Getting the House Ready to Sell


Before you put your house on the market, its best to put a shine to it.  The way you present your property to prospective buyers can make all the difference.  Without investing in expensive and time-consuming renovation and redecoration, it's still possible to show your home to its very best advantage.  Your goal is to get others to see it as their potential home, not yours.  The first step in getting your home ready to sell is to "de-personalize" it.

                          
De-Personalize the Property
The reason you want to "de-personalize" your home is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home. When a potential homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about owning the house. Therefore, put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box. Rent a storage area for a few months and put the box in the storage unit.

                           
Un-cluttering the House
This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it. Clutter collects on shelves, counter tops, drawers, closets, garages, attics, and basements.  Take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend help point out areas of clutter, as long as you can accept their views without getting defensive. We can help you, too.

                            
Kitchen Clutter
The kitchen is a good place to start removing clutter, because it is an easy place to start. First, get everything off the counters. Everything. Even the toaster. Put the toaster in a cabinet and take it out when you use it. Find a place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have cabinet space to put everything. Clean them out. The dishes, pots and pans that rarely get used? Put them in a box and put that box in storage, too.

You see, homebuyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their "stuff." If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space. The best way to do that is to have as much "empty space" as possible.

For that reason, if you have a "junk drawer," get rid of the junk. If you have a rarely used crock pot, put it in storage. Do this with every cabinet and drawer. Create open space.

If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them – especially canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and you don’t want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway – or paying a mover to do so. Let what you have on the shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can.

Beneath the sink is very critical, too. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub the area down as well, and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water leaks that may cause a homebuyer to hesitate in buying your home.

                             
Closet Clutter

Closets are great for accumulating clutter, though you may not think of it as clutter. We are talking about extra clothes and shoes – things you rarely wear but cannot bear to be without. Do without these items for a couple of months by putting them in a box, because these items can make your closets look "crammed full." Sometimes there are shoeboxes full of "stuff" or other accumulated personal items, too.

                              
Furniture Clutter

Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms – not too much for your own personal living needs – but too much to give the illusion of space that a homebuyer would like to see. You may want to tour some builders’ models to see how they place furniture in the model homes. Observe how they place furniture in the models so you get some ideas on what to remove and what to leave in your house.

                              
Storage Area Clutter
Basements, garages, attics, and sheds accumulate not only clutter, but junk. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the space. Remove anything that is not essential and take it to the storage area.

                               
Curb Appeal
That first impression when prospective buyers drive up is very important.  If they don't find the outside appealing, they won't be interested in seeing what's inside.

Mowed lawns, trimmed shrubbery and clean windows are a start.  Planting a few flowers or plants can do a lot to a front yard.  Fertilize and water the lawn and plants thoroughly 2-3 weeks before putting the house on the market. Clean up oil spots on the driveway. Make sure the garage door opens easily.  Swimming pools should be clean along with the pump and filters.  Clean up and throw away any junk or items laying around the yard.  Now is a good time to have a yard sale, get rid of those items that you don't plan to take with you. Do this before you put your house on the market to greatly reduce the "detrimental clutter look".  
 
If your house could use a paint job and you don't have the time or money, some times hosing it off(from the bottom up) and repainting the trim will update the entire facade.    A clean front porch with a fresh looking front door that opens smoothly is a must.  Any broken windows should be fixed now as they will most likely be before closing.  A few gallons of stain or paint can add real impact to a fence.