Sellers need to be cognizant of the fact that less is more in this matter. Less personalization and a clean well-presented home will attract more buyers. Here are a few action items that if implemented will help make your home an irresistible and marketable property.
Emotionally and Mentally Remove Yourself
It's time to break the personal attachment you have to your home. Tell yourself, "this home is not my home, it is a house that needs to be sold, so I can pursue the next milestone in my life." The primary goal is to dis-engage all emotional ties to the home and mentally prepare yourself for the sale, as well as the thought of a new owner living there. Think of the joyous day when you can finally pass the keys of this house to the new homeowner and move onward to your future.
Personal photographs, paintings, family heirlooms, and other personal items can be a distraction to a potential buyer. Psychologically, it presents a challenge for the buyer to visualize themselves occupying the space when they see photos of yourfamily. You want that empty space for the buyers to visualize their family photos on the wall or on the fireplace mantel. You want the buyers to walk away from a viewing picturing themselves moving in.
Consider this an opportunity to begin preparations for your move. In addition to packing away all of your family photos, hierlooms, etc., you will want to begin packing/storing, donating or selling some other items. Here are a few items to include:
- Remove All Books, Magazines, etc. from Bookcases
- Store Knickknacks, Collectables, etc.
- Clean Kitchen Counters, Tables and Desks
- Place Items Used Daily Into a Box That Can be Stored in the Closet During Showings
Re-Arrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets
During a viewing, buyers will open closet and cabinet doors, gathering an idea of spacing and functionality. You want to make sure that these areas are neatly organized and not busy. Remember, you want the potential buyer to mentally move into your home. Presentation is everything. To help achieve this goal, consider these items:
- Neatly Stack Your Dishes
- Turn All Cups and Items with a Handle to Face the Same Direction
- Hang Shirts Together, Button and Turn Facing the Same Direction
- Neatly Organize Shoe Rack or Area
Rent a Storage Unit
Homes typically show better with less furniture. Store furniture pieces that interfere with the flow of the home. The now empty bookcase, can be stored, along with any additional and unnecessary pieces. During this tapering process, please keep at least one piece of furniture in each room to illustrate its functionality. This helps paint a picture in the buyer's mind, further helping with their visualization.
Remove/Replace Favorite Items
If there are any items, appliances, fixtures, etc. that you plan to take with you, it would be best to remove them at this time. A buyer could fall in love with one of these items. The notion that it is does not come with the sale of the home, could potentially hurt the sale. It is recommended to store these items or replace them, if necessary.
Make Minor Repairs
Making repairs and adding a fresh coat of paint, could add value to the home and offer a move-in ready piece of property. Fixing these items will save the potential buyers the hassle and could be very appealing. Items that could be repaired or improved include:
- Cracked Floor or Counter Tiles
- Burned-Out Light Bulbs
- Holes in the Walls
- Leaking Faucets
- Doors and Kitchen Drawers that Jam or Don't Close Correctly
- Neutral Color Painted Walls
Clean Your Home Until it Sparkles
- Wash Windows (Inside and Out)
- Pressure Wash the Exterior, Driveways, etc.
- Remove Cobwebs
- Polish Faucets
- Clean Mirrors
- Re-Caulk Showers, Sinks and Tubs
- Clean Refrigerator (Please Be Sure to Leave an Open Box of Baking Soda)
- Vacuum, Sweep and Mop
- Wax Floors
- Bleach Moldy Grout
- Replace Old Rugs
- Dust Ceiling Fans, Light Fixtures, etc.
- Hang Fresh Towels
- Clean and Ventilate Smelling Areas
Conduct Your Seal of Approval
After you have completed all the items above, take a walk around the house. Would you buy it? You may be partial in this area, but the idea is that your home should be inviting. Examine every room. Look at the placement of the furniture. Is it obstructive? Does it look like someone lives there? Could the buyer identify something personal about you? If the answer is NO to all of these questions, then congratulations your home is buyer ready.
Boost Curb Appeal
Lastly, the presentation of the outside of the home is equally important as the inside. Many buyers survey a neighborhood looking for their future home. You want your home to speak to the buyer from the time they pull into the driveway. Here are a few tips to boost curb appeal:
- Eliminate Any Mold and Mildew Around on the House, Sidewalk, Driveway, Roof, etc.
- Maintain Clear Sidewalks or Driveways
- Rake and Dispose Loose Leaves and Wood
- Maintain a Well-Manicured Lawn
- Paint Any Faded Window Trim
- Trim Your Bushes or Hedges
- Ensure Your House Number is Visible