De-Personalize Your House
You have spent countless hours creating a personal sanctuary that fits your unique taste and style. The problem with this when it comes time to sell your home is that you are limiting the number of potential buyers. A great suggestion to home sellers is to visit a block of model homes, take a tour, and note the anonymity of the furnishings and layout. Not giving in to a single style, theme or layout, but to make it feel as though anyone could live there. Remove personal touches such as family photos, and as much clutter as possible if you plan on living in the home during the sales process.
Taking away the personal touches you have placed in your home will not only help the home appeal to a wider range of buyers, but it will also help you to adjust emotionally to the detachment needed to view the property as a commodity and less like a home. When prospective buyers see your personal effects, family photos, souvenirs, trophies and collectibles, around the house, it places a subconscious brand that shatters their illusion that the home could be theirs.
Likely one of the most challenging parts of preparing to sell your property is the decluttering process. After years of living you have collected items that are dispersed around the many rooms. Renting even a small storage locker and placing these items in boxes will not only help make the home look more de-personalized, but also will help to start the moving process. Take a step back from the fact that these things belong to you, and look at things from the perspective of a potential buyer. Let an honest friend walk through your home and help you locate items that can be removed, as long as you can accomplish this without getting defensive.
Get everything, appliances, cookwares, even your toaster, off the counters. Having even small items on the kitchen counters will make them look smaller, even in a large kitchen. Prospective buyers will open drawers, pantries, and cabinets to make sure there is enough space for their items. If a particular area, such as your junk drawer, looks overfilled, it will give the illusion that there isn’t enough space for their items, and could cause possible concerns for space and size. Don’t just place clutter in drawers, place it in a box, remove as much as possible, and place it in a storage locker. Make sure it is as empty as possible.
Clearing these areas out will give your house the illusion of being larger. Consider hosting a garage sale to get rid of old items, or pack it up and move it to the storage unit. Have a closet full of linens? Keep the ones you need and pack the rest up. Mismatch furniture might be your style so you may have plenty of it in a particular room, but packing that furniture up or selling it will not only make your rooms feel larger, but it may give you funds to buy new furnishings for your new home. Remove as much as possible in your attic area. This will make it not only easier to get your home inspected and appraised, but make it look more spacious.
Do not remodel or renovate your home to resell it. Making the wrong decisions at this time could potentially cost you a sell, run up your credit cards, and cost you that new home you want to purchase. Instead make necessary repairs only with savings, and replace broken fixtures. Property buyers will turn on light switches, open drawers, flush toilets and turn on sinks. Make certain all these areas are in good working condition and only repair or replace what is necessary to get them there. Buying the most expensive or top-of-the-line items won’t necessarily help you sell your home and they won’t increase your value.
A thorough flooring or carpet cleaning can do wonders for the overall cleanliness and appeal of your property. Unless you have broken floor tiles, severely worn or outdated carpets, a professional carpet cleaning will likely be your best bet. Do not spend a lot of money on anything. Your new property owners are likely to want to replace certain aspects of the home, including the floor, so putting in a premium version or replacing these elements of the house might be money down the drain.
If it’s been a while since you opened your windows, do a quick walk through. Some might stick, but if opening them more than a few times doesn’t get them going spray a little WD40, and the same goes for hinge and sliding glass doors. Be sure to note if any panes are broken or cracked and replace them. Be sure that handles and knobs turn easily and look clean and polished.
Smokers should consider moving their smoking outdoors or at the very least minimizing their smoking indoors. You may love your dog or cat, but their scent may be immediately recognizable to someone without pets or with sensitive snouts. Be sure to empty litter boxes and remove waste from outdoor areas at least daily during home tours. Using an ozone spray may help with removing the odor completely from your home, and sprinkling carpet freshener periodically may also help, but be sure to vacuum it up as often as your sprinkle.
First impressions go a long ways, and when a potential buyer comes to your property it will be your exterior view they notice first. Take a walk across the street an objectively view your property. Look at the plants, shrubs, rocks, grass, paint, and specifically how it compares to the rest of your neighborhood. A little touching up will go a long way. Avoid adding trees, but if you have dying shrubs planting new ones may easily enhance your curb appeal. The same goes for flowers, but you must plant them at full maturity to gain the proper effects as seeds and bulbs won’t have time to blossom before your property begins showing. If your lawn is in poor condition, adding new sod or fertilizer might enhance this area drastically.
Now that you have made all the necessary repairs to your house, removed excess clutter and enhanced your curb appeal, you are ready to start showing, but first you must do a few things. Before you speak to a realtor and list your home, you will want to have it inspected and appraised. Spending this little bit of money on a professional, unbiased, third-party opinion about the value of your property will be invaluable when it comes to creating an asking offer and understanding any other issues your house may still have after minor repairs are complete.