How To Prepare Your Home For Sale
Prepping and staging a house. Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it’s not luck that makes that happen. It’s careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to dress a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.
- Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
•Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house – a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.
•Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
•Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
•Say goodbye to every room
•Don’t look backwards – look toward the future.
•Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if you are there! You don’t want to make any buyer ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.
•If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
•Remove all books from bookcases
•Pack up those knickknacks
•Clean off everything on the kitchen counters
•Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
•Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
- Re-arrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it send if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
•Alphabetize spice jars.
•Neatly stack dishes
•Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
•Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction
•Line up shoes.
- Rent a Storage Unit.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are new empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”
- Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to you great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
- Make Minor Repairs.
•Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
•Patch holes in walls
•Fix leaky faucets.
•Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
•Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
•(Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the orange bathroom.”)
•Replace burnt-out light bulbs
•If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
- Make the House Sparkle!
•Wash windows inside and out
•Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
•Clean out cobwebs
•Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
•Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
•Clean out the Refrigerator
•Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
•Bleach dingy grout.
•Replace worn rugs.
•Hang up fresh towels.
•Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbons and bows.
•Clean and air-out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no
•Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
•Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer
•Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
•Make sure window coverings hang level
•Tune into the room’s statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
•Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You’re almost finished.
10. Check Curb Appeal.
•Keep the sidewalks cleared.
•Mow the lawn.
•Paint faded window trim
•Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion/ Marigolds are inexpensive.
•Trim your bushes.
•Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
- Hire a cleaning service to do a complete over-haul
•Advise sellers to hold a yard sale; sell or donate unneeded furniture, clothes, toys, clutter, etc.
•Move remaining clutter and personal items to storage
•Remove the following: posters, sports trophies, photos, ash trays, etc.
•Place decorative lamps in the rooms which seem dark or have dark corners
•Ask seller to refrain from activities with a distinctive odor, i.e. cooking, using strong smelling candles, incense, perfumes etc.
•Set dining room table with center piece, decorative dishes, linens, candles, fresh flowers.
More Staging Tips:
Help buyers imagine themselves in the house:
•Remove unnecessary furniture to make rooms appear larger
•Reduce number of décor items on furniture to groups of 1, 3, or 5
•Limit wall hangings
•Clear unnecessary appliances from kitchen countertops
•Remove messages, magnets, etc. from refrigerator door
•Clean all kitchen appliances (even inside the oven)
•Pay extra attention to the bathrooms.
Ways to Help the Buyers Mentally “Move In”
•Open the front door. If it squeaks, groans, or drags, fix it.
•Review each room. Paint walls, clean windows and window coverings, and shampoo soiled carpets.
•Rearrange or remove some furniture. Less furniture in the room makes the room appear larger.
•Remove all unnecessary objects on the furniture throughout the house. Restrict decorative objects to groups or one, three, or five items.
•Take down or rearrange certain pictures or objects on the walls. A gallery wall of family photos or large collections frequently distract buyers and cause them to focus away from the house.
•Clear all unnecessary appliances from the kitchen countertops.
•Remove messages from refrigerator fronts.
•Clean the stove, stove hood and screen, microwave and sinks
•Remove all extra items from tubs, shower stalls, commode tops, and counter tops in the bathroom. Group the most needed cosmetics, brushes, etc, on one counter. Coordinate towels to one or two colours only.
•Keep toilet lids down.
•Fix leaky plumbing.
•Organize your closets and cupboards. Thin them out and keep them orderly
•Sweep the garage and keep it tidy.
•Clean and tidy up the attic and basement.
•Place all money, jewelry, and other valuables (including guns) in a secure, out-of-sight location.
•Put pets, pet food dishes, and litter boxes outside, whenever possible.
•Check all light fixtures. Replace all burned out light bulbs.
•Clean the fireplace and hearth.
•Locate operating manuals for appliances. Have warranty information available.
•Clear hallways and steps of any objects or clutter.
CENTURY 21 First Canadian Corp., Brokerage*
3354 Mersea St, London, ON N6P 0G3