The Charleston real estate market is hot right now, and sellers are sitting pretty. Buyers are plentiful, and inventory is lower than it was this time last year. If you're thinking about selling your home, now is the time to do it. The first thing you have to do before putting your home on the market is to get it into shape for selling. There are several things to consider before you let potential buyers into your home. It takes a little bit of planning and elbow grease, but striking off a few items on the following to-do list is sure to help you sell a house fast.

Before Listing

1. Declutter. It's hard for most buyers to look past an abundance of "stuff." That collection of mugs from your world travels might be precious to you, but potential buyers aren't interested in seeing it. Minimalize knickknacks and other decorative items, making things look more streamlined. This is also a good time to weed out those items you won't be taking to your new residence. Take a look around and decide what you can sell or donate before your home goes on the market.

2. Give the house a deep clean. This means the outside, too! Pressure wash the siding and clean windows inside and out. Inside, make sure the kitchen and bathrooms are spotless and all furniture and baseboards are dusted. Give any spots on the wall a little touch-up with paint. Have floors steam cleaned if carpeted or mopped and waxed if wood.

3. Repair any issues you haven't gotten around to. Closet doors that have come off their tracks, wonky drawers that don't quite close all the way, carpet that has pulled up in one corner... All of these are small details that will be noticed, believe it or not. Potential buyers catalogue all of these little issues and will have a mental list of things that need to be fixed. Nip this in the bud by taking care of them in advance.

4. Neutralize decor. Not everyone likes dark or bright colors. Giving buyers a blank canvas to work with will help them visualize their exact preferences in decor. Paint the walls with neutral colors. This doesn't have to be boring. You can even use different neutrals in different rooms. Ecru for the living room, a dove gray for the bedroom, etc. Keep furnishings as neutral as possible, too, so buyers won't have a hard time seeing their own belongings in the home.

5. Create curb appeal. This doesn't mean you have to entirely overhaul your front yard. Just give it a bit of a facelift. Make sure the grass is always mowed. Trim any unruly trees or bushes. Plant a few colorful flowers. Paint the mailbox or install a new one. Pressure wash the driveway if there are stains. Little touches here and there do wonders for curb appeal. Make sure the back yard is tidy as well.

On Showing Day

1. Do a quick sweep of all rooms to make sure they're clean and neat. Pick up any stray clothing or shoes, and stow personal items like toiletries.

2. Make the house smell good. This is especially important if you have pets. Make sure any pet odors are neutralized. Light a candle that isn't overpowering or use an air freshener.

3. Let in natural light. Open the curtains and blinds to let buyers see how much sun the home gets during the day.

4. Leave! Under no circumstances should you stay home while your house is being shown to buyers. Having the seller there makes potential buyers uncomfortable, and they're less likely to look at everything they want to see. No offense, but they just don't want to see you there.

5. Take pets with you. Barking dogs, stalking cats, and chirping birds can be pretty annoying and disruptive to buyers. Take them with you when you leave the home for the showing.

What other tips do you have that have helped your home sell quickly?





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