The Living Well Group’s Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home in Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina, is a vibrant city rich in history, charm, and culture. The history buff, the golfer, the outdoor enthusiast, the foodie, and the art lover all unite in Charleston, a city that appeals to nearly everyone with its growing economy, mild weather, and endless activities. Charleston is a desirable location for people of all ages and backgrounds, from young families to business professionals to retirees.

So, when it is time to sell your beloved Charleston home to someone who loves the port city just as much as you do, read on for Charlsi Kelley’s guide for the ultimate home-selling tips for setting your home apart from the competition. Before you know it, those offers will come flying in!

First Things First: Clean and Declutter Your House

Cleaning your home in preparation for photography, open houses, and tours is much different from your average, everyday dusting and vacuuming session. This will require much more elbow grease! To make your home sparkle and shine, you need to dig deep into the nooks and crannies of your home. Dust off the tops of every surface, scrub the windows to let the light through, and leave no corner of the floor untouched with the mop. Your buyer will notice the little things and make a mental note of any dust or dirt left behind!

Declutter and Minimize

Photo courtesy of Living Well Group
Start the decluttering process by clearing out cabinets, drawers, and closets because your buyers will take a curious peek inside them! Sell or donate items you no longer need, and pack up anything you do not want accessible to strangers. Potential buyers will be looking in these areas to gauge the amount of storage space your home has, so make them look bigger by keeping them only about halfway full.

You also want to remove family pictures, keepsakes, or religious items that may distract buyers and remind them it is someone else's home. After all, you want your buyers to envision their own lives here; you want them to imagine their family portraits on the wall and personalized magnets of their dog on the fridge.

Also, ensure countertops, shelves, and other surfaces are clear of clutter. Put away small kitchen appliances, clear your makeup out of the bathroom, and pick up the pet's toys.

Reducing clutter and maintaining a minimalist approach will instantly make the room feel more spacious and show-ready. 

Deep Clean the House 

Your cleaning routine, no matter how thorough, can always use a boost before your house hits the market. If you have a standard cleaning service, inquire about upgrading to a deep clean.

A professional deep cleaning team will address areas that are not typically covered during a weekly cleaning, such as scrubbing the grout, walls, and baseboards. In addition, they can thoroughly clean window coverings, shampoo the carpets, and disinfect the home. They will also go into infrequently cleaned rooms, such as attics and basements, and clean out the dust, dirt, and cobwebs that may not be addressed during weekly cleanings.

Do Not Skip the Necessary Repairs

Take a look around your home, and be honest. Are there little things you meant to fix but kept putting off? A loose door knob? The outdated cabinet hardware? That closet door that refuses to stay shut all the way?

These are minor, quick fixes that do not take much time or effort to address, but they can make a huge difference in your buyers’ minds. In addition to those repairs, a fresh coat of paint in each room is a good idea. Choose a neutral color palette for your walls and trim. These simple updates will give the house a clean, polished feel.

Homeowners should carefully consider whether more extensive repairs and upgrades are needed, as some will pay off more than others. You probably don’t want to put too much money into personalized upgrades if they won’t net a high return on investment.

However, you certainly want to ensure the necessities, like plumbing, electrical, and roofing, are ready for move-in. Buyers want to be assured that the basics work, so avoid any surprises during the inspection and take care of any issues now. Conducting a pre-listing inspection is a great way to get a head start on any necessary repairs or updates.

Let the Light Shine

Lighting is another essential element to making your home look its very best. After all, you want to illuminate the house to look more open, spacious, and inviting. So, open the blinds and curtains and let that light shine through! Replace any outdated lampshades or light fixtures with modern, stylish choices. Throw out old lightbulbs, and put in bright LEDs that won’t leave your guests in the dark. Use mirrors to reflect light strategically and brighten up the space.

Let Your Stager Work Their Magic 

You can get a head start on staging your home with the above tips, but hiring a professional stager is an essential piece of the puzzle. A stager knows all the interior design tips to make a home look elegant and welcoming, with well-placed decor and intentionally arranged furniture that evokes a spirit of purpose and style in each room. Professional stagers are well-versed in design elements that appeal to the right audience, and they will set up your space for success.

The stager's goal is to define spaces, make rooms feel larger, and highlight your home's best features so that others will fall in love with it, just like you did. They want to welcome buyers into your house and help them envision it as their next home.

The First Impression May Be Their Only Impression

Photo courtesy of Living Well Group
Now that you’ve made the interior of your home look incredible, it’s time to take a look at the outside. What will potential buyers notice? A group of leaves strewn about the lawn? The crooked, sun-faded address letters? The animated Christmas lawn decor from five months ago?

Before buyers walk through your front door, you have to make them want to go inside. You are probably well aware that curb appeal sets the tone for your house, and many buyers will write off a house that does not look appealing from the outside. Therefore, you want to give potential buyers a warm, welcoming, and positive first impression.

You can do several things to increase your home's curb appeal.
  • Spruce up the landscaping by trimming bushes and trees, cleaning up the flower beds, or planting bright flowers.
  • Powerwash your decks, porches, walkways, and patios to ensure everything looks clean.
  • Liven up the porch with hanging flower baskets, a potted plant, or a suncatcher.
  • Make sure outdoor furniture is clean and staged to showcase the outdoor living space.
  • Consider painting or upgrading your exterior doors.
  • Change or upgrade your mailbox, exterior lights, or other fixtures if they look worn or outdated.
Remember, your home has to stand out from all the others on the market. Buyers will make quick judgments based on the exterior of your home, so take the time to make an excellent first impression. Many of these changes are simple, understated ways to up the ante of your curb appeal.

Be Flexible With Showings

Your agent will have a marketing strategy designed to highlight your home and attract the right buyers. Trust their process. Whether it is an open house or accommodating private showings on short notice, be prepared and be flexible. For example, if you require 24 hours of notice for a showing, buyers may skip it and move on to the next house. You also must ensure that your family and any pets are out of the house before potential buyers arrive for a showing, or it may make for an awkward interaction.

Be Flexible With Showings

When it comes down to it, you need an advocate who has the industry experience and market knowledge to help guide you through the selling process from A to Z. A real estate agent has professional connections and can connect you to professional cleaners, landscapers, stagers, and anyone else you need to help prepare your home for sale. They will give you pricing guidance and expertly handle the marketing. When it is time to consider offers, real estate agents are skilled negotiators who will work diligently on your behalf. After all, it is significantly easier to navigate the real estate market when you have an expert by your side.

If you are ready to sell your gorgeous home on the Charleston real estate market, contact Charlsi Kelley or Sarah Kozlik of Living Well Group. Charlsi and Sarah stay up to date on all the market stats and specialize in serving clients throughout Charleston and the surrounding neighborhoods. Reach out today to get started!
*Header photo courtesy of Living Well Group

Work With Us

Whether purchasing your very first home or looking for your next investment property, we understand firsthand how important the decision is- and having the right agent in your corner can make all the difference! We value our clients' trust and work hard to exceed expectations at every step in the process.