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What To Do Before Selling Your Home

By: Rhonda Franz
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What To Do Before Selling Your Home

By: Rhonda Franz
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Find More Blog Posts

Getting your Arkansas house ready to sell can be a daunting job. What are the most important tasks to think through before visitors walk down your halls and check out the insides of your closets? We’re here to help make selling your home less confusing and more practical.

This is an appropriate time to show off

Think of yourself a salesperson selling a package of both product and experience to a customer. What are the neatest features of your home? How can you make sure those features are what prospective buyers have a chance to see? Make sure you have a table, a set of chairs, and a sun umbrella on the deck that runs the house’s full length. Organize the bookshelf in a bay window reading nook and add throw pillows to the sitting area that complement the décor.

Uncluttered corner of room with toolbox photo courtesy of Rhonda Franz

This is also an opportunity to make necessary repairs

Preparing to sell your house means separating yourself from how your family has adjusted to the quirks you’ve been living for many years. You might have learned to deal with that broken hinge on the hallway closet, but the new tenants of the house will not. Appliances and fixtures should be in proper working order. That means you’ll need to replace the sliding glass door that can only be jerked open using a precise tug with both hands.

Generally, you’ll need to work on two different kinds of improvements: outer aesthetics and inner function.

Photo courtesy of Juan Perez

Make first impressions count.

A good impression starts the minute potential buyers pull up to your house.  Whether they continue to be impressed depends on the maintenance and inner workings of the home. Offer them a clean, refreshing first look. The yard should be maintained, bushes trimmed and tools and toys put away. Inside clutter should be unseen.

Juan Perez is a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway in Bentonville. Drawing on his 17 years of real estate experience in Arkansas, he says that the initial presentation of a home is key, even for those on a limited budget.

“Sweat equity is a great way to gain a lot with spending little. If you’re able to do your own painting, landscaping and other small projects, you will see how much you can do by paying only for materials.”

Tim Marta is the owner of Marta Home Builders in Northwest Arkansas. He agrees that first impression plays a big part, and points out that people who consider buying your home need to be able to see its true potential. Cleanliness and lack of clutter present a buyer with the kind of practical vision they need to see themselves living there.

Take a reserved approach to decorating.

Perez encourages a somewhat balanced approach to enhancing the look of your house. “You want the home to be clean and have an open and spacious feel and flow to it, but don’t try to add too much of your own style in decorating to the mix. You want the buyers to be able to envision their own style and ideas in your home and not be distracted by what’s already there.”

Do keep wall paint toned down and neutral. Do not give in to the temptation to install a swanky new shelf in the family room.

Evaluate whether your home is “move-in ready.”

Perez points out that home buyers want to move in shortly after closing on a house without having to deal right away with paint, upgrades or repairs. A home that has clearly been taken care of, even without upgrades, demonstrates to the buyer that the home is a good purchase.

If you are going to upgrade, concentrate on the essential areas.

For attracting buyers, Marta says renovations to the kitchen and the master bath are the most important upgrades. “These two rooms are the most expensive to remodel and many buyers do not have the time or finances to complete this after purchasing a home.” 

Marta also says that the roof and foundation must be in shape. A good home inspector will find any existing problems with these two structures. Many home sales fall through because of concerns with these integral parts of houses.

Photo courtesy of Angie Albright

Get help from the experts.

Don’t let your own home sale fall through because you played the role of repairmen and realtor. Making repairs, suggesting remodels and selling homes is what these professionals do. Preparing your home to sell is a job worth doing. Make sure you have the right help.

Click here for tips on a successful open house!

Meet the author

Rhonda Franz

A little about Rhonda Franz

Rhonda is a writer and editor who creates content and rights the wrongs of misspelled words and grammar gone awry. A born city girl, she raises three lively boys with her husband in the rural woods outside of Springdale. She loves sharing other people’s stories with the written (and edited) word via her freelance work at RhondaFranz.com. She holds Arkansas teacher licensure and offers advice, tips, education, and humor while telling true tales of parenthood and the pilot wife life at CaptainMom.net. She schleps her children all over Northwest Arkansas and occasionally works on freelance projects in parking lots from the back of her minivan.

Read more stories by Rhonda Franz