Preparing a House for Sale
Every seller wants his or her home to sell for a good price and as quickly as possible. However, that won’t just happen on its own. To achieve this requires careful preparation and a lot of work. Too many sellers fail to make any changes to the property and are then left sitting on the market for weeks. If you’re thinking of taking advantage of the spring/summer season to sell your home, the following tips should help make it a marketable gem attractive to buyers.
The first step is to stop thinking of the property as your home. Your home is now a house for sale, and your wonderful new home is waiting for you somewhere else. Of course you are sentimentally attached to those curtains you put up when you were first married and that painting your child made at school. However, you must put that sentimentality to one side and look at the property objectively. What are the house’s strengths and weaknesses? What is appealing to you, and what will be appealing to potential buyers? You want buyers to be able to imagine themselves in the space, and that will require removing some of your own personality from it.
Speaking of personality, the first step is to de-personalize your space. Pack up all your personal photos and memorabilia. You want buyers to be able to imagine their own photos on the walls. In fact, you may find it useful to rent a storage unit in which to keep some of your belongings and furniture while you stage your house for sale.
De-clutter, De-clutter, De-clutter
This is perhaps the most important step. Clutter is a natural part of any home — shoes by the door, children’s toys strewn about the floor, clothes you haven’t managed to put away just yet. However, clutter is a turn-off; it makes buyers think of cleaning and distracts from the attractive features of any space. Find new units of organization and put any excess items into storage.
Touch up any chipped or marked areas of paint. Consider repainting any bold room in a more neutral color. Replace cracked tiles. Patch any holes. Fix leaky faucets and jammed doors. Replace every burnt out light bulb. Essentially, take care of any cosmetic needs the house may have. The buyers will notice.
Make sure you perform a deep cleaning of the house. Have carpet stains removed. Wash windows inside and out. Replace dirty grout. Pressure wash sidewalks and decks. Organize the closets, cabinets and fridge. Replace any dingy towels, carpets or bedding. Scrub and polish every surface. In addition to the deep cleaning, make sure you touch-up with vacuuming and dusting every day to keep everything looking it’s very best. You might even consider hiring a cleaning crew for some extra help.
Don’t forget to pay as much attention to the outdoors as you do to the indoors. Your lawn is the first impression buyers will have of your house, so curb appeal is critical. Weed. Plant flowers. Mow the grass. Repaint the front door and shutters. Give the property a nice face-lift.
Lastly, you want to add the finishing decorative touches to ensure that buyers will love your space. Make sure that every room has a defined purpose — whether or not you actually use the room for that purpose. Try to make every space look as big and bright as possible. Remove much of the furniture to storage. Draw back the drapes. Add some mirrors for the illusion of even more space, and try to stick to a light, neutral color scheme. Then, add the finishing touches. Bring in plants and fresh flowers. Scented candles add a nice touch. You could even bake some cookies!
All of this may seem like a large investment of time, effort and even money. While that is true, it is worth putting in the work and preparation to make your house look its very best. You will be more than rewarded when a buyer falls in love and makes you the offer you deserve!