Preparing Your House to Sell in a Pandemic

Written by Suzanne Arthur, Broker | REALTOR

Preparing your house to sell post-pandemic boils down to three fundamentals – clean, clean, clean. If you live in the house, pack up and store items not needed for everyday use. Less is more. Traditionally,
listing a vacant home has been considered a bit of a liability. Currently, a vacant house is a benefit to house hunters and agents alike. Whether or not you occupy the house you’re selling, use this checklist to help prepare your home for a quick and seamless sale.


Clean out closets and clear off surfaces. Get rid of things you don’t plan to keep. Remove excess furniture, or any pieces not scaled to the room. Show how sleek and spacious the house is. A pile of mail on the counter, or collection of kid-art on the fridge door detracts from your home’s lovely features. Sanitize surfaces and keep them dusted. Remove knickknacks from bookshelves. Remove items out of the reach of children, especially glass or breakables.


Buyers drive by first to see if they like the house well enough to book a showing. First impressions linger. Keep the lawn mowed and leaf-free. Trim bushes, edge the grass. Neaten your driveway and fix any peeling paint. Use color to accentuate your home’s best features. Place a pot of purple flowers against a brick wall. Balance and symmetry send a message of peacefulness and stability. Plant pansies petunias in the garden beds. Bear in mind, buyers also drive by at night. Use uplighting to accent a beautiful tree or an architectural detail.


If the property is vacant, keep it clean and sanitized if feasible between showings. If occupied, take even more care. Sheltering-in-place creates more dishes, more laundry, more dust. COVID-19 has turned us into bona fide germaphobes, if we weren’t already. Buyers are sensitive to cleanliness. Vigorously clean everything, but especially heavily trafficked areas such as bathrooms and the kitchen. Shine countertops, faucets, basins, handles, and doorknobs.


If you are not willing to paint the entire house, at least paint the front door and front trim. Clean out and repair gutters, downspouts, and drains. Pressure wash the driveway, fences, decks, and dirty walls. Get a new welcome mat and repair or replace any shabby deck, porch, and yard furniture.


Fix that broken window blind, patch the hole in the drywall. Now is the time to tend to your to-do list. Repair what you can, or call in contractors when feasible. Have you wanted to update the kitchen cabinets or flooring? The kitchen is truly the heart of the home. Many buyers hinge their final decision on how well they like it. Make yours so appealing that the buyer can’t imagine life anywhere else.


A professional stager knows the real estate market so can lend your property that edge that a discerning buyer is looking for. Virtual staging is an option if the house is vacant. Like the symmetry in the garden, interior design is a visual art that conveys a message. A staging pro can bring in the perfect barstools or work of art, or rearrange items on your bookshelves in a new way that makes your house sing.


Video and virtual showings are here to stay. Help your buyer learn everything they can about your property upfront. In-person showings can be inconvenient and time-consuming. Show off your home through the use of video tours, drone photography fly-bys, and virtual tours. These services can be hired out for a reasonable fee. At a time when people do not want (or are not yet allowed) to travel, these tools can make the difference.

Suzanne is a Broker | REALTOR serving Asheville and the greater WNC area. Contact Suzanne to learn how you can prepare your home to sell during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s never been more important to have a professional on your side:

(828) 713-0078 [email protected]

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