Speeding up the Sale of your Home

More often than not, we’re asked “what all can we do to make sure our house sells quickly?”  Outside of asking for the right price, the answer can be summarized in one word: staging.  Setting up the right first impression is key – it will enable the potential buyers to visualize how they could see their life in the home.

To follow are a few general rules on what you can do to prepare your home for the sale process. Of course, when we meet, we’ll tailor a few things based on the uniqueness of your home, but this should give you a good starting point.



Landscaping is the “frame that sets the picture.”  If buyers do not like what they see from the outside, there is already a barrier to their buying.  Keep the lawn fertilized, watered, cut and edged neatly.  Remove weeds from the beds and plant flowers for color. Never underestimate “flower power” in winning the buyer’s heart.  Calladiums are great for relatively quick color. Have any dead trees removed and keep bushes neatly trimmed. Repaint the mailbox if needed (not an issue in The Woodlands) and repaint/restain the front door. This creates a good first impression.

Touch up anywhere inside or out that needs paint, stain, etc.  Repaint interior rooms or the exterior where needed with a conservative, neutral color.

If the feedback you receive from your showings mentions that people object to the condition of the roof, get bids for repairs.  You can replace it, fix it, or drop the price to cover the cost of new roofing. Keep pine needles swept off the roof. Keep the swimming pool/spa clean.



Colors – Most of the time old or odd colors hurt rather than help. Though a house may be large, it will look choppy by having different colors in every room.  Neutral colors attract more interest than showy colors. New paint is the most cost effective and lucrative preparation you can do to get your home ready for sale.

Carpets/Rugs – Nasty carpet can make or break the sale! Brokers often hear “I can’t concentrate on the house because the carpet is so ugly, worn, dirty or damaged.” Smelly rugs must go! Cleaning a carpet may help. Consider PV Rugs when you can. It is always better to replace old carpet with a neutral shade before putting your home on the market. The next best alternative is to offer a carpet allowance to the buyer.

Kitchen – The kitchen is the most important room in the house. Thoroughly clean your oven, stove and dishwasher. Make it bright and attractive. If dull, paint cabinets. Put up new perky curtains. Clean the ventilating hood in the kitchen. Straighten up the pantry and line the shelves with fresh paper. Make sure the floors shine. If the kitchen floor is badly worn, put in new flooring. Remove any appliances that you keep on your counters, like a toaster, coffeemaker, can opener, etc.   Clean counters make the room look larger.

Bathrooms – In bathrooms, repair all dripping faucets, keep fresh towels out and use special cleaning products to remove stains from toilets, bathtubs and sinks.  If sinks or bathtubs drain too slowly, unclog them. It is especially important to remove all mildew and re-caulk tiles and sinks if cracks are showing. Remove all items from the top of sinks such as hair dryers, toiletries, etc.

Walls & Ceilings – Have all walls and ceilings in top shape.  Cracks need to be fixed. Check ceilings for leak stains, then fix the cause of the damage, repair ceiling and repaint.  In painting or redecorating avoid offbeat colors.  Stick with easy to work with conventional colors.



Scents – A pleasing smell is important to buyers. Scented candles should be placed in each bathroom. Replace your air filter and place an air freshener inside the returning air vent. Placing cinnamon on a cookie sheet and baking it for a short time will create a pleasing kitchen aroma prior to the showing.

Appearance – Clean out the fireplace and lay some logs in it to make it look inviting. Wash the windows, replace broken glass and mend torn screens.  Replace burned out bulbs and low wattage bulbs with higher wattage bulbs (75 watts minimum.)  When your house is going to be shown, open up your window coverings to make the home as bright as possible. Turn on all the lights inside the house including ceiling fans to demonstrate their effectiveness. Reduce clutter in house especially in closets, cabinets and garage (rent a storage space if possible.)  Overstuffed closets are a sure sign for the buyer to look elsewhere. Excessive furniture makes a home appear smaller than it actually is.  Lubricate sticky and squeaky doors. Have your house exterminated quarterly.

Cleanliness – If you lack the time or inclination to clean your house, have a cleaning service do it. That may be all you need to spend.  If the house becomes vacant, have a cleaning service clean the house at least once every 30 days.