Ready, Set, Sell!
A list of 20 tips to properly prepare your home to list, show, and more importantly, SELL!
- Remove all emotional attachments – You are selling your house not your home. When you move, you will take your memories with you. The only thing you will leave behind is a structure. This is a business transaction and in order to maximize on your home sale you will need to remove any and all attachments.
- De-personalize – Consider boxing up those personal/family photos. They tend to make potential buyers feel uncomfortable while previewing your home. This really goes hand in hand with number 1. You want your buyers to be able to envision themselves in your house, and placing them in the presence of your family photos can be distracting. Basically, if it’s personal remove it. Better yet, if it’s hanging on the wall and it doesn’t add an element of design, remove it.
- De clutter – Do you have oodles of miscellaneous brick-a-brack? It may mean something to you, but it’s a major turn off to prospective buyers. If you’re not using it, pack it up.
- Clean – And by clean I mean clean every inch of your house, top to bottom, kitchens and bathrooms, basements and attics, nooks and crannies, and don’t forget to clear the counters. If you haven’t the time, and you have the extra cash consider hiring a cleaning company.
- Rent a storage unit – Storage units are well worth the money, and renting one will help you to get rid of those clunky items that make your home look much smaller than it is. On the bright side, you’ll have a head start packing those belongings you won’t necessarily be needing in the next few months. List and show your house with the essentials only.
- Donate – The Good Will and Salvation Army are just waiting to get their hands on those baby toys collecting dust in the corner.
- Closet space – Cluttered closets leave a negative impression. Buyers want to believe that they are going to have unlimited room for their clothes. If you don’t wear it, donate it. If you just can’t get rid of the beloved shoe collection and you have minimal home storage; hide them in a container under your bed. Buyers never look under beds.
- Kitchen appliances – If they are broken or dated – replace them. If you’re strapped for cash, try your best to make them sparkle.
- Polish the cabinets – Dust, Dust, Dust. Polish, Polish, Polish. The kitchen is one of the most important areas of your home.
- Pets – Do you have Pets? Be prepared to remove all signs of those cute little creatures. Hide their food and water bowls, get rid of access fur, and try to neutralize odd pet odors (baking soda). Prepare to keep the kitty litter clean and the lawn free of feces. When you have scheduled showings, hide the food bowls and kitty litter and take your dogs and cats with you. I know it’s difficult, but buyers don’t want to hear your dog barking while they are trying to envision themselves in your home.
- No smoking – Smoke outdoors please. It leaves stains and odors throughout the house, and it’s a major turn off to potential buyers.
- Paint – If you’ve painted Melanie’s room hot pink with purple stripes you may want to consider covering it with a neutral color. If you’ve painted different colors in every room, your house will probably not show to it’s potential. It would be in your best interest to keep those walls continuously neutral and welcoming. If you have wallpaper, just remember most buyers dislike it and regard it as a project. Skip the deterrent of wallpaper and paint those walls instead. Also, if the exterior paint is chipping and peeling you may want to paint or touch it up.
- Out with the old in with the new – Does your kitchen scream 1980’s or worse? Does your bathroom have dated tiles and fixtures? Dated kitchens and bathrooms will generally decrease your home value. If you have the funds, consider ONLY updating the items that will increase the value. Kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, lighting fixtures, sinks and toilets, faucets, tile, flooring… If you can’t afford to change anything, don’t worry. Just try and clean it as best you can.
- Flooring – Old colored Carpets or shag? Replace them. Dirty, but newer neutral colored carpets may only need to be professionally cleaned. Newer vinyl? Clean it and make it sparkle, otherwise, replace it. (If you are looking to increase value, choosing vinyl is typically not going to help your cause). Hardwood floors? Buff and Polish. Worn Hardwoods? If you have the cash, refinish them.
- Curb Appeal – The first impression a potential buyer will have, Curb Appeal. Weed, mulch, flowers, shrubs, steps, door, handle, mail box… they all matter. Take care of your property, and keep your entryway free of debris.
- Power wash – Power washing works magic on asphalt, concrete, decking and vinyl siding. You want your house to sparkle, the same way your kitchen appliances should sparkle. If you don’t own one, borrow one from a friend or try renting one from your local hardware store.
- Clean the furnace and chimney – Make sure you have a professional do the cleaning and save the invoice.
- Passing Title V certificate – If you have a private sewer you will need an inspection to receive a passing title V certificate. Most buyers, will need you to have a passing title V to get financing.
- Electrical and plumbing – Replace all dead bulbs and make sure all electrical fixtures are functioning. Clear all drains and make sure your water is flowing properly.
- Pre-sale home inspection - This is usually a good idea for any home more than 30 years old. If any safety or structural problems are found, it is best to have them addressed before potentialbuyers have a home inspection of their own.
Thank you for reading. You are now on your way to listing the best looking house in the neighborhood! Now head on over to my Marketing Plan.