For more than 12 years, I have been helping many families buy and sell their homes. Over the last few months, I became a Seller and when my home sold, a Purchaser. The home buying and selling process as my clients dealt with the process was now a vivid reality for me as well.
True, your REALTOR® is there to help you make informed and educated decisions and assist you through the process of selling and buying but it was only after I sold my personal home that my husband and I had built and lived in for 14 years that I really understood the selling process as my clients see it.
I was a big eye opener!
First the purge! I am always urging my sellers to reduce any clutter and de-personalize. I can't stress enough how you need any potential buyer to see your home with THEIR belongings and decor in it.
A difficult process but once you make the decision to sell, you have to mentally 'move out'. That includes putting away the pictures that take over your wall in your living room with family photos and replace the memories with something 'artsy' or 'neutral'
I chose not to have a professional home stager suggest some staging ideas as I am asked frequently 'what can I do to help make my home presentable for showings'.
I did go room to room and remove items that I personally liked and tried replacing with neutral, non-personal items. There's alot of great stores in Niagara to visit and pick up great items that won't break your budget.
Then I started packing! Find a spot, if you can to start storing some boxes without making your home look like you're ready to skip town and start putting away your personal belonging that you aren't going to need, pictures, seasonal clothing (so your closets look bigger), extra knick knacks (if you're a collector) ad so on. You'll be surprised at the difference that alone makes.
We then tackled the garage! Garages sell homes. If you have a garage, organize it, show you have space and storage. You want the future buyer of your home to see all the positives! A cluttered garage will give the impression that you don't have enough space.
Then the cleaning! I cleaned the house like it was spring time! Even though I listed in the fall. Windows, walls, carpets, scrub the shower, touch up paint, organize the kitchen and closets (yes, potential buyers will open your cabinet doors and peek in the closets)
The process took us a couple of weeks to complete before we actually put up a sign.
Then you have to keep it pretty. I now know first hand what a difficult task that is!
Showings and open houses....wow! It is so much easier for me to do that at a clients home. Such a different story when it is your own. My recent experience has made me a little more sympathetic to my Sellers and all the emotions that go with the process!
Gets a little more emotional when an offer is presented!
Although I am a compassionate REALTOR® and have always strived to treat each and every client and the home I am selling like it is my own, I can now say 'I understand what you're going through' with more understanding than I did before!