Selling your home is a major undertaking that can be stressful, but if you prepare beforehand, much of that stress can be eliminated. If you are well-prepared to sell your home, it might even sell faster than you and your real estate agent originally anticipated. Here are a few simple tips to make the process of selling your home a much smoother one.

As with any task, creating a checklist is always a good starting point. After making a checklist of the items you should address when preparing your home for sale, thoroughly clean the interiors and exteriors. Start by tackling the inside of your home: scrub the floors, steam clean carpeting, and wash all the walls. For the outside, clear the gutters and then power washes them. Tidying up your landscaping, including trimming shrubbery and weeding flower beds are also great ideas.

After doing this deep cleaning is complete, it’s time to delve into the details. It’s important to remove all personal items to increase your chances of appealing to every type of home buyer. Remove family photos, children’s artwork, family heirlooms, and other items that reflect your personal style. If you have installed any items that you’d like to take with to your new places, such as light fixtures, a ceiling fan or small appliances, make sure to replace them before your agent starts showing your home to buyers.

Now it’s time to take a fine-toothed comb to the property. Repair nagging problems and make small cosmetic changes that you weren’t able to attend previously. For instance, fix jammed kitchen drawers, leaky bathroom faucets, and burned-out light bulbs. Fill in nail holes left by picture frames, posters, or any other artwork that was hung on the wall. Take a look at the trim around your house and give any peeling trim a fresh coat of paint.

This is also the time to address bigger issues that have lingered, such as problems with your central AC.  Any issues that might be a major turn-off to prospective home buyers should be fixed before selling your home.

Finally, evaluate whether major renovations are necessary at this time; however, be sure to consult with your Realtor before taking on any major remodeling projects because they might not be worth the cost. Here’s an excellent resource for figuring out exactly which projects are worth the cost.

Stage for Selling Success

Another important part of preparing your home for sale is staging it properly. Start by making your home feel brand-new. Spruce up older home furnishings or accessories, an easy and inexpensive task. For example, replace old bathroom rugs, decorative sofa pillows, kitchen cabinet hardware, and exterior house numbers (that probably haven’t been replaced since you first moved in)!

Make your home feel spacious. You can start by removing furniture that blocks walkways. Then, downsize to create free space. Some ways to downsize include removing a dining-room table leaf or parts of a sectional sofa, for instance. Small, non-functional furniture can also be removed and placed in storage, sold, or even donated to a favorite charity in order to free up space.

Hide items that clutter up kitchen counter space or any other counter space in your home. The types of items to remove include magazines, papers, infrequently used kitchen appliances. Food that may be sitting on your counters, such as cereal, coffee, tea or snacks can be stored in your cabinets or neatly stashed away in containers on top of your counter.

Create curb appeal. There are many small home improvements that you can initiate to add instant curb appeal, giving your home a nice, finished look. Plant seasonal flowers, a tree or even install flower boxes. Upgrading or replacing your mailbox and painting your front door also enhances your home’s curb appeal.

Wisely preparing your home for sale helps ease the stress associated with a major financial decision and it could possibly add value.