Just about every homeowner wants to sell his or her home fast and make a profit. I’m pretty sure this sounds great to you if you are wishing to do exactly that – sell your home and gain!
The bad news is in order to accomplish this goal, you need more than luck on your side; the good news is you can sell yours and gain with a little preparation and planning according to NUMEROUS studies.
First impressions will make or break the deal!
Separate yourself from your home. This may sound rather odd but in reality many people become attached to their homes, and in order to successfully sell your home you need to disassociate yourself completely from the home.
- The first thing you need to do is “let go” of all emotions you have toward the home. You do not need to forget about memories that were made in the home; instead you need to start thinking about the home as a stranger.
- Make a note and tape it to your refrigerator and bathroom mirrors saying “This is only a house, it is a not a person. Homes are meant to be bought and sold. I am moving towards my future!”
Rent a storage unit. Over time, people collect a ton of stuff – from books and magazine to furniture. You will need a storage unit to de-clutter and organize your home. It’s been proven with numerous studies that homes sell better when they have less furniture.
Remove furniture from the home that blocks walkways and place it in the storage unit.
Now is a good time to remove furniture from each room the home and place it in storage as well – leave just enough furniture in each room to highlight the room’s purpose while providing plenty of space.
If you have a leaf in your dining room table, remove it. You will be making a few trips to your storage unit as you continue to prep your home for sale.
De-Personalize the home. It’s time to pack up all personal photographs and heirlooms you are displaying in the home and bring them to your storage unit.
One of the worst mistakes homeowners do when they are selling their home is to leave out their family photographs for potential buyers to see.
Potential buyers should walk into your home and be able to visualize they live in the home.
De-clutter, de-clutter, and de-clutter! This is the point where you really start to look at all the items (and junk) that you and/or your family have collected over the years.
- Items that you have not used in over year you may want to consider donating to your local charity, or packing them and hauling them to your storage unit.
- Remove all books, DVD’s, CD’s and games from shelving and pack away.
- Pack ALL knickknacks in the house. Remember buyers need to visualize them living in the home, not you!
- Remove EVERYTHING from your kitchen counters. Empty kitchen counters make the room appear larger.
- Organize toys in small boxes and keep them in the closets.
- Remove ALL items from the bathroom countertops; it’s important to keep countertops as clean as possible.
- Give every member in the home a small box or bin to pack their essential daily items in, and designate an area in a closet or under beds for the boxes or bins.
Rearrange ALL closets and cabinets. It’s no secret that potential buyers love to snoop; they open closet doors and peek in cabinets. Heck, I’m willing to bet you have done this too!
The good news is you already know that potential buyers will be snooping. Have you ever opened a closet door and everything came flying out at you?
Avoid this when trying to sell your home. A home that has clean and organized closets and cabinets instantly says that it was taken care of.
- Hang clothing together – short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, pants, jeans, etc. Make sure the buttons face the same direction.
- Organize shoes in pairs and make sure they all face the same direction.
- Remove ANY item that you do not need within the next week in the closets.
- Organized canned goods according to type – green vegetables, yellow vegetables, soups, etc. Make sure the labels all face the front the cabinet.
- Stack ALL dishes neatly, making sure they all face the same direction.
- All coffee cup handles should face the same way.
- Organize spices either by alphabetizing them or from largest container to smallest.
If potential buyers can’t see it, then they can’t want it! Remove and replace ALL favorite items in the home.
ANY item, which you want to take with you when your home sells, needs to be removed, and replaced.
Consider your window treatments, light fixtures, area rugs — basically ALL items you have in the home that mean something to you and you simply could not let go of for the sale of the home. Replace these items!
If a potential buyer see’s an item in your home he or she wants but you are unwilling to sell, that could break the deal! Avoid this by simply replacing these items with a replacement you have not attachment to.
Make repairs now! You don’t want a potential buyer to walk into your home and immediately be turned off because there are scuff marks on a wall, or the bathroom faucet has an annoying drip.
- Patch ALL holes in walls.
- If your walls have scuff marks, it’s time to touch up the paint. Chances are you probably already have the paint in either your shed or garage.
- If your walls are a bright color (or one that is NOT neutral) consider repainting the walls a neutral color. Neutral colors allow buyers to visualize their belongings in the home, and create an open, airy atmosphere.
- Replace cracked flooring.
- Replace cracked countertop tiles.
- Replace burned-out light bulbs. There is nothing worse than a person turning on a light to see a room in your home and the light not working; this instantly sends the message you did not take care of the home.
- If bedding or curtains are old and worn-out, consider replacing them.
Clean and finalize the inside of the home. So far you have disassociated yourself with the home, you have packed and brought belongings to storage, you have made minor repairs, you have organized, and so what is left?
It’s time to clean and finalize the inside of the home!
- Clean ALL (stove, refrigerator, dish washer and microwave) appliances inside and out.
- Clean your fireplace if your home is lucky enough to have one.
- Wash ALL windows inside and out until they sparkle.
- Apply fresh caulking to the bathtub, shower and sinks.
- Vacuum the entire home daily.
- Wax and/or mop all floors daily.
- Replace old, dirty, worn rugs with new, clean ones.
- Hang freshly laundered towels in the bathroom(s).
- Dust all furniture.
- Dust all light fixtures including ceiling fans.
- Clean and remove any and all cobwebs from corners.
- Polish ALL chrome faucets and mirrors until they shine!
- Consider having carpets professional cleaned.
- Decorate your dining room table with an elegant centerpiece.
- It’s important to eliminate all odors in the house. Place potpourri and/or scented candles in all bathrooms. Air freshener and commercial deodorizer works to eliminate pet or smoke odor.
- Add a fresh bouquet of flowers in any and/or all rooms in the house as final touch.
Create curb appeal! Creating curb appeal is equally important to staging and prepping a home for sale.
If potential buyers drive past your home because they don’t like what they see on the outside, you will never sell your home and gain — sad but true!
After all, you want them walking into your home and whipping out their checkbooks. Right?
- Spray down sidewalks and the exterior of the home with pressure washer. If you don’t own a pressure washer, you can rent one.
- Relocate all outside toys, bicycles, etc. away from the house. You may want to consider placing these items in your storage unit.
- Trim all bushes.
- Mow the lawn once a week.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint to the window trim.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint to front door of the home.
- Make repairs to gutters if needed, and apply a fresh coat of paint.
- Install a new doorknob and lock.
- Verify that the street numerals are visible from the street.
- Place a large potted plant next to the front door to add visual appeal.
When it comes to preparing your home to sell and gain, it’s important to remember that common sense goes a long way.
Potential buyers do not want to see how you lived in the home; instead they want to visualize themselves living in the home. <<<—– read that sentence again and again, it’s KEY!
The trick is to create an empty, yet appealing palette anyone can visualize themselves decorating.