Most sellers or those who are pondering the idea of selling their home always look around their house and imagine large-scaled renovations or home improvements that are costly. While this may be the case for some homes that are outdated or lack the ability to accentuate a specific space, there are cheaper alternative options. Let’s explore our 6-week plan to get your house in tip-top shape before showing.
Before you start decorating and staging your home, you need to first give the space a clean canvas to paint on. In this first week, look into renting a storage unit and begin decluttering your home. Find any excess décor, kitchie items, or any other pieces of clutter that are non-essential and move them to a storage unit. When the stagers come in, you want them to be able to move furniture, paintings, and any utilities as freely as possible.
After or as you are decluttering, begin to deep clean the entirety of the inside of your home (we’ll work on the outside property in future weeks). We recommend going above and beyond the typical “my mom is coming into town” cleaning mentality and grab the entire team to get this task done. Remember to do these often forgotten tasks as you deep clean:
- Mop under appliances
- Dust/wash walls and baseboards
- Polish washing machines, dryers, and heating appliances
- Clean behind toilets
- Dust blinds and air ducts
- Wash your rugs twice
- Polish any wood frames or door knobs
- Get new shower curtains/liners
- Dust light fixtures and house plants
Now that we’ve decluttered and deep cleaned our living space, let’s now focus a little more closely on carpet, ceiling, and wall cleanliness. Some may choose to hire a third-party company to come and deep clean their carpets, however, if you are looking for a more cost-effective method, there are many ways to do this.
- Keep it real simple and invest in a Carpet Cleaner
- Rent a Carpet Cleaner, you can find local rental companies, here.
Next, begin to work on the walls and ceilings. The paint that we brighten or darken our living spaces with is typically delicate. We recommend that you use this non-aggressive cleaner recipe when washing your walls and ceilings:
- Fill one bucket half-full of water and mix in 3 drops of detergent
- Fill one bucket with one (1) gallon of water and mix in 2 ½ tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.
Remember, this is a large task and will most likely take the full week as there is a large amount of walls and ceilings so pace yourself.
Let’s now head to the outside of our home and look at the landscaping and state of the surrounding yard. Curb appeal is one of the most defining features of a showing. It is the first thing the potential buyer will see and the last. Take this week to mow the lawn (and continually do so as it is being shown) and pull out weeds and perennial beds. Run to a Home Depot or Kroger and purchase plants or bushes to coordinate with the existing landscaping.
If you have any outdoor living spaces (gazebos, outdoor pools, fireplaces, etc.) make a point to clean these up as well.
This week we’re going to focus on making your home “smart”. Buyers are loving the homes that already have these features inside. If you do have smart-home products, we recommend leaving them out so that the viewers can envision living there with these products already there. A few products you can buy to boost the “intelligence” of your home are:
- LED/ Phillip Hue Lights
- Nest Thermostat
- Ring Doorbell
- Smart Faucet
- Keyless Smart Locks
If you aren’t able to invest in some of these brand-name products, updating simple household utilities such as installing new lights and digital clocks is a simple fix as well.
This is the week you’ve all been waiting for, painting! To update your space by keeping it modern, paint walls with neutralizing color schemes. We are finding that many of our listings have colors that are based around a gray-beige tone as well as white. One thing you can do if you do not feel in the mood to repaint your walls is to find the exact paint your walls were originally painted and add a fresh coat on top of it. This will help to embellish the cleanliness of the space.
Depending on the size and the number of walls you plan on painting, be sure to plan for this to take the entire week.
You’ve made it to the last week and it is smooth sailing from here. In this final week, you should focus removing any “house” smells that define where a family lives. You painted last week, and have been using cleaning products weekly to keep the space clean. It is now time to neutralize the odors (removing pet smells, chemical odors, expired food smells, etc.) There are a few ways to do this and any of them will work:
- Use oil infusers for the large spaces
- Place citrus candles in bedrooms without lighting them
- Open all windows of the home for the entire day (season/weather permitting)
- Use artificial baked-good scented candles for the kitchen area (be careful, these can end up smelling terrible. Seriously, we mean it!)
You’ve now reached the finish line. There are more projects that you can do in and around your home before you list it but these are great starting points. These simple tasks can help you increase the value of your home and leave you feeling jealous that someone else gets to enjoy the updates you’ve made.
Let us know how your 6-week challenge went!
The Shaffer team consists of real estate professionals in Southern Utah, specializing in selling homes. We work with talented photographers, stagers, and lenders to ensure your home buying or selling process is efficient and smooth. Call us to learn more about the area and to understand how we can help you find your dream home at (435) 525-0079.