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5 No-Nonsense Home Improvements to Ready Your Home for Resale

January 31, 2013No comments

To start, I’m one of those homeowners that would rather move into a new home versus making improvements to my existing townhome. However, to sell my townhome, my realtor has advised me to stage it to up its appeal and make it market-ready for the spring 2013 buying season.

According to my realtor from Coldwell Banker, the spring real estate season begins the Monday following the Super Bowl. Regardless if you’re a 49ers fan or Ravens fan, if you want to sell your home this spring, now is the time to begin those necessary resale improvements.

After walking from room to room in my home, my realtor pointed out five key staging techniques I can make, and I am sharing them with you to ensure that your house is ready for market too.

Woman Cleaning Kitchen

Photo credit:

Clean Flooring

Whether you have hardwood floors, tile, laminate, or carpet, taking the time to clean your floors is worth the expense. My dining room has carpeting and therefore has been prone to spills and stains that other carpeted rooms don’t suffer through. I considered ripping out the carpeting and putting in laminate flooring, but my realtor advised against it. He said, “The return won’t be worth the expense and headache.” His advice was simple: steam clean the carpets in the entire home, clean the laminate floors, and clean up the grout in the tiled floor master bathroom.

Paint is Your Friend

Walls get rubbed on, scraped, stained, and chipped. Make the effort to put a fresh coat of paint in the important rooms of your home: living room, kitchen, dining room, hallways and bathrooms. Personally, I’m repainting all of those rooms in my home plus the stairway to the basement since scratches from moving furniture are prominent. If you’re not interested in painting, use a damp Magic Eraser to blend the wall paint around a minor stain or scratch to cover it up.

Clear Counters

My kitchen and bath counters are cluttered with all sorts of random items. My realtor’s advice was to clear out everything besides the most important things.

The kitchen counters should be staged with a coffee maker, knife block, and soap dispenser next to the sink. Everything else must go.

The bathroom counters should only have a clean soap dispenser and decorative items, such as a vase or candle.

white kitchen with messy counter

Photo credit: Tamar Schechner from

Complete Furnishings

I don’t have a coffee table in the living room, but my realtor advised that I buy one since it will make the room look bigger. My furniture set is from Target, and luckily they still have a matching coffee table available online! If you’re missing end tables, kitchen stools, a dining room table, or any other piece of furniture, consider browsing Craigslist or your local thrift shop to pick up furniture that completes your space. Make sure it matches!

Keep it Clean

My realtor gave me one piece of advice that I will carry with me the rest of my life. He said, “The minute that For Sale sign hits your lawn, you no longer live here.” Yikes!

Those words made me realize I need to get my cleaning hat on. Vacuuming and dusting are just the beginning of my long cleaning list. Check out 33 fantastic cleaning tips from to find the best way to clean your sink drain, window tracks, baseboards and more.

Remember, these tips are not for the one-and-done mentality. Make sure your house is always clean and clear of clutter to entice buyers.

What other tips did my realtor leave out? Share them with me in the comments below!


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