Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

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A guide to preparing your home to sell. Includes tips for fix-ups that improve your home's value and how staging helps your home sell for more money.


  • Getting Your Home Ready to Sell By Paula Pelton

  • Paula Pelton is a realtor in Orange County California. She is also a Certified Home Stager and Fine Homes Specialist. She is an award winning Realtor who helps Homeowners get the most for their home when they Sell with ideas that transform an ordinary home to model home 714-348-2359 Office

    About the Author: Paula Pelton

  • Planning your Move...5 Fixes that Pay off and those that dont...10 Adding Color, Emotion, and Style..15 Staged Homes Sell Faster and for More Money...18 Factors that Cause Homes to Sell for More...21 Free Resources . 24


  • Its easy to get overwhelmed. By writing down what you need to do in the order you need to do it takes away the stress and allows you to focus on one thing at a time. A moving plan gives you a road map from point A to point B so you can plan your time, money, and resources. I often create a To Do list for my clients so they can get start moving forward.

    CHAPTER 1: Planning Your Move

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  • Step One: Start Moving You have a garage, now is the time to use it. De-clutter your home by packing up everything youre not using. If youre moving because your house it too small, it will show that way. Move extra furniture, decorative items, and any kind of clutter into the garage so its packed, stored and ready to move. Or, if you have a garage worth showing off, its well worth it to rent a storage unit for a few months for your boxes and extra furniture. You want your home and each room to look as large as possible so you want minimum furniture in each room. Remember, youre moving so get started!

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  • If youre using a bedroom for an office, make it a nice bedroom or a nice office, but it cant be both. It confuses Buyers and they wont remember the room. Making it a bedroom is better, since the number of bedrooms adds value. 4 bedroom homes sell for more than 3 bedroom homes. If a buyer wants a home office, they always know they can convert a bedroom. When I stage a house, each room comes alive with with items that help a buyer connect with its purpose. A dining room is set with elegant place settings. A patio table has coffee cups and a newspaper. It feels good when there is congruence between the dcor of the room, its purpose, and the imagination of enjoying it. Create a focus for each room. Make an office an office and a bedroom a bedroom

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  • Once your home is empty of extra furniture and clutter, you can begin a to-do list of fix-ups and repairs. Making a list allows you to organize the projects and minimize trips back and forth to Home Depot. From the list you can create a shopping list and budget for repairs. Focus first on deferred maintenance. When Buyers see deferred maintenance, they begin to imagine deeper problems might exist. You want your home to look well maintained and cared for especially the details.

    Step 2: Make a List of Repairs before you start any fixes.

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  • De-Clutter This homes owner took great pride in her interior decorating skills to an extreme! Because she lived in the home, she could not see how over decorated and cluttered it had become. See the difference de-cluttering and focusing a room makes?

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  • Not all fix-ups pay off. Big fixes are often a waste of time and money while some small and inexpensive ones pay off in a big way. Usually cosmetic changes are all that are needed. Buyers want to see a home that looks clean and in good condition. They will do their own upgrades and changes. So stick to the deferred maintenance items, paint, and minor repairs.

    CHAPTER 2: Fix-Ups That Pay Off

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  • Fix-Ups are a return on investment decision. You can spend $100 on paint and improve your homes appeal and value by thousands of dollars. Other fix-ups are not such an easy decision. Upgrading a kitchen or remodeling a bathroom rarely bring the return you might expect. Avoid trying to read your potential Buyers mind. You might end up making improvements that are of no value to a buyer. Its a good idea to get a Home Inspection. Your Buyer will be getting one and its very helpful to know ahead of time what is going to come up on that report!

    Get a Home Inspection Report before you start so you see what your Buyer will see..

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  • Style Designer can save you costly mistakes! My Style Designer helps Sellers make smart choices in paint and finishes with my Style Designer program. You can change color and finishes with the click of a mouse. In this before and after you can see what a Husband can do with it, unsupervised!

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    A)er YIKES!

  • PRIORITIZE your home improvements and repairs Buyers will drive by before they come see. Make sure

    your home has CURB APPEAL. Take a photo of the front of your home and see what stands out and what does not. Use color, landscape, even some faade effects can dramatically improve the appeal of your home.

    The KITCHEN is the next priority. Dont spend money on a costly remodel. However, make sure its clean and in good repair.

    Renew your LANDSCAPE. Cut back trees and shrubs to reveal more of the house. Plant new flowers and freshen up flowerbeds. Get rid of dead plants. Clear away the sides of your home and make the back yard as inviting as possible.

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    I was able to create nice curb appeal for this home with some minor x ups and color.

  • Landscape and Curb Appeal In this case, I hired a Landscaper to come in and cut back the trees to unveil this beautiful home. The before shot is an actual photo from MLS who couldnt sell the house. Notice the warmth from interior lighting and up lights in the trees.

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  • CHAPTER 3: Use Color to Create Emotion and Appeal

    Be careful with color. It can make your home appeal to a broader market of buyers or it can create a narrow market of Buyers. Home prices are based on creating demand for a home. Start with neutral colors so your home has the broadest appeal. However, color must be added to create emotion and appeal. Color creates warmth and a feeling and that sells houses.

  • As a Color Specialist for over 25 years. I can tell you that color has a dramatic impact on how people feel about an environment. The differences are subtle but color can make the difference between whether a person feels good or not when they enter a space. Color can make a room look bigger or it can make it look smaller. I have been able to dramatically improve the sales price of a home simply by working with color. A home with the right interior color will often sell for more money than a home with expensive upgrades with the wrong colors It requires skilled artistry to creating a pleasing environment that creates feeling and emotion for the broadest possible number of people all of whom have diverse taste.

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    With my Style Designer I can show you the impact of various colors for walls, floorings, countertops, and cabinets right online. This allows you to make smart choices in color. And with just a few clicks I can show a buyer your home with exactly the colors they prefer. We can even pick out furniture and change the floor plan, right on the computer screen!

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    Upgrades Dont Always Make the House I was in compeIIon with an idenIcal house on the same street. My lisIng sold for $50,000 more than the same house with granite and upgraded kitchen! CreaIve use of design color can give a house far more appeal than expensive upgrades.

    Neighbor with Upgrades Sold $525,000

    Model Match No Upgrades Sold by Paula $575,000

  • Staging your home for sale is very different than decorating your home for living. Its like dressing up for family photos, it makes everyone uncomfortable for a while but you look great in the photos! Professional Home Staging brings out the best in your home and allows Buyers to see themselves living there and enjoying everything your home has to offer.

    CHAPTER 4: Staged Homes Sell Faster and for More Money

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  • Staging Before and After Staging brings each room of your home to life for a more emotional response.

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  • Virtual Staging With my Virtual Staging tool, you can add virtual staging to a vacant room. Choose online furniture and decorative items. Turns a vacant home into a Model Home!

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  • Demand drives value. Marketing a home with the greatest exposure possible opens the market to the broadest group of Buyers. Homes sell for more when they are marketed properly so the Buyer must compete with the entire marketplace.

    CHAPTER 5: Factors That Cause Homes to Sell for More

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  • Creating Higher Demand Marketing creates exposure which creates demand and

    demand drives value. You need a real estate company that has major marketing muscle so your home gets the exposure it needs to sell for top dollar.

    Market Knowledge A skilled Realtor has the local market knowledge to price your home ahead of the market. They need to know market trends that effect your value.

    Negotiation Creating demand also gives you leverage in negotiating. When you have multiple Buyers and multiple offers from great marketing, you can negotiate a higher price.

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    This home was in bad disrepair and dirt for front yard. I got it looking good with some paint and blue sky and green grass compliments of Photoshop!

  • Home Value Estimates Home Staging Consultations Moving Action Plans Listing Your Home for Sale Finding Your Next Home Paula Pelton Realtor

    Let Paula Help You Create Your Moving Plan!

  • Free Resources

    My Home Value EsImate Web Site hWp://

    My Free App - Orange County MLS Homes

    Style Designer and Virtual Stager