"I enjoy my first 30 days email notes." -Mark
Read More Testimonials»

Our Selling a Home Experts

Marcia Layton Turner

Marcia Layton Turner

Author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Staging Your Home...

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Teri B. Clark

Teri B. Clark

Author of 301 Simple Things You Can Do To Sell Your Home

Shared by First30Days View Profile»

Meet all of our House and Home Experts»

Sell Your Home; Keep Your Head

Preparing to Sell Your Home

Staging (preparing a home for a showing) is the first thing you can do to improve your home's value. There are even professional stagers to help get your home ready and unlock the emotional handcuffs. Evidence suggests they’re worth the investment—well-staged homes sell for nearly 8% more than unstaged ones and in half the time. In addition to depersonalizing and refurnishing, a good stager will offer refurbishment advice.

Letting go is good for your wallet, too, says Clive Pearse, host of HGTV’s "Designed to Sell." “People need to be able to walk into a property and imagine themselves in that space, not be fascinated by pictures of Granny and Aunty Flo.” Pearse says loud design choices and clutter distract buyers.

Decluttering is not as simple as removing everything in your home. You want people to feel welcome, so keep basic and neutral furniture in the home for the showing. And tame the chaos—buyers don’t want to walk into a disorganized mess. After all, if a seller has neglected to fold their laundry or organize the pans, who knows if they’ve updated the electrical system or maintained the roof? Pearse says a deep cleaning is in order for every home—no exceptions! “It’s not just how it looks, but also how it smells and how it feels.”

Once a home has received a clean sweep, it’s time for the elbow grease. Repairs and renovations can improve the return on any home, so long as they’re cost-effective. What buyers are looking for varies from region to region, but generally, bathroom and kitchen updates pay for themselves. Exterior improvements like new siding and window replacements come close, with typical returns hovering around 90%.

Posted: 5/15/08