Selling A Home :: A Seller’s Home Enhancement Guide

You have probably heard how important first impressions can be. But did you know that within 15 seconds a buyer has developed an opinion of your property? This is why establishing the right first impression is critical to a successful sale! Our goal is not simply to sell our client’s homes, but rather to help them realize the best price obtainable for their property (in the shortest period of time). Based on proven marketing techniques, the following will introduce you to practical ideas on how to successfully prepare your home for sale. These suggestions require a minimum amount of time and expense, and are designed to make your home stand out from the competition.

The Model Home Effect
The best way to make a buyer “feel at home” is to create an environment similar to that found in a model home. Now obviously you can not recreate the feeling of a perfect display home without starting from scratch, but there are some valuable techniques to be learned.


The Model Home Effect
– Neutral, clean and clutter free environment
– The colors and decorating accent the home™s features
– The smell is new and clean and the lighting is bright
– All details are looked after, from manicuring the lawn to a
floral arrangement in the entry

The Home Front
Your property’s landscape is not limited to the lawn and shrubs but encompasses everything from the street to your doorstep. For this reason, you must make sure each component of the visual landscape looks it’s best. The real estate industry refers to this as “curb appeal”.


The Home Front
– Keep grass healthy (fertilized, watered, mowed and edged). Mulch  beds fresh, shrubs trimmed and leaves raked. Plant flowers, pull weeds and clean up after pets.
– Power wash house, sidewalks, and/or deck or patio if needed.
– Paint the house if needed as this is one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your home.
–  The doorway is the focal point of your home and if it needs; repainting, a hardware update, or a new light fixture do not hesitate to do so.
–  Make sure the windows are sparkling clean.
– A quick painting of an old mailbox will let potential buyers know you care about the details. If outdoor lamps look rusted and worn out, replacing them will cast a positive light on your property.
–  It is best that vehicles not be left at the home during shows however, if this can not be avoided it is best that they be detailed or thoroughly cleaned to create an overall impression.

The roof may be the single most important aspect of your home front. A well-maintained roof will say a lot about the overall condition of the property.
– Replace any broken or missing shingles
– Repair flashing where needed
– Paint eaves and fascia boards
– If the roof is old and needs to be replaced, consider having the work done before showing the property

Neat and trim-looking gutters and downspouts make a house look shipshape and will help keep the basement dry. If these items are in disrepair you can count on this being addressed by the buyer’s inspector.

Consider the surface condition of the drive-way, if it is an asphalt drive have it professionally resealed, or do it yourself with a high quality sealer. If yours is a concrete drive-way, power wash it to remove any stains. If needed apply a concrete cleaning solution and then power wash.

Packaging –  The Interior
When considering a home to purchase, the buyer often visualizes what it would be like living there. If the home is dominated by strong personal statements, buyers are less likely to feel comfortable, and therefore less able to visualize the property as their own.

Personal statements are reflected in many areas:
– unusual wall colors or heavily patterned wallpaper
– heavy odors from pets, tobacco or cooking
– sounds of loud music or television
– barking dog or noisy children
– strong political or religious statements
– unusual art or furnishings


– Remove any and all excess clutter from; rooms, countertops, closets, etc. This makes these areas look larger and more appealing.
– Again setup the home as if it were a model, prepare tables with flowers and place settings; set out a game or a book on coffee table.
– The kitchen is perhaps the most important room in the house and it can have a major impact on the value of your home. If appliances are outdated it maybe a good idea to replace them or refinish them. Outdated kitchen cabinets can often be improved by simply installing new knobs or hardware. If they are especially old you can replace the doors or door fronts.
– Thoroughly clean baths; clean shower and tubs including shower doors, purchase and set out show towels.
– Turn on lights for showings to make your home look bright and cheerful.
– If carpets are dirty have them professionally cleaned, if they require stretching have this service performed.
– Keep the basement and/or garage neat and organized, clean up any oil stains in the garage, and hold a garage sale to dispose of unused items that create clutter.
– Clean and organize your basement
– Do a quick dusting before showings, give carpets a once over with the  vacuum, straighten rugs, empty wastebaskets
– Clean plastic light switches if they™re dirty

Appeal To The Senses
There are many ways to create a more exciting and saleable interior, at surprisingly little cost. Below you will find some sensory selling tools that can have enormous impact as well as suggestions on how to improve each room.


It is proven that people react more favorably to property shown under bright light than dark.

A fundamental rule when selling your house is to keep colors neutral and light. White, beige and gray are most popular, however, light pastels have gained favor in recent years. Limit bright colors to accents like fresh flowers, towels, area rugs, and shower curtains. Avoid highly patterned wallpaper whenever possible.

The sounds of peace and quiet are some of the best sounds to have when your home is being shown to a prospective buyer. But there are other sounds considerations of which you should be aware, such as: avoid barking dogs and noisy children, running dishwashers, vacuums and lawnmowers, light classical or instrumental music can be effective in creating a pleasing atmosphere.

Smell has a tremendous impact and it can work for or against you. The smell of newness is positive and can be achieved by thoroughly cleaning carpets and flooring, applying a fresh coat of polyurethane to natural wood or latex paint to walls. Smells to avoid include strong pet odors, tobacco, and cooking. For more tips on this subject read my blog titled ‘What Stinks? Cheap, Easy & Natural Methods For Freshening Up Your Home‘.

The Impact Of Small Details
Small details make big statements about the perceived condition of your property. A house that shows poorly as a result of an overgrown lawn, peeling paint, or simply the smell of mildew may create the overall feeling that the property has not been cared for. If your home leaves a buyer with this impression it could cost you valuable time and money.
– Do your tubs need caulking?
– Do your walls have any cracks, dents or holes? Are they in
need of painting?
– Do your ceiling have any water stains, cracks or peeling?
Are they  in need of painting?
– Are your appliances clean and in good condition?
– Is your floor in good condition?
– Is your tile grout clean?
– Are your carpets stained or worn? Do they need stretching?
– Do your sinks drain freely?

The End Result
By showing attention to detail and understanding the buyer’s need to visualize your home against a neutral backdrop, you can dramatically increase the saleability of your home. My team and I will be happy to assist you with recommendations to help your house sell for the highest price and we invite you to contact us to discuss the sale of your home.

Additional Tips for Showings
– Secure jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables.
– NEVER WELCOME ANYONE INTO YOUR HOME UNLESS YOU RECEIVE A SHOWING REQUEST FROM  YOUR US FIRST! Refer them to us, so we can pre-screen them and if they are qualified accompany them on a tour of your property.

If you require assistance preparing your home for market we recommend you contact the fine folks at EveryTrade Integrated Home Solutions, they provide high quality improvements,remodeling, repairs & preventative maintenance service for your most valuable investment – your home. They can be reached at 614.943.4933.

For additional tips on Selling or Buying a Home in Columbus please visit our website, or give us a call at 614.332.6984!

The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley 43209 Columbus 43201 43206 43214 43215 Delaware 43015 Downtown Dublin 43016 43017 Gahanna 43219 43230 Grandview Heights 43212 Galena 43021 Hilliard 43026 Lewis Center 43035 New Albany 43054 Pickeringto, 43147 Polaris Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235

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