Important Strategies for Preparing Your Home to Sell in the Columbus Ohio Real Estate Market

'You never get a second chance to make a first impression' is as true in real estate as it is in life," said HGTV's Tom Pastillo.

If you were going on a first date or job interview, would you arrive with an untucked shirt and bed head? Selling your home is no different! Dress your home to impress buyers the first time they see it. An attractive property grabs buyers attention. Buyers are excited to find a home that looks and feels well-cared for believing they'll encounter fewer problems down the road.

Buyers are more likely to pay top market value for a home in top condition and homes in the best condition typically sell quicker. That means making any and all home repairs, ensuring inside and out are immaculate, and removing clutter. If you are unable to make improvements and your home is not in the best condition, then keep in mind your price should reflect it's condition.

Most homes can benefit from minor improvements and proper home staging techniques. Having shown thousands of homes to buyers shopping for their castle, I know what they're looking for and can provide advice to quickly and inexpensively make your home more appealing. Plus I can recommend reasonably priced contractors to make getting your home ready to sell easier and more affordable. Click on the tabs for some simple, inexpensive ideas to help dress your castle to impress!

Planning to Sell Your Central Ohio Home?
Contact Petra at (614) 746-2115

Preparing the exterior of your home.

The best thing you can do before selling your Central Ohio home is take time to maximize it's exterior appeal. Buyers may drive by a home before deciding to see it, so curb appeal can make a big impact. Tips to enhance your home's exterior and curb appeal:

  • Keep lawn edged, cut and watered.

  • Trim shrubs and prune trees.

  • Weed and edge gardens.

  • Plant colorful, inexpensive flowers, in pots if necessary

  • Clean driveway and clean up any oil spills.

  • Reseal an asphalt driveway.

  • Power wash home

  • Clean and align gutters.

  • Touch up paint, address any peeling paint.

  • In Northern winters, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice.

  • Check foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.

  • Inspect and clean the chimney.

  • Store RVs or old, beaten up cars elsewhere.

  • Clean porch & foyer.

  • Ensure door bell works.

  • Repair any broken screens.

  • Paint or varnish front door.


You have to pack eventually, why not start by decluttering?

Consider putting away personal items and pictures because it gives you a chance to start detaching yourself from the house. Packing away some of what made your house a home will make the transition easier. Beyond decluttering, it's about creating space and neutralizing your home so potential buyers can visualize themselves living there.

  • Clear halls and stairs of clutter

  • Store surplus furniture

  • Clear kitchen counter and stove top

  • Clear closets of unnecessary clothing and clutter

  • Start packing knick knacks, children's toys, and excessive personal items


You don't have to be able to eat off the floor or pass the white glove test. . .

But a little cleaning will go a long way to make your home feel fresh and sparkling. That cute border in your daughter's room, the mural you painted in the living room, or other decorative things, may not be what buyers are looking for. Consider repainting or removing certain items to make the house more appealing.

  • STOP smoking inside the home now!

  • Clean and freshen baths - urine smells are a turn off!

  • Clean fridge, stove and built in microwave (inside and out)

  • Clean cabinetry, doors and woodwork

  • Clean around heating vents

  • Clean carpet if it's still in good condition

  • Clean carpet if it's still in good condition

  • Eliminate pet odors and stains

  • Neutralize with paint


Proper maintenance makes a home feel well cared for.

  • Repair leaky faucets & toilets

  • Have furnace cleaned and serviced

  • Tighten door knobs and latches

  • Repair cracks in walls or ceilings

  • Apply a fresh coat of paint or touch up where necessary

  • Clean and repair windows

  • Repair seals around tubs and basins

  • Replace defective light bulbs or fixtures

  • Repair squeaking floor boards


Set the stage for showings.

  • Make sure home smells fresh & clean; odors are a BIG turnoff!

  • Turn on lights

  • Turn on air conditioner or heat if appropriate

  • Start a fire in the fireplace

  • Remove any dark or heavy window coverings to brighten the room

  • Open drapes & blinds to let natural light in

  • Repair door locks, ensure key works properly. You don't want buyers to miss a showing because the key in the lock box won't unlock the door!


Happy Client Testimonials

"Petra you did a good job with selling my home, the advertising and showings were many with less than 30 days on the market! I very much appreciated when you first saw the house and went from room to room and pointed out each of their problems and the suggestions you made."

Stacy Chafin - Gahanna, Ohio home seller

"I worked with Petra to sell my home during the tough housing market in Spring 2007. She was terrific to work with both during the listing process and during negotiations. I have worked with realtors in other cities before, and compared to those experiences, Petra is in a class by herself in terms of the amount of thoughtful attention and time she spends with each client, and her frank and honest communication style. Prior to listing, she recommended upgrades that I needed to have done and she also went the extra step to connect us with service providers who did the work quickly and affordably. Her suggestions were spot on, significantly improved the home's appearance, and ultimately resulted in the home selling quickly. I was very impressed with the time she invested in monitoring the sale of my home while it was listed: she followed up after each showing to get feedback from the other realtors on their clients' response to the home. Once offers started arriving, Petra's negotiating skills truly astounded me. Thanks to her calm but firm negotiation, our house eventually sold for over $10K more than the initial offer. I wholeheartedly recommend Petra if you are looking to buy or sell a home in Columbus Ohio."

(I sold their home in Northwest Columbus Ohio - Upper Arlington, Riverside Hospital and OSU area) Donna Byron - Columbus Ohio home seller

"You are an incredibly hard worker - from finding homes for us to doing all you could to get our house ready to sell. We especially appreciated your aggressive efforts to sell our home. You were very involved in getting information to us, answering our questions and helping all the details move along. Your commitment and willingness to do whatever it took, made a big impact"

(helped them sell their first Clintonville home and buy their 2nd home in Northwest Columbus Ohio) Jay & Patty Young - Clintonville, Ohio home owners