Prepping Your House For Sale
Although blind luck can sometimes play a part in helping a home sell quickly, most of the time it is the result of hard work and a well-developed plan. Since most areas usually have multiple homes for sale across a range of prices, attracting a buyer will require your home to stand out from the crowd.
The following tips will explain how to get your home ready to sell and help you complete the process sooner rather than later.
Make The Home Neutral
When potential sellers visit the home they want to envision living in the home. However, this can be a tough task if they are surrounded by photos and personal items that all reflect you and your loved ones.
Put away the personal stuff along with your heirlooms that speak to your personality and tastes.
The idea is to create an environment that a buyer looks around and thinks “it would be SO EASY to live here!” This means having only a few pieces of furniture in each of the major areas of the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. People can picture their own items better if there are few distractions.
It is also a good idea to have neutral colors. Off white, tan or similar colors for walls make the place feel as if it could be changed easily to fit the buyer’s tastes.
Take Some Time to Let Go
If you have been in your current home for any length of time, there are likely many warm memories wrapped up in the place. Moving away and leaving those moments behind can be emotionally painful. Here are some ways to help you make the transition.
- Spend time in each room to reflect on the memories of those specific spaces. Then say goodbye to the rooms.
- Keep repeating to yourself “the precious memories of this place will always live on in my heart and mind. The home is merely a place to be bought and sold.”
- Consider the fact that a new owner(s) is looking for a place to create their happy spot and joyful memories.
- Also, consider that you are enabling the new owner to develop a calm and peaceful place to call their own by selling your wonderful place to them
- Now is the time to embrace a bold, new future
By physically and mentally going through the process of saying goodbye to your old home, it will make the sale easier. Instead of only being sad at the thought of change, you will be in a mindset that you are making an opportunity for a new owner.
Physical Actions to Improve the Appeal of Your Home
There are 3 main things to focus on in order to physically improve the appeal of the home.
Rearrange – closets and cabinets need to be organized to maximize space and allow future buyers to see how their belongings will fit in the confines of the new home.
Neatly arranged closets and storage spots will indicate to the buyer that you have taken great care of the home.
Here are a few ways to make order out of chaos.
- Stack all of the pans and dishes as neatly as possible.
- Hang pants together. Likewise, hang shirts together and facing all in the same direction.
- Place the shoes in a neat line.
- Align all the spice jars in alphabetical order.
- Turn each of the coffee mugs so that all handles face a uniform direction.
Remove all clutter – The majority of people hang on to a number of things long after their usefulness has expired. Now is a time to get rid of the stuff that you no longer need.
- Pull down all of the books from the various bookcases.
- Items that are used every day should be kept in a box. The box can then be put away in a closet. Things like coffee maker, toothbrush, razor, comb, etc.
- Put things that are no longer used in one spot. Sell them online or donate them if they are truly of no use to you any longer.
- Gather all knickknacks, gifts, etc. and pack them up.
- Clear off all the counters in the kitchen. Makes the room look bigger and more user-friendly
Store things in a temporary unit – Homes are usually easier to sell when they are not packed with furniture, clothes, appliances and the like. For this reason, it may be a good idea to remove a few items from the home and place them in a storage facility.
The books and knickknacks mentioned earlier can be stored away. Also, if you have a dining table with removable leaves, take out the extra leaves and store them away. Each room needs a modest amount of furniture.
This allows potential buyers to picture their own items in the various rooms without too much distracting them.
Take Out Items to Avoid Haggling
There are people who are truly gifted at decorating a home. They are so good at it, that some buyers may see the home and wish to buy it as is, with everything in place. However, most sellers envision taking their belongings with them when they move.
If you are attached to any particular fixture, or you wish to keep the appliance(s), go ahead and move these things out now. If you cannot move them to the home of a friend or relative, consider putting them in short-term storage.
Buyers will never ask to buy something if they have never seen it.
Shine Up the Home
This is a great time to perform a deep cleaning of the whole place. It may take more than a day. It could also be a wise investment to hire a professional cleaning company to help out.
Here are some of the major items to clean:
- Wipe down any cobwebs from all rooms
- Remove old items from the refrigerator
- Clean both the outside and inside of every window
- Apply fresh caulk to sinks, tubs, and showers
- Dust all the light fixtures as well as the blades on ceiling fans
- Put up clean, new towels in all bathrooms
- Clean the sidewalks and driveway with a pressure washer
- Wax any hardwood floor
- Use bleach to clean the grout in tile floors
- Apply polish to all mirrors and the faucet fixtures in bathrooms and kitchen
Getting everything sparkling clean will impress potential buyers with not only a nice look but also a fresh smell in the home when they make their first entrance.
Fix the Small Stuff
Walkthrough the home and make note of any small repair that you have put off. Getting everything in working order will boost the home’s appeal.
- Repair leaks to faucets
- Replace any cracked tile. This includes tiles on the floor and tiles along the walls in the bathroom
- Remove any non-working light bulb and replace with a new bulb
- Apply oil to squeaky doors.
- Fix any drawer in the kitchen or bathroom that does not close/open easily
- Apply spackle to any holes in the walls. Then paint over the spackle
If a potential buyer sees multiple small repairs that need to take place, it could have a negative impact on their perception of the home. Instead of viewing the place as move-in ready, they may see your property as a fixer-upper and try to negotiate the price down severely.
Maximize the View from the Curb
Some people make a choice to see a home or turn it down based on the appearance from the curb. Take some time to improve the exterior of the home to get as many buyers as possible to make an appointment.
- Clean off the sidewalks of leaves, toys and any other item.
- If the paint on the trim around windows is faded, repaint it
- Trim the hedges
- Keep the lawn mowed
- Add some yellow flowers to the front entrance. Yellow has been shown to cause people to buy more frequently
- Check to see that the house number either on the mailbox or the home is easy to read
Improving the curb appeal should improve your chances of getting more appointments to view the home. Remember, only one happy buyer has to agree to purchase your home.
Summing Up How To Get Your Home Ready To Sell
As previously mentioned, properly learning how to get your home ready to sell can take a bit of work. The strategies outlined above will help you with every section of the home and should increase your odds of getting more viewers to your property.
By upping the number of people coming through your home, you should be able to sell the place much sooner than you originally anticipated.
Additional Home Seller Resources:
Tips To Make Your Buyers Love Your Home via Xavier De Buck
What Not To Do When Selling Your Home
Tips to Help You Prepare for a Home Inspection via Sharon Paxson
Should a Home Seller or Buyer Extend their Contract? via Michelle Gibson
About the author: This article on “How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell” was written by Luke Skar of MadisonMortgageGuys.com. As the Social Media Strategist, his role is to provide original content for all of their social media profiles as well as generating new leads from his website.
MadisonMortgageGuys.com provides award-winning customer service to clients who need to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage.
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