“Preparation is the key to success” has always been a favorite quote of mine. While it can be applied to so many things, it especially rings true when it comes time to prepare to sell your home. A common question from Sellers is, “what do I need to do to get my home ready to sell?” While each house will undoubtedly have it’s unique sub-sections in the answer column to this query, 3 things generally apply to anyone ready to test the market.

1. The Double D’s: Declutter and Deep-Clean

I know I am personally in awe of how much stuff we can accumulate as a family! It may sound obvious, but the importance of cleaning and decluttering cannot be stressed enough. Here are some to make this part more fun than a trip to the dentist.

  • Dispose of clutter before cleaning: This is the perfect time to purge your house of unnecessary items hiding in the garage, closet, or in plain sight. Garage sales are always a good option or consider giving them away through Craigslist. Local organizations here on Kauai, such as Church of the Pacific, are often willing to pick up unwanted furnishings and household items at no charge!
  • Deep clean your house: Consider it spring cleaning on steroids. If you don’t have the time or desire to do it yourself, bring in the professionals. We have a long list of talented cleaners, window washing specialists, carpet cleaners, pressure washers, and more. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms as a prospective buyer pays close attention to the same.
  • Organize closets, cabinets, and drawers: Potential buyers will often open closets and cabinets because they are thinking about storage space. Clean storage areas ensure buyers that you take care of the house.

2. Fix the Little Things That You’ve Grown Used To

Every home has it’s own unique little quirk(s) whether it be a door that sticks, a faucet that leaks, or a puka (hole) in the drywall. Take care of these problems before you show the house for the first time. We often recommend a pre-emptive professional home inspection to get a head start on items a buyer will dig into during their due diligence.

  • Fix any leaking faucets and running toilets.
  • Replace caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks.
  • Freshen up or repair grout as needed.
  • Patch walls and repaint
  • Replace or repair damaged window screens.

3. Let There Be Light, and Let It Be Consistent

Not sure I have ever heard a Buyer say, “this home is too light and bright,” but I have surely heard “this home is too dark.” Don’t let a would-be buyer leave in a dark mood…Show them the light!

  • Conduct a Room-by-Room Light Audit. Be sure to open all the curtains and blinds, turn on all the lights and look at each space through the eyes of a buyer, keeping in mind that showings may happen at different times of day with different lighting. Add lighting as needed for those rooms that appear dark.
  • If feasible, upgrade any dated fixtures. Replace or refurbish what you’re willing to, then install the brightest bulbs you (safely) can. If you choose LED lights, you can get many more lumens than incandescent bulbs, all while using less energy and generating less heat.
  • Whichever bulb you do choose, keep it consistent with color and brightness.

While each new listing has its unique preparation needs, we have found the aforementioned to be consistently effective. We recently applied the above to our new Nihilani at Princeville listing, which rendered multiple offers within the first days on market and an accepted offer!