If you’re planning to put your house on the market in Charleston, SC, Dunes Properties has you covered with this full-length guide. Selling your home is never easy, but it can be much easier if you follow a plan. Today we’ll list all the tips on getting your house ready to sell.

1. Understand Your Local Housing Market

Before you even consider listing your home, we recommend you find out what houses in your neighborhood are worth. Look at comparable homes around you and see what they’re priced at. Take a look at their features, square footage, and amenities like garages, swimming pools, and yard space. 

Your home’s location can also be a major factor when determining the price point. For example, if you live near Isle of Palms Wild Dunes, then your location, either within or close to the resort, could affect your home’s value.

2. Find a Reputable Realtor to Work With

While you know your home best, a professional realtor is one of the best tools you can invest in when trying to sell. We can research the specifics of your home’s value. We can also fill you in on the history of previous owners, publicize open houses, advise on repairs, learn if Charleston, SC is a good place to live and much more. You’ll be working with someone that’s intrinsically familiar with your area and what sells. Plus, we’re a helpful intermediary between you and potential buyers. Finding a realtor to work with will reduce the stress of selling a house.

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3. Work With an Interior Decorator

We know it might sound odd to hire a professional to stage your home before selling. However, buyers are more likely to show interest in a home they could see themselves living in. While you might be attached to your taste in furniture and decorating, it might help to invest in a professional to make your home more acclimated to new viewers.

An interior decorator can improve the feng shui of each room, maximize space, make things seem roomier and more. Basically, you want your home to look as attractive as possible to potential buyers. 

An interior decorator can also help out in terms of neutralizing your home. What we mean by that is eliminating those unique touches that made the place yours. While you might love that tie-dye wallpaper design or that wall of family photos, a potential buyer might be unable to visualize themselves living in a place with touches like that. It’s best to remove all distinguishing aesthetics and make things as plain and simple as possible. While this might trigger nostalgia, there’s no better way to sell your home.

4. Deep Clean Everything in Sight

We’re sure this goes without saying, but nobody wants to move into a filthy home. While it might sound obvious, you’d be surprised how many people selling their homes can neglect cleaning the premises. Make sure your home looks brand-new to buyers before showing it on the market. Clean everything in sight and everything out of view as well. 

When we say clean, we don’t just mean vacuuming the carpets. These are some tasks you should complete:

  • Clean under and behind radiators
  • Scrub every kitchen appliance, from the stove burners to the back of your freezer
  • Eliminate dusty surfaces, including counters, mantles, shelves, and ceiling fan blades

5. Make Any Necessary Repairs

Before you put your home on the Kiawah real estate market, you’re required to inform them of any problems with the property. That can be anything from a leaky faucet to a faulty water heater; you need to tell them. That news can be discouraging to someone interested in your property, so why not avoid the entire situation and repair the problem yourself? 

Call a plumber if needed. Get rid of that ant infestation. Have a fire inspector check that everything is up to code. An electrician can help ensure that your wiring is up to snuff and won’t pose any problems. While all this might sound like overkill, the truth is you don’t want potential buyers to perceive your home as one that wasn’t well-cared for.

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6. Eliminate Any Odors You Encounter

When you’ve been living somewhere for a long time, sometimes there are odd smells you eventually acclimate to. We’ve all lived somewhere with a musty-smelling basement or an attic that makes you sneeze. However, you don’t want someone’s first impression of your home to be that it smells. 

Now, we’re not saying you’re dirty. We just recommend that you be aware of any offensive smells in your home and eliminate them. Here are some steps that we recommend taking before showing your home:

  • Clean or remove any litter boxes
  • Vacuum and deep clean any carpeting or upholstered furniture
  • Avoid using any particularly powerful perfumes or colognes
  • Avoid cooking any food that leaves a strong odor, such as fish, hard-boiled eggs or sauerkraut

7. Buy More Light Bulbs

We know this step might sound a little odd, but it’s fairly standard. Potential buyers want to be able to turn on lights in your home and see what’s illuminated. This is true for the basement, attic, and more. Make sure that every lamp, wall light, ceiling fan bulb, and any other light source is given a new bulb.

8. Pay Attention to Your Home’s Exterior

We’ve talked a fair bit about making your home’s interior up to par. Now, let’s talk about first impressions. When a potential buyer first lays eyes on your property, you want them to fall in love. Nothing will make them do that like a shining exterior without a single imperfection. 

That means clean windows, unclogged gutters, shiny doorknobs, and a clean welcome mat. Clean the dust and dirt out of your windowsills. Fix any spots where your paint is fading or cracked. Smooth out any dents, cracks, or other flaws. When someone sees your place for the first time, make them want to explore its insides.

9. Don’t Forget About Landscaping

Your home’s exterior isn’t the only thing that will invite people inside. Its yard, garden, and driveway will do that as well. So, if you have a flower garden, keep your plants well-watered and cared for. Clean up any oil spills in your driveway, and make sure your hedges are trimmed. If you have a fence, make sure it’s well-painted and looks spiffy. 

Your lawn should be evenly mowed and weeded. Any outdoor decorations should also be looked after. That includes flags, lawn ornaments, and outdoor play areas that should be cleaned, spruced up, or removed outright before setting up an open house.

10. Have Your Home Professionally Photographed

These days, most potential buyers are scoping out homes online before showing up to any open houses. If your online listing lacks quality photographs of your home, then you might not have anyone show up to your open house. 

While taking photos of rooms with your phone is good enough for a rental on Craigslist, that won’t cut it for an interested buyer. We recommend working with a quality photographer and taking in-depth photographs of everything. That means every room in the house, closet spaces, pantry space, cabinet interiors, your water heater, etc.

11. Declutter Your Space

Over the years, it’s easy to accumulate all kinds of knick-knacks in one’s home. Maybe you have an antique sea anchor hanging on the mantle or a collection of vintage VHS tapes. While these kitschy bits of clutter are sentimental for you, they make rooms feel smaller to a buyer. It’s best to declutter your home before selling, as it maximizes the space in each room and allows others to see how they would decorate the space.

If you have a lot of items you want to keep, consider renting a storage unit. Your home might be on the market for a while, so storing your goods in a quality unit can take the headache out of worrying about where to put them.

J.A. Johnson / Shuterstock

12. Don’t Go Overboard With Improvements

We know that this advice might seem to go against everything else we’ve said so far, but hear us out. While improvements and repairs can make a big difference in your home’s selling ability, that doesn’t mean you need to do absolutely everything. Will a fresh coat of paint in your kitchen hide any flaws in your walls? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean you need to use premium paint. Fix your running toilet, but don’t go installing a bidet on your way out. Remember that you’re leaving this property behind you. You don’t have to make it your dream home before you say goodbye.