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  • Writer's pictureRobert Rutley

5 STEPS: Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Your front entrance is your first impression. Make it a good one!

In my years working as a project manager, and running multimillion-dollar information technology projects, I learned that the success of any project is 90% planning, and 10% implementation. Selling a home is no different: Taking the time to prepare your home for sale can result in less time on the market and a higher offer price.

In preparing your home for market, you’ll want to tell a clear story. A story about your home, its history and character, and a story about the neighborhood that your potential buyers want to live in. The most important part of telling that clear story is removing obstacles that interfere, confuse, or convolute your narrative.

How can you do that? Well, here are 5 steps:

STRUCTURAL and FOUNDATIONAL I suggest to all of my sellers to have a pre-inspection by a well-qualified and respected local inspector. Knowing your home and its weaknesses in detail prepares you for objections and will give you a list of items that need upkeep, or repairs. Nobody likes surprises – especially your buyers. Make those repairs; You want your home to be in the best condition possible. Take care of defects that could discourage buyers.

EXTERIOR Telling a story about your home starts with a first impression. Where does your first impression start? At your front entrance. A buyer will get their initial feel about your home by walking up your stairs and onto your porch. Is your porch dirty? Does the porch ceiling need paint? No matter how beautiful the interior of your home is, it could be marred by that missing brick in your walkway. Make your front door inviting! Clean the outside of your home, and improve your landscaping.

CREATE SPACE The inside of your home shouldn’t be a mystery to your potential buyers. Again, tell that story – give every room a purpose. If you have a nebulous room that collects stray items, reorganize it and make it an office or a reading room. Remove clutter and depersonalize so that buyers can envision themselves in your home. Start by sorting one room in your home at a time and toss, store, or donate. You’ll create the appearance of sufficient space by having rooms and closets less full of things.

INTERIOR That Chinese Red accent wall or fluorescent Flamingo Pink bedroom may be your style, but it distracts from your story. Create a clean palate by painting walls a neutral color that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. Your kitchen counters should be clear of most items, save that one item you use every day – probably your coffee pot. Your bathroom should be a spa experience – white towels, scented hand soap, flowers…and keep that toilet seat down. Lastly, create light! Heavy dark colored curtains almost never work for dark spaces. Consider removing screens and cleaning those windows. Open up all the windows to let in natural light and add floor or table lamps to areas that are dim.

CLEAN Most importantly, CLEAN. Your house should be spotless, and perhaps cleaner that it has been during the time you’ve lived there. Make every surface shine - From ceiling fans to floors and everything in between, clean your home until it sparkles. Eliminate bad odors. Cats can be some of the biggest offenders so make sure that litter box is out of sight and cleaned constantly. Take the trash out before open houses and showings. Prospective buyers will open your cabinets, and closets, so make sure they are clean and well organized too.

Robert Rutley, Realtor®, SRS MRP CLHMS LEA

Real Estate Professional - Taylor & Associates at Sotheby's International Realty

The Highest Performing Real Estate Team on the East Side and Providence 2017, 2018

Circle of Sales Excellence, Platinum Plus - 2016, 2017, 2018

RI Monthly Award for Professional Excellence - 2019

ProJo's Readers Choice Best Real Estate Agent - 2019

Greater Providence Board of Realtors

Seller Representative Specialist

Military Relocation Professional

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

Luxury Estates Advisor

Mott & Chace Sotheby's International Realty

100 Exchange Street | Providence RI 02903

t: 401.314.3000 | c: 401.601.0446

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