Are you in the market to buy or sell your home in the San Diego coastal area? Look no further than the real estate experts at Del Coronado Realty to make it happen! Connect with us today by calling (619) 437-1888.

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If you’re selling a house, notes that you have just a few seconds to make an impression on the buyers. Any realtor will tell you they’ve had a client who walked in and out of a showing in seconds – that’s how strong first impressions are.

These days, buyers are less interested in fixer-uppers; they want houses that are ready for the next occupants. With the strain of the down payment and closing fees, not to mention the mortgage, not all buyers have any extra money to spruce up their new home.

If you want to close fast, these affordable preparation tips from Del Coronado Realty will pique a buyer’s interest long enough to convince them to buy.

1. Decluttering Is a Must

As a rule of thumb, prepare to get rid of at least one-third to one-half of all your things everywhere. You must remove anything that will hinder your buyers from seeing the full potential of your house. To be safe, assume that every buyer will look everywhere—closets, attics, garages, basements, cupboards, etc.

Plan to get a head-start on your packing and put the items in an affordable temporary storage unit if your new home isn’t ready. Take this opportunity to declutter for good; remove rarely used things and donate, sell or recycle depending on their condition. Remove old furniture as well as seasonal items.

2. Depersonalize and Cater to Homebuyers’ Needs

Anything that hinders your potential buyer from imagining themselves in your home must go. Creative Home Stagers suggests starting with the obvious: family photos, art, memorabilia, hobbies, crafts, DIY projects, and kids’ homework on the fridge. Remove table-top décor and knickknacks from your travels around the world; few people will like the same things.

Remove furniture or decorations that express a specific taste or worldview—take away signs of your political, religious or ideological leanings. If your buyer thinks differently, you could have lost a sale just by displaying something that reflects your personality.

Find out ways to make the house feel warm and charming in unobtrusive ways. You also don’t want to make the space extremely impersonal. For example, leave a vase of flowers in the entryway or a bowl of fruit on the dining table.

It’s a good idea to stage your home being mindful of what homebuyers need. For example, you could fence in the back or front yard to appeal to those with kids and pets, or set up a home office for those who are working remotely. When setting up a home office, be strategic about where to place it as this can save you a lot of stress; a space with windows is great for letting in plenty of natural light, and try to find an area that’s relatively free of distractions, such as a spare bedroom or even a converted garden shed.

Also, if you’re in a position to move out early, it could be worthwhile to move into an apartment for the short term. This can be particularly helpful in making sure your home stays pristine, and makes it easier to manage your day-to-day life.

3. Prepare for Viewing and Photos

Research by the National Association of Realtors shows that staging can influence buyers to offer higher prices. Before staging your home, visit some open houses and view listings online to see how other homes have been prepared. When searching for listings online, also look into price ranges and/or the median sale price of homes to help you when listing your own home.

Your first impression begins with your curb, so tidy up your lawn and garden too, and make sure everything is neat and pretty. Figure out which improvements fit into your budget; don’t tackle major upgrades hoping to recoup your investment in the sale. You will likely want to replace aging appliances; for example, swapping to a more up-to-date range hood in your kitchen. Instead of repainting the walls, you can customize your own wallpaper to add touches of character. Keep it subtle, however; you don’t want them to stand out. 


Don’t approach your home sale with a divided mind. Take your time to find out what the market looks like, what similar listings are doing, and how best to prepare your home. Take a photo of your house, and ask yourself whether you would buy it if given the option.