Staging and Decluttering Check List

Overall

• Thoroughly deep clean the entire home including ceiling fans, baseboards, oven, and closets
• Steam clean carpets and rugs using a company such as Stanley Steemer
• Consider replacing carpet if stains are prominent
• Consider refinishing hardwood floors if they are really scratched up or show damage
• Buy long white curtains from Ikea and change all curtains to matching white curtains (I believe they are $9.99 for two panels)
• Fix any knicks, cracks or holes in the walls. Repaint if needed. Neutral paint colors only, such as beige, cream or light grey. Pale blues and sage greens are suitable for bathrooms
• Take down all personal photos and any personalized items such as wall hangings, picture frames
• Remove all valuables including jewelry, prescription drugs and password protect all computers to prevent identity theft
• Make sure all light bulbs are working and place the highest wattage bulbs you can safely put in each lighting fixture. Add lamps to any rooms without adequate lighting
• Declutter, declutter, declutter. Your home should no longer look like a home. It should look like a hotel or model home. Remember, it is no longer your home! It’s now the buyer’s home
• Each room should only have one purpose. If you use your dining room as an office and a dining room, remove the office items and put them in storage
• Closets and cabinets should NOT look full. They should look organized and have empty space

Living Room

• Remove excess and oversized furniture. Remember, the less furniture, the better
• Rearrange furniture to maximize space. Consider pulling furniture away from the walls
• Furniture should be arranged in groupings with a rug anchoring the area
• Make sure the fireplace is clean and have a chimney sweep clean it

Dining Room

• Push all chairs in and set the table
• Consider fresh flowers for the middle of the table or a nice candle
• If you have more than 4 – 6 chairs put the additional chairs in storage
• Remove anything from the dining room that is not food/eating related
• Before showings, set the table

Kitchen

• Remove everything but one or two items from the counters
• Scrub tile, backsplash, counters and the inside of the oven
• Organize the inside of your cabinets and pantry
• Clean and organize your fridge. Don’t forget to wipe down the top of your fridge
• Clean the inside of the microwave
• Replace old caulking around sinks
• Remove stains from sinks
• Hang fresh towels
• Change outdated cabinet hardware and make sure it all matches
• If the kitchen cabinets are outdated, consider painting them white or grey to modernize them

Office

• Clear your office desk of all paperwork and personal items
• Remove anything with your name on it or any other personal information
• Password protect any computers
• Put away all bills, valuables, checkbooks, passports, etc. Consider putting these items in a safety deposit box until your home is sold

Bathrooms

• Buy new white bath and hand towels which are only put out for showings
• Take everything off counters except a plant or apothecary jars filled with q-tips, cotton balls, etc.
• Clean out and organize bathroom cabinet
• Buy a portable shower caddy and put anything on the counter you use in it such as your toothbrush, make up, etc. Put it under the sink before each showing
• Scrub tiles and considering regrouting the shower if needed
• Replace old caulking around sinks and bathtubs
• Remove stains from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs
• Keep toilet seat lids closed for showings
• Thoroughly scrub the shower door or consider a new shower curtain

Bedrooms

• Make beds before showings
• Put away everything on dressers/nightstands except a few books, an alarm clock, and a lamp
• Organize your closet so that there is one inch of space between each hanging item and so the shelves aren’t full. Store out-of-season clothes
• Laundry hampers should be hidden in the closet out of site

Pets

• Have a place to hide pet beds, litter boxes, toys, and food containers during showings
• Arrangements should be made for pets to be out of the home during showings

Kids

• Put away all toys
• Hide anything with your child’s name or date of birth on it
• Put away all photos of your child

Exterior and Garage

• Paint the home’s exterior if needed, including trim, doors and shutters
• Check front door, doorbell, address number and a welcome mat
• Power wash the siding and windows
• Inspect the roof and make repairs as needed
• Repair cracks in the driveway and sidewalks
• Sweep the entryway and walkways
• Mow, water and fertilize the lawn
• Trim shrubs and trees and rake the leaves
• Plant colorful flowers and shrubs
• Store any toys or equipment lying on the yard
• Clean up pet droppings
• Clean the gutters and downspouts
• Organize the garage

Maintenance

• Hire a chimney sweep
• Have the outside of windows and your screens professionally cleaned
• Have your furnace and AC tuned up
• Change air filters
• Maintain clean drains by adding a half-cup of baking soda followed by a half-cup of white vinegar. After 10 minutes, flush with boiling water
• Drain or flush water heater
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you set clocks back in the fall
• Check windows and doors for weather-tightness and install weather stripping where it’s needed
• Have furnace professionally inspected
• Consider paying for an inspection to be done before listing the home

Remember, Your House Is No Longer Your Home –

It’s Now the Future Buyer’s Home!


Posted on November 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Step 3: Time to Declutter and Stage Your Home

Once all of the paperwork is complete, it’s time to get  your house ready to attract those buyers! The magic word on this process is: declutter!

Review and print my Staging and Decluttering Check List. It will be a great help for you to get the staging process started.

Once the Staging Decluttering is done, our stager will walk through your home room by room with you to create a comprehensive list of remaining items that need to be done, furniture that needs to be moved or put in storage.

Unless the property is vacant, we usually don’t need a stager to equip your home but to advise you how to take your home to photography level.  We may recommend artwork or small pieces of furniture to augment the furniture you already have in your home. If your home is vacant and we do need a stager and furniture, I will also take care of that.

Remember, we’ll create a personalized list just for your home.  Let us know so we can schedule an appointment with our stager to ready for photography, and photographer to take professional photos of your home.

 

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com


Posted on November 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 4: Conduct a Pre-market Inspection


I am a big believer in pre-market inspections, especially for single-family homes.

This means you pay an inspector to inspect your home before it goes on the market. The cost for this is usually between $400 – $700.

It allows us to fix any items that come up in the inspection report before the home goes on the market in a manner you are more in control of, not to mention you will not be as pressed for time. Sometimes buyers will even waive doing their own inspection if they can read your inspection report.

If you’d like to do a pre-market inspection, let me know, and we will arrange for it. If you want, I can even be present for the inspection, so you don’t have to take any additional time off work.

 

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com

 


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 8:28 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 5: Repair Time

If you did a pre-market inspection, we should already have a list of items that need to be fixed.

If you didn’t, and your dishwasher hasn’t been working for years or your AC unit has been making an unusually loud noise, we need to know. We can have those items repaired before your home goes on the market.  It’s better to get items fixed now, before they come up in an inspection report, and potentially scare off a buyer later.

We have access to affordable repair people, electricians, handymen, etc. and am happy to make repair appointments and even be at your home to let workers in and oversee the work.

I recommend that you:

  • Touch up the paint in your home
  • Install new caulk around every shower and tub
  • Hire a professional HVAC company to service and clean both your AC unit and furnace
  • Hire a company such as Stanley Steemer to steam clean your carpets
  • Make sure all light bulbs are working and that every light fixture contains the highest wattage light bulbs it can bear
  • Have chimneys professionally swept and add a rain cap.  If any brick is loose, have it repaired
  • Change outdated cabinet hardware in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Repair any broken window screens at your local hardware store
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functioning properly
  • Make sure downspouts aren’t improperly sloped or damaged in single-family homes. If they are, have them repaired
  • Repair any damaged, broken or missing roof shingles if you own a single-family home

See Service Providers We Trust to see our list of recommend service providers such as handyman, appliance repair people, etc.

 

 

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 8:21 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 6: Deep Clean

This should be done the day before or the morning of the photography appointment.

Your home needs to be sparkling clean, especially the kitchen and bathrooms, as nothing turns a buyer off more than a dirty home.

If you don’t want to personally clean your home checkout Service Providers We Trust.   All staging and repairs should be done before she comes over to clean.  Once she cleans your place, please do your very best to keep it clean going forward.

An idea of the difference between General Cleaning vrs Deep Cleaning

General Cleaning VRS Deep Cleaning

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 7: Professional Photography

We’re so close to getting your home on the market! Last step is professional photography.

I’ll let you know a few days in advance when the appointment is taking place. The appointment itself will take between 1 – 2 hours for condos and 2 – 4 hours for single family homes/townhouses, depending on the size.

You do not need to be home for the appointment.

I pay for the photos; there is no cost to you.

Here are our pro tips for ensuring great photos:

  • Remove any cats or dogs from the home or put them in a crate during the photography appointment
  • Hide any pet beds, bowls, toys, etc
  • Make your bed
  • Put all dishes away
  • Turn on all lights and make sure all light bulbs, especially those in lamps, are working
  • The day before the professional photo appointment, take your own camera or smartphone and snap pics of your home. If a room looks too cluttered in your photos, declutter it even more.

During the photographs, we will likely move a lot of things in your home. We do our very best to put things back where they were, but don’t be surprised if you come home to find a few things out of place. We apologize in advance, but we want your photos to look the absolute best they can look and this often involves moving items to get the best shots.

We often photograph amenities in the building, such as exercise rooms or parking garages, in condos or nearby amenities in the neighborhood, such as parks or playgrounds, for single family homes.  If there is anything in particular you want to make sure we photograph, just let us know.

It usually takes 48 hours to get the photos back.

 

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com

 


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 5:23 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 8: Pre-Market Your Home


While the professional photos are being edited, we’ll market your home to other Realtors before it’s even on the market (what’s called a pocket listing) by executing the below strategies. We’ll discuss which tactics make the most sense for your property and situation:

  • Advertise your home via Century 21 email and Facebook groups for pocket listings. This is a great way to expose your home to top Realtors before it goes on the market
  • Send just listed postcards to nearby homes in the community (who best to help us market your home than a neighbor wanting a friend, family member, or co-worker to live close by?)
  • Conduct a broker open (optional)
  • Schedule and advertise our first open house to take place on Sunday after your listing goes live in the BLC
  • Create and print professional brochures
  • Install a For Sale sign to in front of your building or in your yard
  • Hang professional flyers outside your property which passersby can take for additional information
  • Put a lock box on your property for showings
  • Generally, the above takes 48-72 hours. After that, as soon as the photos are back from the photographer, your property will go live in the BLC!

Lastly, before your home is live in the BLC, I will send you a copy of the listing sheet to review. Please review it carefully and let me know of any errors. If you didn’t like how I phrased something, or feel we left out an important point, let me know as well.

Remember, we’re a team, and we want to get your house sold just as much as you do!

 

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 4:47 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 9: My Property is Live In The BLC

 

Congratulations, your home is now on the market!

All the hard work you’ve put in thus far should start paying off soon! So far you’ve done a lot of prep work to get your home market ready.

Now it’s my job to bring you an offer.

Now What?

Generally, it takes 36 – 72 hours before we get our first showing request. Centralized Showings Services will text you with showing requests. As much as we’d like to ask for 24 hours notices, we will miss a lot of showing opportunity if we do. Most of the times,  we will get showing requests in the morning, for that afternoon or evening. Therefore, when you leave each day, plan to have showings even if we don’t have one on the calendar.

If that is an issue let me know, and I can require 24 hrs notice.

Once a showing request comes in, you can approve it, deny it, or ask for a different day or time. Remember, the quicker we can get buyers into your place and the fewer showings we have to deny or reschedule, the faster we can get your place under contract. The buyer shouldn’t have to work around our schedule, which is why I always put a lockbox on every property I sell. We want to get buyers in as quickly as possible and, to do that, we need to work around their schedule.

How Will Showings work?

Typically showings last 15-30 minutes. You’ll need to be out 15 minutes before the appointed showing time in case the buyer and his/her Realtor are early. Plan to be out of the home for 45 minutes for each showing request. For example, if a showing is scheduled for 5pm, please be out by 4:45pm and don’t come home until after 5:30pm.

As soon as a showing is finished, the buyer’s Realtor will immediately get an email asking for feedback and if their client is interested in the home. Unfortunately, only about 30% of Realtors take the time to give feedback. If we receive feedback, I will immediately forward it on to you via email to review. Don’t be surprised when we don’t get feedback and don’t be offended by it either.

We’re looking for that ONE buyer who loves your home. For most, your house won’t be the right fit for various reasons, but we only need to find one.

 

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 3:58 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 9: My House is Live in the BLC

 

Congratulations, your hause is now on the market, and all the hard work you’ve put in thus far should start paying off soon! So far you’ve done a lot of prep work to get your home market ready. Now it’s my job to bring you an offer.

Now What?

Generally, it takes 36 – 72 hours before we get our first showing request. Centralized Showings Services will text you as soon as they are requested. As much as we’d like to ask for 24 hours notices, we will miss a lot of showing opportunity if we do. It’s not unusual to get showing requests in the AM for that afternoon or evening so when you leave each day, plan to have showings even if we don’t have one on the calendar.

If that is an issue due to pets at home, kids, etc. let me know, and I can require 24 hr notice.
Once a showing request comes in, you can approve it, deny it, or ask for a different day/time.

Remember, the quicker we can get buyers into your place and the fewer showings we have to deny or reschedule, the faster we can get your place under contract. The buyer shouldn’t have to work around our schedule, which is why we always put a lockbox on every property we sell. We want to get buyers in as quickly as possible and, to do that, we need to work around their schedule.

How long are they?

Typically showings last 15-30 minutes. You’ll need to be out 15 minutes before the appointed showing time in case the buyer and his/her Realtor are early. Plan to be out of the home for 45 minutes for each showing request. For example, if a showing is scheduled for 5pm, please be out by 4:45pm and don’t come home until after 5:30pm.

As soon as a showing is finished, the buyer’s Realtor will immediately get an email asking for feedback and if their client is interested in the home. Unfortunately, only about 30% of Realtors take the time to give feedback. If we receive feedback, we will immediately forward it on to you via email to review. Don’t be surprised when we don’t get feedback, and don’t be offended by feedback. We’re looking for that ONE buyer who loves your home. For most, your house won’t be the right fit for various reasons, but we only need to find one.

Lastly, once your home is live in the BLC, I will send you a copy of the listing sheet to review. Please review it carefully and let me know of any errors. Also, if you didn’t like how I phrased something, or feel I left out an important point, let me know. Remember, we’re a team, and I want to get your house sold just as much as you do!

 

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 3:37 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Step 10: Putting Your Listing on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor

 

Once your property goes live in the BLC, I will syndicate your home to the rest of the real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, etc.

This process takes 24 – 48 hours depending on the site, so be patient.

Going forward, each Wednesday morning we will send you a report showing how many people have viewed your home on the syndicated real estate websites (Zillow, Trulia, etc.) as well as how many people viewed your home in the BLC and marked it as either ‘Interested’, ‘Maybe’ or ‘Not Interested’.

 

Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me: LeeAnnBalta@C21Scheetz.com


Posted on November 26, 2018 at 7:15 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |