3 tips to get your house “sell ready” in one week + before/after photos


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Pro tip: a friendly dog will help your curb appeal. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Home buying season is here. With new buyers entering the Birmingham market, there is no better time to sell than now. We reached out to two local real estate agents to get some tips and tricks—this is what we learned.

Advice from the Experts

Since I know virtually nothing about selling a home, I did what anyone would do and reached out to the experts. Two agents at LAH Real EstateSarah Sams and JanieMac Roe—walked me through the steps they take to help their clients’ properties look as appealing as possible.

In addition, I took a tour of a home that Sarah had recently helped one of her clients purchase. Check out the before + after photos to see how the new owners spruced it up!

Tips & Tricks

1. Work on Curb Appeal

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It is truly amazing what a coat of paint can do! Photos via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

“For one of my listings we replaced the bushes, cleaned up the stone facade and painted the front door a fun robin egg color. The house sold immediately.”

Sarah Sams, LAH Real Estate

The very first thing potential buyers notice is the exterior of the home. Curb appeal can intrigue a guest or turn them off completely, so it’s important that your home looks cute from the outside.

  • Pressure wash the driveway, sidewalk and any rock surface that has collected dirt and grime over the years.
  • Paint your front door a fun color! Robin eggshell blue, a pale yellow or vintage orange can really spruce up the color.
  • Trim or replace any overgrown bushes—add nice flowers, plants, fresh pine straw and mulch to help brighten the home.

Thinking of listing your home? Contact LAH Real Estate and let them help you get top dollar.

2. Spruce up the Interior

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Adding a simple grey tile backsplash in the kitchen makes a world of a difference. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

“Strangely enough, smell can be a huge turnoff for potential buyers, whether it’s a dog, food, cigarette smoke or something else. An oil defuser or candle can help bring a fresh scent back to your home.”

Sarah Sams, LAH Real Estate

Think of the exterior as placing bait in the water—now, the interior is where you set the hook. You want the interior to feel welcoming and like a home, but with enough open area so each guest can envision their future decor.

  • Declutter, declutter, declutter! Store away any personal items so guests can envision their future in the room.
  • Add oil defusers and candles to give your home a fresh, clean scent.
  • Properly stage the furniture to go with the natural flow of each room.
  • Make sure all walls have a simple, neutral paint job.
  • Replace old appliances with their new, sleek stainless steel counterparts.
  • Update the kitchen and bathroom with neutral, grey tiles (P.S. it’s not too difficult to do yourself)

And remember, the money you put into getting your home ready to sell will help you make more money in the long run.

3. The Devil is in the Details

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Greenery helps create a natural, cozy atmosphere. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Have you ever heard the saying, “if you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves”? The same goes for houses. Homeowners who keep up with the little details also take care of the bigger issues, which gives potential buyers a lot of confidence.

Here are a few things to keep an eye on:

  • Make sure all outlets and plugs work.
  • Touch up any chipped paint, the crown molding, and any loose railing.
  • On older homes, be sure to have a home inspection.
  • Check that windows aren’t painted shut.
  • Clean up dust in places you normally don’t reach.

Want to know more?

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Help from a local real estate agent (and a friendly pup!) makes the home buying/selling process sooo much easier. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Whether you’re buying or selling, having a local real estate agent on your side can save you money, time and a lot of headaches. While these tips can help you get started, you’ll want to hire a local real estate agent who deals with these issues every day.

For more tips and advice, be sure to reach out to the team at your local LAH Real Estate branch. They’ll be more than happy to help you get ready for home buying season!

LAH Real Estate: Website | Facebook | Instagram |

What are your go-to tips when selling a home? What do you look for when buying? Tag us @bhamnow and let us know!

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Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer with Bham Now | Originally from Tennessee, Nathan moved to The Magic City after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College. Nathan is passionate about recognizing Birmingham's history and is thrilled to learn more about the big things planned for The Magic City's future.

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