Tips for Selling Your Home

By John Fitzgerald, Grand Rapids Branch Manager

Selling a home is a long process, but the more that you can do to make your house look better to potential buyers, the quicker it will sell and you will be able to command a higher price. Here are a few things for you to consider, both on the interior and exterior.

First Impressions – Curb Appeal

If your home doesn’t have curb appeal, some potential buyers will drive past it and cross it off their list.  A well maintained landscape (trimmed bushes and edged lawn) with brightly colored flowers will spruce up your exterior will make your home visually appealing. You should also look for worn areas that need a touch up of paint, invest in street numbers that are highly visible and update the exterior light fixtures.


Storage and space are two features that you want your home to have. Rooms with spare furnishings will allow your home to feel open and comfortable to your buyers. Take out 1/3 of the items in your closet and organize them neatly. Don’t forget your garage and basement.

Freshen Up & Lighten Up

Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or power washing the exterior of your home, deck, porch or patio, you want your house to shine. Replace heavy and dark window coverings with inexpensive alternatives that will allow your home to look bright and cheery.  Repaint in neutral colors so your buyers can visualize themselves in your house.

Depersonalize Your Home

Because you want your buyers seeing themselves in your home, take yourself out of it.  Remove items specific to your personal tastes.  Items such as family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes are great items to box up early for your new home.

Make Necessary Repairs

Every home has some minor issues that get overlooked in everyday life, but can stick out to a potential homebuyer.  A loose or squeaky door, kitchen cabinet doors or handles that are loose, faucets with a slow leak, rust stains, and shower doors or curtains that have seen better days are typical annoyances that should be addressed before buyer’s tour your home.

Clean Everything and Everywhere

Don’t just dust and vacuum, make sure you wash the windows inside and out, and the inside ledges.  Scrub the floors and/or have the carpets professionally cleaned, move the appliances and vacuum behind them and look for dust bunnies and cobwebs.  Nobody wants to see your dirt.

Hire a Realtor Who Knows Your Market

Make sure your realtor is informed and knows how to market your home, and knows what properties are selling for in your market.  Technologically savvy realtors have many tools to feature your home, including drones and 3-D videos to help advertise the features of your home.

So, make it a family project to go through this list and take an inventory of what needs to be done. Most of these items are inexpensive and don’t require professional assistance. It doesn’t matter when you decide to list your home, you’ll enjoy your home more in the meantime and when you do find your realtor, and you will be able to focus on looking for your new home!