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Things to do before selling your house

Girl making plans to sell her house

Pleasanton homes for sale by owner tend to generate interest in the market, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare your home for a sale. Putting in the effort can increase your chances of a quick and profitable transaction.

Maximize curb appeal

The phrase “curb appeal” gets thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, curb appeal refers to how attractive your home appears from the outside.

Your home exterior is the first thing buyers see when they walk up to the property, so it has a huge impact on first impressions. Right then and there, they can decide whether they want to go inside and explore further, or turn around and look at another house.

Curb appeal is more than just upstaging other sellers in the area – HGTV host John Gidding claims that sellers can generate ROI of up to 150% with professional landscaping alone.

ROI varies based on the amount spent and the quality of the work done, but for the best results, Gidding recommends studying the architectural style of your home and coming up with a landscaping design that complements that. 

Homelight also says that curb appeal can take on a different look depending on the region – lawns in the Tri-Valley usually look amazing with ornamental grasses and Bay-friendly flora like sage, rosemary, mallow, butterfly bush, and coffee berry.

Aside from landscaping, you can replace cracked stepping stones, clean the gutters, make sure that the main gate is opening and closing properly, and power-wash and repaint your exterior walls. 


Get the property ready for open houses by getting rid of clutter. This involves tidying up, throwing damaged items away, and donating usable ones to charity shops to clear up the space. If you can’t part with bulky items like furniture and artwork, consider putting them in storage.

Too much clutter can distract buyers from the best features of the property – for example, all those angel figurines crowding the fireplace take away from the beauty of your vintage-style mantle, while bulky chairs and dresses obstruct the natural flow of the floor plan.    

Make obvious repairs

There’s no getting around it – you need to devote time and money to making obvious repairs around the property if you want to sell it for top dollar. Shrewd buyers can use leaking faucets, clogged drains, and broken glass window panes as leverage during negotiations and use them to justify a lower sales price.  

If you’re not handy around the house, don’t try making these repairs yourself. Not only can you worsen the damage, you could also hurt yourself in the process. That’s why it’s worth investing in the services of a professional repairman. 

Let there be light

Don’t underestimate the impact of natural and artificial lighting on a home sale. Real estate lifestyle site Off the MRKT found that seasoned buyers were willing to pay up to $5,000 more for a property that gets plenty of natural light.

Entice buyers by drawing the curtains and keeping the lights on during open houses. Consider investing in skylights and sunrooms for more natural light. If that’s not possible, you can incorporate reflective surfaces like mirrors and glossy metals into your décor to create the illusion of more light.  

Depersonalize your home

This is one of the hardest things for sellers to do – removing traces of their existence or personality, such as family photos, travel souvenirs, and personal collections, from the property.

This is partially due to a lack of readiness to fully let go of the property that has been their home for many years, as well as a lack of objectivity – they assume that what appeals to them will also appeal to buyers.  

However, removing personal effects and using a neutral color palette will make your home more appealing to a wide audience. Depersonalizing the space makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves moving into the home and putting their own personal stamp on the décor.

A Tri-Valley agent can help you get your home ready for a sale. Let me, Alice Chen, assist you throughout the selling process. Get in touch with me here or 925.216.0676 to list your home.