Preparing your home for sale needn’t be difficult. You just have to imagine you’ve never been in your house before, adjust it to appeal to a total stranger, clean it to a standard that would suit a museum, and pack up half your belongings. Piece o’ cake, right?

For a lot of homeowners, especially those who have never sold a house before, it’s not really all that simple, though. There’s a lot of planning required before you so much as list your house (after all, first impressions are everything!), which means you’ve got plenty to do before calling a realtor to take a look around.

If you’re struggling to get started or just need a short punch list of must-haves, read on for the top 12 things we think you should do to get your home ready to sell.

Tidy Up Outside

There’s nothing like curb appeal to bring in shoppers. Sure, someone will eventually walk into any house, given an unlimited timeline, but if you want more prospective buyers sooner, do a little outside maintenance. Check these items off your list:

Trim the hedges. This also goes for bushy trees that have low hanging branches and awkward looking growths popping up around their bases. Tidy mature landscaping is a huge plus.

Refresh landscape mulch. No one gives mulch enough credit, but you should if you’re looking to sell your home for top dollar. Because mulch constantly breaks down, it needs to be refreshed regularly. Buck your normal mulch cycle and refill those beds.

Repaint the garage and front doors. The garage door is the biggest surface on most homes, and the front door sets the mood for your entire home’s interior. Give both a fresh coat of paint so they look nice and clean.

Break out the pressure washer. Wash the driveway, the sidewalks, the decks, the patios, make them all shine. If you have a surface that can be cleaned, even something like vinyl siding, give it a quick bath!

Spruce Up Your Living Space

House PaintingEven if your remodeling budget is low, you can do a lot to give your home’s interior a quick face lift and bring in more light, day or night. Here are a few:

Clean all the windows and light fixtures. It’s alarming how much brighter a room can become when light fixtures and windows are thoroughly washed. All that dirt that collects over years actually interferes with light transmission – your home will feel bigger and brighter after a good wash.

Clean or repaint the trim. Trim work takes a lot of beatings and it’s easy to overlook the fingerprints on door frames. Clean them up, and if they’re beyond a simple cleaning, break out the paint and masking tape.

Touch up chipped paint. Along with the trim, the wall paint should be in top shape. Although some paint is scrubbable, if you’re not sure that yours is, you may want to consider touching it up, instead. Locate your original paint cans, mix what’s left in them well, and touch up a hidden spot to make sure the paint is still a good match. Over the years, certain colors can bleach out a little, meaning you’ll have a hard time matching them exactly and will probably need to repaint instead.

Have carpets professionally cleaned. There is no way to overemphasize how much freshly professionally cleaned carpets can do for your home. Professional cleaning is the key. Many homeowners try to wash their carpets with the best of intentions, but home machines are notorious for over-wetting carpets, leaving musty smells behind.

Stage Your Home Like a Broadway Play

Home StagingEverybody gets told that staging is key, but what does that even mean. Well, the goal is to make your house look like those in the magazines, even if it’s just for buyers. Your home should stay clean at all times, but these things will also help:

Decluttering inside and out. Get anything extra out of your house, storage buildings, and garages. Those Christmas decorations don’t need to take up space when you’re trying to sell a house, nor do your winter clothes in the spring. Get a storage unit and start moving out of your home in preparation for selling it. Keep only things you need often – the rest will be there when you’re done moving into the new place.

Showcase storage spaces. You don’t want to stash too much in your storage units, though. A few things should stay in your home’s storage spaces to help buyers get a good idea of just how big they really are. Half-fill your coat closet with coats, put just a few boxes in that space under the stairs, and keep some well-organized things in your pantry.

Eliminate tired furnishings. We all have that practically worn-out recliner or heirloom trunk that has our hearts, but that’s definitely an eyesore. Get them out of the house, you don’t want a buyer to be forming their opinions on your home’s overall condition based on the condition of your furniture.

Fix the little stuff. Every house has had, at some point, dripping faucets, toilets that run far too long after flushing, chipped mirrors, loose door handles, and plenty of other annoying, but small problems. Fix these before you even consider listing your home. You’ll be shocked how much better your home shows.

These are just a few ideas for getting your home ready to sell. The most important thing to keep in mind before you start the process, though, is to look at your home through a buyer’s eyes. They don’t have an emotional attachment to your home, so they’re not yet willing to overlook the little stuff.

Are you ready to sell your home in the Batesville area? Contact Tudor Square today to talk with one of our team members about selling, or buying, a home in the Batesville, IN. area. Conveniently located and easy drive from both Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Batesville and surrounding areas are a great place to live yet still be close to the city.