been thoroughly cleaned. Your front door is the first up-close look someone will have – we want to make sure you leave a positive impression as they take their initial steps into your home. 

Tidy Up Your Tools & Toys:

Whether you have active kids or love doing projects around your yard, while preparing your home to sell and in the midst of the selling process, you need to keep your toys and tools picked up and put away. 

This is not the time to store things along the side of your garage or to have your boat in your driveway. Find other storage options and keep the outside of your home cared for and clean. 

#3 Touch Up Paint

Sure, you may have won the best mom and dad award for letting your little ones pick the color of their bedrooms, but those bright pink and bold orange colors are not going to help sell your house. 

When it comes to getting your house ready to sell, we highly encourage you to spend some time wielding a paintbrush. For the $20 it costs for a gallon of paint and the relatively easy labor of painting, it is well worth it. Painting is a small investment that makes a big difference in how your house shows. 

Repaint the Walls: 

The fastest way to make an impact is to repaint all of your walls a nice neutral color – cream or light gray are great options. 

These calming and non-obtrusive colors will give your home an immediate facelift. People worry that neutral colors are dull. Not a chance. Your walls will look like a blank canvas that is inviting, fresh, and clean. Your house will appear newer and well-cared. Buyers will pay less attention to the paint colors you used and instead spend their time daydreaming about making your house their new home. 

Touch Up the Trim and Doors: 

Again, it’s amazing what a little paint can do. If you take a good look at your trim and doors, there probably is a fair amount of wear and tear on them. If washing the surfaces down doesn’t make a big difference, we encourage you to take the time to paint. This will help make the rooms pop and make your home feel more inviting. 

When buyers see that you took the time to repaint, they are more likely to trust that you have nothing to hide in your home and that you have taken good care of your property. 

Bonus Tip: Get a Pre-Inspection & a Pre-Appraisal

If you’re looking to have the absolute best selling experience and are willing to invest a few hundred dollars, one way to set yourself apart is to get a pre-inspection and pre-appraisal. This will make you a certified premium seller – a status very few sellers obtain. Those who opt-in often get more serious offers and experience shorter listing periods. 


By having your home pre-inspected, you will find out if there are any issues that need to be taken care of before listing your home. This eliminates the chance of surprises occurring later on in the selling process. If an issue is unearthed, you have a few different options. First, you could take care of the issue. Second, you can disclose the problems. Third, you can reflect the need for updates in the listing price. 

One of the biggest benefits of going through the inspection process and fixing any issues that arise is that you can market your home as “pre-inspected.” This gives buyers peace of mind and confidence that your home is in good working order and that there is nothing major to be discovered later on. Not to mention, buyers appreciate not having to pay for the inspection! 


By having your house pre-appraised, you will be recognized as a serious seller and someone who understands the value of their home. Your price will be taken seriously because it is honestly reflecting the value of the property, the condition of your home, and the current market. 

If you choose to do the pre-inspection and the pre-appraisal, you will be designated as a platinum listing. Platinum listings are marketed differently and receive a lot more attention. Given that all documentation would be available to the buyer, they can easily see the value is there and that you have nothing to hide. Platinum listings will make buyers feel more comfortable and set you apart from the competition. 

Selling your home is a major milestone in life. You have cherished memories in your home and have invested a lot of time and money into caring for your property. As you consider selling, it’s no question that you want to get the best return on your investment. By doing these three things, your house will be ready to sell and will be positioned to attract the right buyers! 

Ready to see what updates your house needs? Schedule your walk-through with the Home Seekers Group today!

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