T&S Home Features

Prep Work

Spring is about to fling itself in our direction, and if you have a house going on the market, you should pay attention to more than just its curb appeal and interior finishes. T&S asked local real estate agents to share some top hints for prepping a property.

1. It might seem like a small thing, but it’s important: Make sure all of the light bulbs in the house are the same color—soft white, bright white, etc. This will cast the home in a better light for client walk-throughs and interior photos. Colors and textures will appear richer and more consistent, and the whole house will look more pulled together.

2. Before a daytime showing, make sure all blinds are drawn up and window coverings like drapes and curtains are removed. This will let in more natural light and help potential buyers better visualize how they would use the space. Looking after the simple things will show them that you care about attention to detail.

Sabrina Robb
Keller Williams Luxury International Real Estate

1. We advise sellers to write a ‘love letter’ about the home that can be posted online, downloaded and printed out with other literature about the property. The owners can talk about why they chose it, why they love the neighborhood and what the home has meant to them. They can include photos of their family enjoying it, or ‘before and after’ pictures from a recent renovation. The buyer usually wants to know why the owners are selling; the letter is a subtle way to explain that the move is due to a job or family commitment, not issues with the home.

2. If you’re putting a special property on the market, consider a ‘pre-premiere’ event to create buzz before the official opening. Get neighbors, friends and family to invite others, and plan a relaxed but elegant evening to show the house at its best. A jazz pianist, champagne and cocktails can create a party atmosphere, and potential buyers and agents get to see how beautiful the home looks when illuminated at night.

Jeffrey Warner
Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty

1. Be smart about color. If you have pink and purple kids’ bedrooms or other spaces with unusual colors, paint them in attractive beiges or grays before photographing and listing the home. Before the Internet, you would create that all-important first impression during the open house or private showing, but now there’s a good chance buyers won’t even walk in the door if they don’t like what they see online. And you won’t get a second opportunity to impress them! So it’s important to make sure your photos show versatile neutrals on the walls.

2. Potential buyers also pay attention to what’s under their feet. Make sure the flooring looks consistent throughout the house before you begin showing it. When people walk into a home and see five different floor types with competing patterns, it’s visually disconcerting. Chances are, potential buyers also are thinking about how much the floors will cost to replace, and that may be discouraging.

Kristi Monschein
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate