TIPS WHEN SELLING A HOME
It might be your home sweet home for now but if you want it to sell, you need to set the stage. Help buyers picture themselves building a life in the space. A few easy steps is all it will take to get your house ready for new owners.
It’s not about you
You chose every framed picture and carefully place memento, but buyers will be distracted by your family portraits, vacation photos and family heirlooms and find themselves wondering about the people who live in the house, instead of picturing it as their own. If you want a buyer to imagine the space as their own, you have to put your memories out of sight.
Use it or Lose it
When buyers approach their potential home, they want to be able to picture moving their stuff in. They want to feel like they’ll have enough space to be comfortable and, perhaps, to grow. The fact is, people collect and inadvertently display a lot of unnecessary stuff. Selling your home is the perfect opportunity to simplify and de-clutter and it will serve two purpose: You will have less stuff to move and buyers will see a more spacious house with lots of room for their stuff.
Easy steps tode-clutter:
- Clear out excess furniture – while having that extra chair in the living is handy for guests, store it while you’re showing the house so you can open up some space.
- Pack up books and knick knacks – while it is fine to have a few books on the shelf so it doesn’t look bare, keep it simple and pack the rest away.
- Keep kitchen counters bare – we know this isn’t a day-to-day reality but kitchen counters are a coveted commodity and the more your buyers can see, the better.
Bring order to closets and cabinets:
Be honest, you’ve done it too. Buyers love to snoop a little and you can count on them to open a closet door and peek inside your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Getting things in order behind closed doors will achieve a couple of valuable goals:
- Space – the buyer will see that your house has plenty of space for their stuff
- Care – If you care enough to keep things organized, the rest of the house (and its maintenance) is probably in pretty good shape too.
It’s really easier than you might think. Just a few easy tips to put things in order:
- Organize or alphabetize spice jars and other cans, dry food items.
- Stack your dishes neatly (pack up excess dishes that aren’t necessary day-to-day and could free up space).
- Turn coffee cup handles so they all face the same way.
- Hand clothing together by type – facing the same way.
- Line shoes up – better yet, line them up on a designated shelf.
Rent a Storage Unit:
Less is More
Storage units are an affordable resource that should be employed as you prepare to sell your home because your home will look better to perspective buyers if there is less stuff. Rent a storage unit (yes, we can make a recommendation) and put a few things away. Store that extra chair, dining room table leaf and more. Get a head start on packing when you de-clutter and keep the items safely stored away until you move. Leave just enough in each room to showcase the room’s purpose. And don’t forget about the garage – Move those winter tires and shovels into your storage unit.
Make Minor Repairs and Updates:
Spend some time fixing the little things that may have piled up over the years: old picture holes, leaky faucets, scuffs and scratches, freshen the caulking around sinks and tubs. Consider giving your house a fresh coat of neutral coloured paint – no need to stand out as “that house with the orange bedroom”. You might even want to consider a fresh bedspread, a throw pillow or two and maybe even some new cabinet hardware. Making a few small changes can really freshen things up for you, and your buyers.
Now is also the time to think about what you really want to take with you – if window coverings and heirloom light fixtures are important to you, change them now. Replace your hand made draperies and your grandmother’s chandelier with something neutral and pleasing so your buyers won’t want what they can’t have.
Make the House Sparkle!
Spick and Span
It’s time to put some elbow grease into it and clean, clean, clean. Windows (inside and out), corners, chrome and the inside of your refrigerator. Go above and beyond your everyday clean to ensure that everything is magazine photo-shoot ready – that goes for the outside too.
Check Curb Appeal:
This Book may be Judged by its Cover
You can’t sell your house if buyers don’t even want to come in so spend some time on the outside too. Wash your exterior, walkway and driveway. Keep your lawn and other greenery neatly trimmed and consider adding pots of cheerful flowers. Repair or repaint trim, clean outdoor light fixtures and be sure that your house number is clearly visible.
Think you’re all done? Step outside and take a fresh look. Step inside and slowly walk through your house, pausing in each room. Make sure things are straight and even. You want the house to look inviting but accessible – allow your buyers to look around and imagine the potential. The house should like the perfect place for someone to build a life, without looking too much like someone already has.