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How to Prep Your House for Sale

So you’re thinking of selling your house, huh? Maybe you’re already knee deep in the process, maybe you’re just getting started. Either way, there are some preparation steps that you can take in order to make this process run smoother. You may think that you can skip these steps and sell your house just fine, and that may be true, but why not do anything and everything you can to get the most money and in the least amount of time? Let’s break it down.

Heighten Your Curb Appeal
They say to never judge a book by its cover, but believe me, when it comes to houses that is just not true. This is particularly true in the age of the internet. With Zillow and Trulia and at their finger tips, buyers skim through houses like a catalogue at the dentist office. They’re looking for something to catch their eye and warrant a click. Simple improvements to your landscaping can help get you there. Make sure your lawn is in great shape. Prune the bushes, weed the garden, and plant some flowers.

You also want to make sure your exterior of the house is clean. A sloppy outside will only tell buyers that you didn’t take care of the home. A good pressure wash can go a long way. Finally, you may want to consider slapping on a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Not only will it photograph well for your online posting, when you have buyers at your door, you want them to get the best first impression possible.

Remove the Clutter
Moving on to the inside. Now is the time to really organize your life. You’re going to have to do it anyway when you move so why not get started in the selling process? If you can, put any items you’re not using day to day into a storage unit. Clear up as much space as possible in your house to show buyers where their stuff can actually go. You want to allow a buyer to actively imagine themselves living in your house. They can’t quite do that if your playroom in front of the house is cluttered with Mickey Mouse gymborees. You also want to clear off shelves of too many books or keepsakes. Clean off anything on kitchen counters (helps make them look more spacious). Anything you can put in a box, do it. Keep the essentials. Ditch the clutter.

Organize the Rest
Whatever items you decide to keep in the house while you prepare to sell, make sure they all have a designated place. Keeping things as organized as possible while selling your home tells buyers that you take care of the property and it also helps with the aforementioned ability to imagine living there. Proper organization of areas like closets and cabinets can also make your space appear more spacious.

Don’t Make It Personal
As much as it may hurt, take down any family photos or personal family heirlooms you may have decorating your house. It’s time to begin separating yourself from this home and turning it back into a house for someone else. Buyers will be distracted by your wall of photos and begin to see themselves as visitors in your home instead of potential homeowners themselves.

Make Everything Sparkle and Shine
Whether you want to hire a cleaning service to come in or take on the task yourself, make sure every surface is dusted and polished to perfection. Having a clean home not only makes it look great, it makes it smell awesome too – which is important to buyers. So take the time to scrub down those floors, dust those ceiling fans, and polish those faucets. Believe it or not, it’s the little things that matter most to buyers.

Make Everything Sparkle and Shine
Now is the time to patch any holes in the wall or fix any leaky faucets you’ve been ignoring. Replace all of your burned out light bulbs, and maybe even get a new bedspread. Try to think of your house as a hotel for the time being. You want it to look as presentable and fresh as possible. These little fixes can actually make or break your sale.

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Josh Mente

Real Estate Leader Josh Mente, is a founding member and owner of The MD Home Team of Keller Williams Excellence, and is responsible for business administration and marketing for the firm. Josh’s career path began in 1998 as a loan officer for Eastern Savings Bank, where he managed national accounts. He later joined Option One Mortgage originating more than 500 transactions per year valued at $100M+ in sales. In 2006, Mente shifted his expertise to real estate sales, gained his license and focused on buy/fix/sell transactions. Josh is a member of Elite Real Estate Network (ERN), the 2009 Rookie of the Year for Long and Foster corporate, and in 2012 ranked 206 and 2013 ranked 234 in Real Trends of the Wall Street Journal, ranking in the top 250 agents nationwide for all brokerages. From any early age, Josh was introverted and worked hard to overcome a fears of sales - a business that doesn't lend itself well to introverted people. When challenged by a manager that he didn’t have what it took for a specific job, Josh pushed forward and won approval in his new position. That was a pivotal moment that set the pace for his success in real estate sales. Having earned an AA degree from Montgomery College in business administration in 1995 and a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Towson University in Mass Communications 1997, Josh married his college sweetheart Melinda and they now have three wonderful daughters that provide the opportunity to watch them grow up and experience things for the first time. A committed sports fanatic, Josh spends time on the golf course, and follows the Ravens and Orioles as a season ticket holder. He is a part owner of two restaurants in Manhattan, enjoys music and time away with the family at their beach house in Rehoboth, DE. He hopes to find time for his hobbies that include building furniture, playing guitar, learning Spanish and flying planes.

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