It’s a crazy seller’s market right now – that’s no surprise. If you’re considering throwing your house in the ring to get the attention of all those buyers right now, there are a few things you need to know. So here are the top things you can do when preparing to put your house on the market.
Check out your curb appeal
You only get one shot at a first impression…and how your home looks on the outside set their tone forthe whole showing. Just go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Does the house welcome you? Do what you can to help it out: paint that faded window trim, put down a bit of new rock or mulch to spruce up the landscaping, trim your bushes, plant some flowers Here’s a hint: yellow evokes a buying emotion – or so they say – and marigolds are cheap! Beyond that, it’s all about maintaining: mow the lawn, pull weeds, you know the drill.
Get rid of all that clutter
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. If you haven’t used it in more than a year, you probably don’tneed it. Pack up knickknacks, clean everything off your kitchen counters… and organize closets and drawers. Messy closets make buyers assume that your home doesn’t have enough storage space.
Decluttering as much as possible will help your rooms look bigger. Think of a hotel room. It has everything you need, but it’s pretty bare. Spotless and spacious is what we’re going for here.
Fix things up
Replace cracked floor or counter tiles, fix leaky faucets, and consider painting your walls neutral colors. Don’t let buyers remember your house as “the one with the lime green bathroom.”
Make every surface sparkle and shine
Ceiling fans. Floors. Windows. This is beyond the usual weekly or day-to-day cleaning. Here are sometips: Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and the exterior of your house…re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks…bleach dingy grout. Cleanliness makes buyers feel that the home is well cared for.
Remove or replace your favorite items
If your drapes mean a lot to you or the chandelier in the dining room belonged to your grandmother: pack them away and replace them before your house is on the market. If a buyer never sees it, he or see will never want it. But once you tell a buyer they can’t have an item, they will likely want it…and it could mess up your deal.
You want people to see themselves living in your home…not you living there. Pack up personal photographs and family heirlooms. I have a bunch of generic, but picturesque photographs for my clients to use in their already-there frames.
Break up with your home
This one is hard, I know. You’ve lived in this home for years…and put a lot of sweat equity into it! It’s become part of you and holds a lot of special memories. However, you’ve got to make that break. Just make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions. Just keep focusing on the reason you wanted to move in the first place. It will make the whole transaction less painful and personal.
It doesn’t take much to bring your house up to snuff… just a bit of elbow grease and small, inexpensive changes.