Eventually Central Indiana will begin thawing, and when that time comes, families interested in selling their home will start putting them on the market; this is especially true as heading into spring. For those considering selling their home in the next few months, now is the time to start getting the property ready for potential buyers. Preparing a home to sell can take a fair amount of time, effort and sometimes money, but the return can be a home that sells quickly and close to the listing price.

We are in a buyer’s market, so homes that are clean, well maintained and ready to move into, will sell faster and for a higher price. Use these nine tips to get a home ready for buyers:

  1. When a potential buyer walks into a home, they want to envision their belongings, not see all the family photos, books and decorations of the current owner.
  2. Check the attic and crawl space. These are two areas many homeowners don’t frequent, but a home inspector will check. It’s a good idea to check these spaces for leaks, mold, holes and damage from pests.
  3. Home inspection. A pre-listing home inspection allows a seller the opportunity to acknowledge and correct any defects before listing the home.
  4. The home should be painted in neutral colors, grays and tans are popular, with white trim. Repaint the baseboards and doors with a semi-gloss white paint to reflect the light, but are still easy to clean. Wallpaper can also be a major turnoff to buyers, so consider removing wallpaper and painting the wall(s) a neutral color instead.
  5. Buyers typically don’t want to purchase a home needing multiple repairs, which means its time to fix any leaks, loose doorknobs, cabinets, caulk around areas where the baseboards are pulling apart, holes in walls and other projects that would turn a buyer against the property.
  6. While depersonalizing the home, take time to organize the closets and cabinets. Over stuffed and messy closets and cabinets give the impression the home doesn’t have enough space and storage.
  7. Clean the exterior and yard. The exterior is the first thing a potential buyer sees, so its important to make a good impression. Pick up any piles of tools, toys, yard debris, Christmas trees, clean out the gutters and make sure any siding is in good shape. Additionally, walk around and look for places where the paint might be peeling paint and make the appropriate repairs. This also includes taking a good look at the front door; it too might need new paint and minor repairs.
  8. Once the ground thaws, make sure to treat and mow the yard, weed-eat around the edges and trim the bushes. Curb appeal is important and most buyers don’t want a home with overgrown grass and bunches of weeds.
  9. Clean the carpet. This is an especially important tip for homes with pets as potential buyers can be turned away by the smell of a litter box or dog beds. Cleaning the carpet can help eliminate odors, remove stains and give an overall fresh look.
  10. Don’t forget to clean every surface of the property, and make it shine. This includes window sills, ceiling fans, kitchen counters, faucets, banisters and any other surface. There should not be any cobwebs or visible dust.