How to Prepare Your Home for Sale!
First Impressions Are Important – Be Aware of Sights and Smells
Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it’s not luck that makes it happen. It’s careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home’s spaces that send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is a short, but comprehensive list on how to prepare your house for sale, and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home buyers will be drawn to.
1. Disassociate Yourself with Your Home
Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house — a product to be sold, much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf. You need to disassociate yourself from the personal history of the home. Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact this house will, sooner than later, no longer be yours.
Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners, and instead focus your energies in gathering all of those items you feel would have been helpful to you to know about your new home, so you have it available for the new homeowners.
Don’t look backwards — look toward your future.
Pack up personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see themselves owning your property if they have trouble looking past personal artifacts and family memories. You don’t want buyers to be distracted by your history with the home, so give them a clean slate to imagine their life in the home. They can’t do this if there are constant reminders of you and your family in the space.
You never want a potential home buyer asking themselves, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to instead say to themselves, “I can see myself living here.”
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it. If you’re having a difficult time parting with things, try this: Take a picture of those items and start a photo album. It’s usually the good memories that the item invokes more than the item itself.
● If you don’t need it consider donating it, disposing of it, or giving it away
● Remove most books from bookcases
● Pack up those knickknacks
● Clean everything off kitchen counters and top/front of your refrigerator
● Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use
● Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway
4. Remove/Replace Favorite Items
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances, or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
5. Make Minor Repairs
● Make sure the doorbell, sidewalk, and stairs as well as the front door are in good condition
● Replace cracked floor or counter tiles
● Patch holes in walls
● Fix leaky faucets
● Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam
● Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls – Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the orange bathroom
● Replace burned out light bulbs
● Be sure that smoke detectors are installed in each bedroom and a carbon monoxide detector within 10 feet of all sleeping areas
● Re-caulk tubs, showers, and sinks
6. Make the House Sparkle
● Wash windows inside and out
● Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior
● Clean out cobwebs and dust bunnies - Most people don’t use their front doors and are unaware of how ‘neglected’ they appear with dead leaves, spider webs, and debris
● Consider adding a pot of fresh flowers to the front porch
● Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
● Clean out the refrigerator and closets
● Wax or refinish hardwood floors
● Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures – Don’t miss those return air vents and bathroom vent covers
● Clean and/or bleach dingy grout
● Replace worn rugs or consider removing them all together
● Hang up fresh towels – Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows
● Also, consider some fresh, pretty soaps for the bath vanity
● Clean and air out any musty smelling areas- Odors are a no-no
o Don’t try to cover them up with heavy air fresheners – Buyers wonder what you are trying to hide, and some people may actually be allergic to your air freshener
7. Check Your Curb Appeal
Many buyers won’t get out of their agent’s car because they don’t like the exterior of a home. You’ve lost them before they ever get inside. How your home looks from the time a prospective buyer pulls into the driveway, has a big impact on how they feel about your home.
● Keep the sidewalks cleared. This includes keeping bushes trimmed that border the walk-way
● Attend to the yard and grounds:
o Mow the lawn and be sure toys, garbage cans and yard equipment are put away
o Make the lawn shine – turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes prior to a showing
o If it’s winter, be sure the driveway, sidewalk, and front steps are well shoveled and de-iced
● Paint faded window trim
● Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together – Studies show the color yellow evokes a buying emotion…
o TIP: Marigolds are inexpensive
● Trim your trees and bushes
● Consider a fresh new mail box and seal coating of your driveway
● Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number clearly from the road
o Remove obstacles
o Make sure it’s well-lit at night
It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look closely at your home and express their opinions if you are there.
For more great tips, Call Lisa Ash and put her expertise to work for you today!