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10 ways to Prepare your house for sale in Portland



Selling your home can be a very stressful time and it can completely overwhelm the unsuspecting home owner.  Having just went through the process as well as working with many customers to prepare their house to sell we have learned a lot of things.  We have created a list of 10 ways that you can update your home interior and exterior to assure a smooth sailing transaction when selling your house in Portland.

What I have learned while selling our home:

  1. 1.  Paint a neutral color throughout your home.  Painting is the single most cost effective upgrade you can make to your home.  Warm grays and off whites are super hot right now.   Here is a list of colors we have been painting on homes going on the market, as well as on our own home.
  2. 2.  Painting the front door a new color or just repainting it with a new coat is very helpful.  Check out our recommended door colors. 
  3. 3.   Pull weeds and buy some new ground cover or bark chips to update the front entry of your home.
  4. 4.   Purchase and install new modern address numbers, possibly a new modern mailbox, and if your light fixtures are outdated or rusted purchase a couple of new ones for the exterior.
  5. 5.   Pressure wash the entire exterior of the home as well as all walking surfaces.  Portland is known for its rain and moisture and this causes algae and mildew to form on you walking surfaces.  A quick pressure wash will bring these surfaces back to new life.  Nothing worse than having a potential buyer slip on the way to your front door.
  6. 6.   Schedule your furnace or heating system to be cleaned. 
  7. 7.   Make sure you have one carbon monoxide detecter at each level of your home (ideally no more than 12′ from bedrooms) and double check that your smoke detectors are all current and operational.
  8. 8.  Make sure there is caulking around windows, door frames, or any other areas where water can intrude.
  9. 9.  Radon….This was the biggest shocker of all for us.  Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the ground.  And Portland is full of radon.  If you purchased your home prior to 2010 and do not have a Radon remediation unit already installed you might spend the $150 to $200 to get a test done.  We had no idea about Portland’s high level of radon in the soil.  When we purchased our home in 2009 there was no radon test completed.  When our first buyers had the inspection completed they found high levels of radon in our home.  Had we had this test completed prior to listing we would not have been surprised.  
  10. 10.  What you think may be a make or break issue with your home will probably not even be noticed by potential buyers coming through the house.  Save yourself some stress and look at the big picture (your entire home) and don’t focus on the little things.

As home owners we get stuck in the routine of dealing with things that are occurring at our home.  Maybe a door that squeaks, or a drawer that doesn’t work quite right.  Although it would’ve been nice to fix these items long ago it’s crucial to get them taken care of before the a potential buyer of your home walks in the door.

Selling your house is stressful no doubt, but if you stick to a plan for updating and realize that it will all be over very soon (homes in Portland are currently selling in less than a week) then you will make it through.  Also, realize that contractors, realtors, and all of the other professionals you are working with to sell your home do this everyday and are on your side.   All the best on your home selling adventure.