Prepare Your Home to Sell Like Hotcakes

Prep Your Home & Get Ready for Bountiful Offers

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If you’re thinking about selling your home this spring, get ready to take advantage of this “crazy” market. And crazy it is! It’s cray-cray, I say!

Yes, it’s a great time to be a seller. Will your home get tons of interest right now? Yes. Will your home get multiple offers right now? Most likely. Will your home get offers well beyond what you imagine? Not necessarily.

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If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, you do need to put your best foot forward, so to speak, to get those crazy offers. Here are my top 10 tips:

1) Survey your home’s condition.  Start by conducting a thorough walk-through of your property, trying to keep an objective eye. Buyers want move-in ready, so determine what needs the most attention and plan to get the work done. Keep in mind that most contractors, painters, and others related to real estate are currently booked several weeks out right now, so don’t assume you can find someone who is available right away to tend to your project. 

2) Interview real estate agents.  You’ll need someone to represent your interests, and a great listing agent should know your specific neighborhood. When interviewing potential agents, be sure to ask about their marketing plan for your home and for an honest analysis of your property.

3) Pack your belongings.  All your belongings have to be moved, so why not get started now? We recommend packing up and putting into storage at least 50 percent of the belongings in your home (bonus points if you store these boxes off-site!). Buyers should see your home, not your stuff in the home.

4) Think curb appeal.  Start working on exterior repairs and landscaping by cleaning gutters, repairing dry rot, and installing drought-tolerant landscaping. Even in this real estate market, it’s important to grab buyers’ attention in photos as well as the minute they arrive. I promise these details play a role in bringing in the highest offers.

5) Freshen up the front door.  According to a recent Zillow survey, homes with a black front door saw a whopping $6,271 more in selling price than their competition. 

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6) Paint it white.  Buyers want light and bright inside, and a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in helping buyers overlook other areas of the house that may need updating. Chantilly Lace, White Dove, and Simply White by Benjamin Moore are some of our go-to favorites. Rooms with white walls and ceilings look larger because your eye sees one seamless canvas.

7) Refresh kitchen cabinets and bathrooms.  Painting cabinets, re-grouting tile, and installing new faucets and sinks can give these rooms an updated look without breaking the bank. According to a recent national Zillow survey, homes with light-blue bathrooms and kitchens with navy lower cabinets and white upper cabinets sold higher than their competition. 

8) Let the sunshine in.  Swap out heavy, dark, or dated window coverings with white sheer panels that let more light in; more light means rooms will feel larger and more inviting. 

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9) Remember, scent matters.  Eliminate any odors of mildew, smoke, or anything funky! Fabric and upholstery hold odors, so consider replacing the carpet or buying that new sofa now that you’re wanting for your next home.

10) Create the “wow” factor.  Once you’ve completed these upgrades, hire a certified Staging Design Professional™ to provide furniture and décor to enhance the best features of your home. Staged homes almost always sell higher than their non-staged competition. Now it’s time to sit back, enjoy, and watch the cray-cray offers come in!

Christine Cowles is owner of Styled & Staged Santa Barbara, offering home staging and interior styling services. She is a certified Staging Design Professional™, member of Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and Real Estate Staging Association, and a proud WEV graduate. She can be reached at

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