Here’s what you want to understand when getting your home ready to sell. Buying and selling real estate is one of the most involved and emotional situations a person can ever be in. The only time you don’t see this is when an individual buys for investment purposes. The idea here is to buy, fix, flip, and crunch the numbers more making the most profit.
Cut the cord, it’s time to sell the house
Whenever you are selling, and for whatever the reasons, you need to view your home as a marketable commodity. The goal is to remind yourself that you are making a change and entering into the next chapter of your life. It’s important to show off your home to the next family to make their memories there as desirable as possible. Stand out from the competition, to some degree, pay it forward. Your warm and loving home was built to provide a shelter and a safe environment for many families during its own life-span.
It’s not uncommon to hear comments at the closing table from sellers explaining the good memories their home brought. just before they pass the torch onto the new owners. Homeowners who cling to tightly to the past, or have unrealistic views on how much their home is worth because they allow sentimental views to come into the value, are more susceptible to spending a longer time on the market.
With that in mind, the first step in getting your home ready to sell is to “de-personalize” it.
De-Personalize the space
This “de-personalizing” stage is often the hardest part for a family because it’s at this time they feel the transition they are about to embark upon becomes very real. All of a sudden, personal items that have been on the walls and in the house for as long as you’ve been there seem to carry a lot more weight than they seemed to have previously. Try not to let that get you down. After all, they’re all still coming with you!
The main objective here of course is to take a step back and try to see your home through the eyes of a buyer looking to live there. Ask your agent for help. Let them show you photos of current trends or color pallets that are helping homes sell faster and maybe even at higher price points. Try not to get defensive. It’s only honest feedback and not demands that they’re offering up to you.
Ask friends to come over and give their two cents if you’re more comfortable with that. Go visit some open houses in popular neighborhoods with low average days on market times and see what they have done. You’ll observe some great ideas when getting your home ready to sell, and have fun while doing it!
1. Remove kitchen clutter
The kitchen is a popular place to start getting things organized. First off, remove everything from the counters (yes, even the toaster) and wipe them down good. Find places where you can store the items that you’re still going to use like the coffee maker, and have them easily accessible to you. As stated before, if you find that you’ve collected so many different pots and pans, cookware, glassware, as example, take a true inventory and ask yourself what might be expendable to make room for more important items.
Clean and unencumbered counter space is something that today’s modern buyers are very fixated upon. They love the feeling of clean, organized spaces. Don’t leave a bad impression either. Cleaning under the sinks is a great idea not only cosmetically, but you might just discover a slight leak or some plumbing that could use a little help. Fix it now. Don’t wait for it to be brought to your attention because these buyers won’t tell you. They will just assume that maybe there are other areas of the home that leak too.
Keeping everything clean keeps possible buyers moving in the right direction. You want them to think that your house is the best one out there and they want to submit their strongest offer possible. Having an immaculate home will be the place to set that thought process into motion for them, guaranteed.
2. Get rid of closet clutter
Closest are an amazing thing. They are masters of collecting clutter, though you don’t think of it as such. We’re talking about extra clothing, shoes, and other things you’ve held onto but rarely wear. Maybe you can’t be without them for sentimental reasons like a tuxedo or a wedding dress. No problem! Just safely store them with your other items that are now in your storage unit so they can be brought out later.
All of these items, especially large items like blankets, make your closets look like well-fed eating machine. Try your best to let potential buyers see that you DO have a lot of closet space! Smart organization and placement are usually near the top of their list when searching out a new home to purchase, but closet space is a must have. It’s on the top of all their wants lists every single time. Buyer’s endorphins really kick in when they realize that their potential new home has an abundance of clean, accommodating closet space!
3. Sell your extra furniture
In so many cases, people have an abundance of furniture in a certain room maximizing its potential. Perhaps not for your own personal family or lifestyle, but if there is too much, it will rob the room of its space and create an illusion to the buyer that there isn’t any real space for them to work with. Granted, it might be a small room or a den but even those spaces can be staged correctly, and featured as real usable space that seemingly offers a lot more than what you originally had given it credit for.
Another way to go about this is to tour a few builders’ model homes to get sense of placement for what today’s modern buyers are looking for. Heck, they’ve spent a lot of money researching trends to help sell their line of homes, so why not take advantage? It will definitely give you a sense of what to keep in your home, and what might have to go to the storage facility, or for that matter, up for sale on Craigslist. Again, donations are always good too.
4. Utilize storage areas efficiently
The best possible scenario for a buyer is to see a basement with storage shelves built right into the concrete walls where items are stored neatly and in an organized fashion. The floors are swept clean and there is no trace of mildew or other odors.
However, as the Earth moves, pressure builds up over time against foundation walls. Sentiment can harden (or soften) over long spans of time. This causes walls to crack, which will eventually need some reinforcement here and there. It happens all the time, and it’s almost unstoppable in some areas of the country. When these repairs are completed, they often come with transferable warranties. That becomes another perfect selling point to add to the homes description.
This process will demonstrate that you not only cared for this home, you maintained it from every angle. It will bring a smile to a buyers face faster than a walnut can roll off a hen house roof! If any defects are discovered in the home inspection, buyers will ask you to fix any defects. Also, it’s possible they may back out of the contract if major issues are found. Due to disclosure laws, you have to alert potential buyers if you know of a foundation problem.
If you find yourself getting ready to sell your home, be sure to read up on my article on tips for adding value to your house.