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Thinking of Selling your House in the Next Few Years?

Now is the perfect time to start preparing!

You walk up to a house that you and your agent think sounds perfect for you. You step through dark rooms, and navigate your way around plenty of furniture and personal decor. The rooms feel closed in and distracting; you look at your spouse and know it is not for you. This feeling isn’t what you are looking for, and you are suddenly ready to leave.

By starting to see your upcoming house sale through the eyes of a buyer, you will position yourself for success. When selling, your house becomes a marketable commodity that can make you money, and is no longer your “home.” Buyers will pay more for a vision of the life they want to live; they are drawn to rooms that appear clean, spacious, light and bright, and aspire to a life of travel, leisure and entertaining.

But doing nothing will cost you more in the long run than the small sum you’ll invest in preparation. Starting at the bottom of this pyramid, let’s break down what you can do this winter….because these actions could make the difference between increasing your profits, and having a home that sits on the market indefinitely.

Safety and Maintenance

Often, the biggest things that can derail a sale lie within the house maintenance category -- things like bad gutters or a wood deck showing evidence of termites. Buyers will immediately see red flags and quickly add up dollar signs, so removing objections ahead of time helps.

Jocelyn Cilik, owner of HouseMaster Inspections in Cranberry, advises that “sellers should do a pre-inspection (before listing), as it gives them a competitive edge that minimizes price negotiations, gives them credibility, eliminates surprises, and makes the entire process go more smoothly.”

Next, make a list of the little things in each room that won’t come up in an inspection but buyers will notice: dings on trim, snagged carpet strands, that dent in the drywall from your son’s skateboard…. Then fix them all, or hire someone to do it!


By making small updates before selling, you will modernize key things that will stay with the house, making a huge difference to the overall look and feel, and increasing its perceived value.

Start with these cost-effective updates:

1. Paint is money in a can! Choose a neutral color palette. This allows the walls to become the background for the room, not the focus, and makes rooms appear larger.

2. Remove window treatments if they are over 10 years old, or if they darken or cover the glass. Leave sheers up if you need privacy, but not the curtains that block a tremendous amount of light.

3. New light fixtures provide a huge update for a small investment. They instantly modernize a room, which elevates it and makes it look well taken care of.

4. In kitchens and bathrooms, painting older cabinets, changing out the hardware and faucets, and adding new, white shower curtains all make a huge difference.

Rooms and Décor

(Please see my article, “Three Things that will make your House Irresistible to Buyers” in the August 228 Corridor Neighbors magazine, and on my blog, here, that focuses on 3 things within the Rooms and Décor category that are essential to selling for top dollar: your household “stuff,” artwork, and soft accessories.)

Your potential buyers walk up to your house with their agent, excited to see it. It is light and bright inside, with the light streaming in through the large windows. The rooms feel spacious and large, and the buyers can easily imagine how their family could live here. They look at each other and know this is what they have been looking for. This feels like home.

Yes, it can be a lot of work to sell your house for top dollar, but this investment will pay off tremendously by attracting more buyers and selling faster and for more money than the competition.

If you want customized action steps for your house sale, call me to get started on your Seller’s Action Plan and set yourself up for success! 724.302.4663


By Amy Nelson

Home Transformations Staging & ReDesign


Dec. 2022

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