Today we are going to discuss how to prepare your home for market. Keep in mind that buyers almost always overestimate how much it's going to cost to make repairs. If you spearhead it and take care of those issues upfront, then you will not have that issue down the road. So let's get to it. I'm Sandy Curtis with Berkshire Hathaway Bowen Realty in Hagerstown, Maryland, and I'm your real estate resource, here to discuss preparing your property for the market.

So it's obvious that you want to take care of the holes that you've put in the wall, because buyers are looking and they're thinking, "Oh, we're gonna have to hire somebody," unless that buyer knows what they're doing, to spackle that wall and then they're going to have to have it painted. So take care of your differed maintenance, things that you should have been doing, like cleaning out your gutters, changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, checking the seals around your doors, things of that sort.

I will put a link below for a list of items that you should be maintaining on a regular basis, so this does not happen to you.

The second thing I'm gonna point out is declutter. If you have a garage, store your items in boxes in the garage. That way, your living space is wide open and the rooms feel larger, because there aren't other items taking up those spaces. If you don't have a garage, maybe a friend or a family member will store things for you. Worst case scenario, rent a small storage space.

Number three, brighten the home. There's nothing worse than going into a dark, dreary, cave-like room and thinking, "Oh, this is the darkest house I've ever been in and I don't know how to fix this." You obviously need to brighten the room, so I recommend replacing the curtains, lighten the wall color, get a lighter colored rug or carpet for the room, always leave the blinds and the curtains open, and leave a light on if it's possible. All of these will help brighten up the room if the room is naturally dark to begin with.

The fourth thing on the list to help you prepare for the market is to look at the house. When was the last time you had updates done to the home? Walk through the house and look around. Do all of the outlook covers match? What about the handles on your cabinets? Are they old and dated? These are not expensive items that you can go through and replace, so that they have a nice, shiny look and an updated look to them.

Five would be curb appeal. There's nothing better than pulling up in front of a home and just seeing a front yard that is gorgeous and you just immediately fall in love with the house. It is the first thing people see when they pull up to your home, is it not? People make snap judgements, so when they pull up in front of your home and you have a lot of dead plants or shrubs in the front, it's gonna kinda look sad. So cut back your shrubbery, make sure to mulch. If there's algae growing on the side of the house, pressure wash, if it's on your side walk, pressure wash it. Was the front door previously painted? Does it need a new paint job? And another item would be to go to your local store and get a welcome mat.

The sixth item that I'm going point out, that a lot of people still leave out, are your personal photos. You want more people to look at the home, not your pictures, trying to figure out if they know you or not.

And number seven, is interview agents early. Are you really going to pick the first agent that you talk to? You should interview two to three agents to find out what services they offer. What is their marketing plan? Do they do video tours? Do they offer photography? Do they do staging? I hope these seven items will help you prepare your house for the market.


Home maintenance Checklist