11 expert tips from a top RealtySouth agent for getting your house ready to sell in Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama, Kristen McGee, RealtySouth

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Birmingham, Alabama, Kristen McGee, RealtySouth
Kristen McGee of RealtySouth with her pups in Birmingham. Photo submitted

Selling season is about to kick into high gear in Birmingham. Get your house market ready with 11 essential tips from one of RealtySouth’s top-performing real estate agents, Kristen McGee.

Kristen’s Essential 11

1. Curb appeal is key.

Have the yard cut and shrubs trimmed, and freshen up the pine straw. Clean the gutters, and pressure wash your home’s exterior and paving if needed.

Birmingham, Alabama, get your house market ready
This Vestavia Hills home demonstrates tidy landscaping and beds laden with fresh pine straw. Click on photo to see more of this house. Photo submitted

2. Go for light and bright.

“When it comes to paint colors, whites and grays are still really popular.”

Kristen McGee, real estate agent, RealtySouth

A fresh coat of paint in an airy shade is a budget-friendly fix that will make your home market ready in a jif. Remember to open up those drapes or blinds to let lots of natural light in before a showing.

Birmingham, Alabama, get your house market ready
This Hoover home demonstrates tips 2 and 3 to a tee. Click on photo to see more of this house. Photo submitted

3. Maximize your open space.

Buyers are looking for open spaces and open floor plans. Clear out larger furniture so that your home looks as open as possible.

4. About the bathroom …

Buyers want to see nice, big open bathrooms, but you don’t have to blow your budget on an expensive renovation. Fresh paint or new countertops can do the trick.

Birmingham, Alabama, get your house market ready
Note how fresh white paint and clean tile make this retro bathroom open and inviting without breaking the bank. Click on photo to see more of this South Crestwood home. Photo submitted

5. Less is more.

Ease up on the family portraits and decorative knickknacks.

“It’s okay to have some personal items and photos to make it feel like home, but don’t go overboard.”

Kristen McGee, real estate agent, RealtySouth
Birmingham, Alabama, get your house market ready
This Homewood charmer has just the right amount of personal style to make it homey. Photo submitted

6. Think odd numbers.

When it comes to decorative items, such as on a mantel, have an odd number so there’s a central focal point.

7. Tidy up.

Watch “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix, and get inspired. Bham Now snagged some quick tips from a local professional organizer based in Birmingham to get you started. Find them at the end of this post.

“Keep it simple. You don’t have to have it perfectly staged, like too many napkins and plates piled up on the table. As long as it’s neat and clean, it will show better.”

Kristen McGee, real estate agent, RealtySouth

8. Change those blown-out light bulbs.

A light and bright home shows better than one that’s too dark.

Birmingham, Alabama, get your house market ready
All light bulbs are shining brightly in this Trussville kitchen. Click on photo to see more of this house. Photo submitted

9. Dust all the hard-to-reach places.

I’ve noticed so many buyers checking out dusty ceiling fans and door trim.”

Kristen McGee, real estate agent, RealtySouth

10. Clean your doors, knobs and windows. 

Bonus: it’s flu season, so keeping those doorknobs sanitized helps you, too. As for the windows—I bet you never knew your view was so good.

Birmingham, Alabama, get your house market ready
Keep those doors, knobs and windows clean. This Mountain Brook home aces the test. Click on photo to see more of this house. Photo submitted

11. Tackle that honey do list.

If there are small cosmetic repairs you’ve been meaning to address, now is the time.

Quick Tips for Tidying Up

Bham Now caught up with Alex Lupo Sasser of Organize Bham for some tidying tips to get your house market ready. Here’s the quick and dirty (OK, not so dirty). You can do it yourself, but if you need some help, find more resources for professional organizers in Birmingham here.

  • Kitchen: clear clutter off the countertops, including small appliances. And throw away that dirty sponge. It’s probably time for a new one anyway.
Birmingham, Alabama, get your house market ready
A clear countertop clears buyers’ minds so they can consider making an offer. Click on photo to see more of this home at the Preserve in Hoover. Photo submitted
  • Bathrooms: lay fresh white towels out instead of the stained pink or purple ones. Remove toothbrushes and personal items from the countertop.
  • Living areas: Declutter shelving by removing knickknacks and family photos. Put away blankets and throws.
Birmingham, Alabama, Organize Bham, Alex Lupo Sasser, storage, pantry, closet
Keep pantries and closets neat for curious eyes. Photo via Organize Bham
  • Storage areas: Make sure storage areas are clear and easy to access. For example, if the garage is a mess, invest in some nice storage bins.
  • Closets and cabinets: Buyers do peek in closets and cabinets, so if you were thinking about shoving all your clutter inside, don’t. Keep these spaces in good order, too. Many buyers would rather see a half-empty closet than a full one, so find 10 to 20 items that don’t fit and donate them.
Birmingham, Alabama, Organize Bham, Alex Lupo Sasser, closet, coat hangers
Donate clothes that don’t fit to make room. Photo via Organize Bham
  • Last but not least: Fresh flowers in the house do not go unnoticed. Before a showing, run by the grocery store for a simple bouquet, or make one from whatever’s in the yard.
Spring means free flowers. This vase of irises, bellflowers, salvia, lavender, ice plant and thyme came from my yard last year. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

Final Step

So now your house is market ready. You’re ahead of the game. Good job. Now find your perfect agent at RealtySouth in Birmingham.

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