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Top 10 Ways to Prep for Selling Your Home for Retirement

Before relocating to the beautiful coastal Carolinas, you may need to sell your existing home. This important step may seem daunting, but with a little work and some planning, you can attract buyers quickly. Here are 10 helpful tips to prepare for selling your home.

1. Select the Right Agent and Price
Everyone always talks about “location, location, location”. But at the end of the day, price plays a major role in selling a home. A good listing agent will look at past and pending sales from your own neighborhood to help you choose a selling price. They should also assist you with staging advice, negotiation and marketing your home through signage, online portals, networking and other means.

2. Don’t Discount Curb Appeal
Your lawn, driveway, and the home’s exterior are the first things buyers see – and your first chance to make a good impression. If the exterior looks worn down or sloppy, buyers will assume the inside is too. Enhance your home’s curb appeal by clearing sidewalks, mowing the lawn and planting some flowers. You should also paint the front door and window trim, and replace or repaint your house numbers. For that special touch, buy an inviting new welcome mat.

3. Fix the Small Stuff
From a buyer’s perspective, the less they have to do, the better. Repairs can have a huge impact on price, and could even cost you the sale. Fix any leaks, broken windows or sticky doors. Updates to small things like light fixtures, doorknobs and drawer pulls can also make a big difference in the buyer’s eyes.

4. Go Neutral
Not everyone has the same taste in art or design. Bold colors, prints and fabrics may turn buyers off from a home even if the floor plan and condition are great. If you have any walls in bold colors, repaint them tan or white. This lets buyers focus on the space itself and not your décor. White rugs, bedspreads and towels will have more universal appeal, plus they will make your home seem light, clean and airy.

5. De-clutter and Depersonalize
Too much clutter makes a home look small. Remove appliances from kitchen counters, pack up your knickknacks and remove books from bookshelves. You’ll also want to take down family photos and kid’s drawings. While they make your home more comfortable for you, personal items are distracting to buyers. As buyers walk through a home, they will try to imagine it as their own. Give them a blank slate to begin with.

6. Deep Clean
Obviously, your home should be sparkling clean from top to bottom. From ceiling fans to baseboards, every surface must be cleaned and dusted. Wash carpets and windows, wax floors, polish all metal fixtures and don’t forget to clean out the fridge! Buyers may look in cabinets to see how much storage space they will have, so be sure to clean, de-clutter and organize all kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

7. Remember You Might be Nose Blind
You may have become accustomed to your home’s smells, but potential buyers will notice any unpleasant aromas right away. To purify your home from animal odors, food smells, smoke, etcetera, use an unscented deodorizer or air freshener. Then open the windows to air everything out. Consider lighting a scented candle during a home showing for a pleasant smell.

8. Bright, Light and Cheery
A well-lit, cheery room appears larger and more inviting. Remove curtains and pull up window blinds to let as much natural light in as possible. Add a floor or table lamp to a dim corner, and turn all lights on before a home showing. Your newly painted neutral walls and neutral decor will also add to your home’s light and cheery atmosphere.

9. A Picture Says a 1000 Words
Buyers will often see a picture of your home before they see it in real life. The better your photos are, the better your chances of that person walking through your front door. Professional, high quality images can showcase your home from the most flattering angles and showcase its best features. In fact, listings with professional photos typically sell quicker and for more money.

10. Consider Professional Staging
If you’re too busy or you’ve already moved and your house is empty, a professional home stager can help make your home look its best. For a monthly fee, a professional home stager will assess your home and make recommendations for repairs and upgrades. They can fill your house with beautiful (rented) furniture or help you optimize your own. They will also add wall art and minimal accessories that can enhance an otherwise empty room.