Top 6 Tips When Preparing To Sell Your Home

 By: Lauren Spencer
Preparing to sell your home can sometimes feel like a daunting task. But rather than overwhelming yourself with looking at the job as a whole, it is much more manageable to break it down into bite-size chunks. Here are a few tips, tricks and best practices you can undertake to ensure you are doing everything you can to visit success and become an active partner in the process of selling your home.

Carpet or hard-wood flooring? Although carpet was all the rage in the few decades post world war II - largely because of government construction and renovation subsidies to veterans during this time that supported carpet installation - now buyers look for hardwood or laminate flooring. Hardwood flooring is easier to keep clean and usually lasts much longer than carpeting, thus adds increased value. Few of us can forget the first time we set eyes on a room - or entire home for that matter - that was lambasted with circa 1960s-era shag carpeting. Consider removing old carpeting and installing hardwood or laminate.

Tiles and Grout work: replace old or cracked tiles and clean grout between tiles and any recesses or troughs at the edges and corners of rooms.

Paint: Painting ceilings and walls - especially on walls that catch direct daylight any time during the day, is important. Repair any nicks, scratches, cracks or holes in walls, prime and paint. Unless it's been done recently, painting ceilings is also an important upgrade that should not be overlooked - namely in kitchens where grease and stains from splattered food can collect.

Kitchen: Most kitchen repairs and upgrades will realize a 100% return on investment. This being said, many high-grade investments like professional grade refrigerators and stoves and ovens may not. Stick to the minor and mid-grade repairs if you can: replace, re-surface or re-paint cupboards; install new hardware on cupboards with contemporary styles; upgrade or repair flooring; replace leaking faucets and stained sinks.

Bathrooms: At better than 100%, bathrooms net perhaps the highest returns on investment in upgrades and repairs. Update cabinets, sinks, toilet and tub; upgrade flooring and light fixtures.

Staging: Where staging is concerned, often less is more. After the repairs and upgrades are complete, consider staging your home yourself, or hire a pro to do the job. Staging your home is all about creating a mood and highlighting each room by removing clutter and, in a sense, letting the room speak for itself. A well staged kitchen may only have an understated but stylized kitchen table and chairs in the corner with a basket of fruit at center-table. A living room will have all personal family photos removed, magazines and remotes removed from coffee tables and end tables. Video game consoles and games put away, bookshelves cleaned and organized with few well-chosen books that reflect the ambiance and style you are after.

Bring in new or fresh or unique items to spruce up the interior and highlight rooms and target areas after all clutter is removed and rooms are cleaned and upgraded. Essentially, when you stage your home you are de-personalizing it, setting up a stylish canvas upon which the potential buyer can easily envision bestowing their own aesthetic touch.
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