Sellers are always asking for advice to prepare their home to get top dollar. Here is some advice that I recommend to my sellers:
Start packing everything you can live without; like photos, books, collections, and miscellaneous clutter.
Organize the closets and cupboards and remove items from countertops. .
Remove anything attached to the house that you want to take with you, as attachments are normally transferred to the buyer. If you are taking something, like a light fixture, you will need to replace it with a new one.
Remove excess furniture so you have at least a 3’ walk way through-out the house. You want your rooms to feel inviting and as large as possible. Arrange your furniture to take advantage of any focal point like a fireplace or nice view. Remove or replace old rugs and add colorful throw pillows.
Paint and repair any damaged items, replace the furnace filter and old light bulbs. You want your home to be neutral and bright. If you have a well and/or septic system, you should have a current water test, and septic inspection, as you will need to be compliant to close
Clean everything, inside and out, including the windows, appliances and flooring so buyers feel your home is move in ready. Replace the shower curtain and buy new white towels for the bathrooms.
Hide any trash or recycling cans that are sitting out and find a place for the pet food and kitty litter that isn’t visible as you walk through the house.
Check your curb appeal. Hide the trash and recycling, pick up the toys and tools, plant some flowers, kill the weeds, trim trees, mow the lawn, paint the front door, fix broken steps or railings.
Make sure your home smells fresh. Before showings take out the trash, look for pet accidents, hide the dirty laundry, vacuum, open a window-weather permitting, use air-freshener if it is not overpowering. Fresh flowers are a wonderful touch.
Walk through the house one more time, as if you were a buyer and see if there’s anything you missed.
An experienced Real Estate Agent can provide specific tips to help you get top dollar for your home.
Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.