Getting Your Home Ready to Sell
Readying your home for sale is not simply throwing away old magazines and having a cleaning service come in for a deep clean. The idea is to prepare your home where a potential buyer can envision your home as their new house. To accomplish this you need to think of your house as a marketable commodity rather than your home. Remove emotion about your home from consideration. To get inspiration try visiting a model home in your area. Builders spend a lot of time and money on interior design to optimize the appeal of a home for potential buyers.
TURN YOUR HOME INTO A MODEL HOME
When you visit a model home you will notice that most of the rooms are devoid of specific personalities. Personal photos, collectibles, trophies, souvenirs and other personal items should be boxed up. Don't just store them in a closet, attic or the garage. Place them in a storage unit away from where potential buyers can see them.
After years of living in your home, it is common to form an emotional bond with items in your home. Excess items have a negative effect on your potential buyers' view of your home. Your potential buyers need to be able to see the walls. They need to see where their furniture is going to go. Take a step back and imagine you are the buyer. Ask a good friend to view your home and ask your agent to solicit feedback from viewings to know what you still need to remove. When in doubt, pack it up!
KITCHEN CLUTTER AND THE JUNK DRAWER
The kitchen is generally the heart of every home, so it is best to start there. Look at your counter tops. You will want to have those as clean and clear as possible. Yes, you may use the crock pot a couple of times a week and that toaster every morning, but your potential buyers will still see this as clutter. Store the crock pot and any other appliances not used on a daily basis below. Don't be scared of the closet monster for it can make you some extra money. Empty your closets out and make three piles. One for selling and/or donating, one for keeping and one for trash.
YOU'RE NOT A FURNITURE STORE
When viewing furniture in your rooms, try to think of that room as a hotel room. Just the bare minimums are best. A Bedroom should have a bed and dresser and maybe a desk and chair if space allows. Just enough items for your daily living needs. Many people work from home nowadays. If your desk is loaded with paperwork and files, take the time to organize and file your paperwork away. Potential buyers come in all ages and life stages. Just because you have kids and your neighborhood is full of elementary aged children, don't assume your new buyers will have kids. What you see as a cute play area, others see as junk.
GARAGE AND STORAGE CLUTTER
Once you get everything boxed up, don't just move it to the garage, basement, attic or closet. Potential buyers view these areas with just as critical and eye as other areas of your home. You're going to be moving anyway. Get those items into storage or make some money with a garage sale and get half the work done when it comes time to move out.