Tag Archives: tips for selling your home

Get Your Home Ready To Sell In 3 Simple Steps

Get Your Home Ready to Sell | Money Savvy LivingAs a licensed Realtor, I’m constantly giving advice to clients about how to best prepare their homes for showings. My recommendations don’t just come as part of my profession, but are based on my own experience as a seller. You see, over the last 14 years, my husband and I have been in the position of seller nine times. Seriously, NINE times! Each time we market our home, we follow these simple steps:


Declutter, Declutter, Declutter.

This can be anything from rooms overstuffed with bulky furniture, kitchen counters covered with appliances, to closets overflowing. All of these things distract from your home’s selling features. Since you will have to pack everything eventually anyways, clearing out the things that you can now, will make moving that much easier. When you pack, you will have to go through literally every item in your home. If you love it or regularly use it—keep it. If not, this is the perfect time to part with those things you really don’t need: sell items online, have a garage sale or donate charity.

The goal is to make each room feel spacious and functional. It can be a good investment to rent a storage unit for the few months your home will be on the market. It will provide a place to keep all those items that you don’t want to part with, but can’t stay at the home during showings.


Take Care of Deferred Maintenance

Though your home might not be brand new, it will be the buyer’s “new” home. If you want top-dollar you have to make buyers feel like they are walking into a move-in-ready home. On the other hand, if your home is full of half-finished projects or has several fixes that need to be made, you are literally leaving money on the table. Spend the time to freshen up paint and make needed repairs. Don’t forget the curb appeal—spruce up the landscaping, put down new mulch, and pressure was the exterior if needed.


Make Your Home Shine

Now that your home is decluttered and all of your fixes have been made, there is one final step—cleaning. This step can feel especially hard if you have children. My kids can take a beautiful, show-ready home and have it looking like a tornado came through within minutes! And since keeping the kids out of the house constantly isn’t an option, I had come up with a system to get the house ready.

  • Before your home hits the market deep-clean: wash windows, dust the woodwork, clean the carpets, scrub the bathrooms, clean the garage…you get the idea. This will make it so much easier to go through the house and tidy up quickly before showings. If the major cleaning is done it takes little effort to keep things in order.
  • Before each showing, make a “clean sweep” through each room: open the curtains/blinds, turn on the lights, and make sure nothing was overlooked.

There are a couple of commonly heard “tips” missing from my list. I don’t recommend that clients repaint their home in neutral or completely depersonalize. I think that homes void of color and personality tend to feel cold and uninviting. I’ve never removed my wedding photos from the wall or taken down pictures of my children. In fact, I advise my clients to keep these personal touches, as well as add some colorful pillows, throws, and flowers prior to showings.



Alison is a Licensed Realtor, Recipient of the OAR Award of Achievement, and President’s Sales Club 2013 & 2014.

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5 Home Renovations that Don’t Increase Your Home Value

Photo courtesy of Modernize.com

Photo courtesy of Modernize.com

By Tim Smith, Modernize.com


Many homeowners make certain renovations to their home thinking that these renovations will drastically increase the value of the home. However, they are surprised and disappointed when they find out that their remodel project added no value to the home. The following are a few remodel projects that could be done as a labor of love, but should not be expected to bring any increase in home value. Cost estimates are from the 2014 Cost vs Value Report via Remodeling Magazine.


Intricate Landscaping


Walking onto a property that has a stellar landscape is definitely appealing. However, in many cases, a nice landscape does not equate to a higher home value. Now, it doesn’t mean that it’s a completely and totally worthless investment. Potential buyers are more likely to take a second glance at a home with a beautiful landscape.


Maintenance Projects


You would think that spending tens of thousands of dollars installing a new plumbing system, redoing the electrical work, installing new windows, or putting on a new roof would drastically increase a home’s value, right?  Wrong.  The reality is that these maintenance-type projects do very little to change the value of the home. The reason for this is that homeowners expect the plumbing and electrical system in the home to work and the roof not to leak. So even though this is money out of your pocket, it is basically the cost of homeownership and making these necessary repairs doesn’t really add any additional value.


Swimming Pool or Money Pit?


The idea of having a swimming pool in the backyard seems really cool. Many homeowners think that the addition of a swimming pool to their property will automatically increase its value. That is not necessarily the case. Swimming pools cost thousands of dollars to install. While they are good for avid swimmers, swimming pools can be a turnoff to families with small children and families who do not have the time or money to keep the swimming pool clean, heated and maintained.


Expensive Built-In Sound Systems


For some buyers, a built-in surround sound system or a built-in home theater is a selling point. But these individuals are few and far between. The average home buyer is not necessarily looking for this amenity, so even though it may be nice, it probably is not going to make someone want to spend extra money on a house.


Backup Power Generator


At the outset, it seems like the best idea in the world. Invest money installing a generator that guarantees that regardless of the weather conditions your home will have energy. Who would not want to spend a few extra dollars to purchase a home with this feature? Well, the truth is, it will depend on your future home buyer: for some this may be a pivotal selling point, to another, it may not matter at all. Installing a heavy-duty backup generator will cost on average $14,700. Homeowners can expect to recoup less than 50 percent of the money spent on this upgrade when they sell their home.




Tim Smith is a energy efficiency and remodeling blogger from Austin, TX. Tim enjoys everything DIY and is interested in home automation.