Home Buying Is emotional
When it comes to home, we all get a little emotional. You may have heard, home buying is emotional. The converse side of this is when you are the seller, it is not emotional, it is business. You need to sell your old house to move into your new home. Getting your home ready to sell involves some practical steps as well as the emotional one of thinking of the house as a commodity. And getting the property in perfect condition to quickly attract a buyer for top dollar. See: Top $ in shortest time.
Your first step in getting your home ready to sell is to de- personalize it. This is an emotional step, and an important one.
Make Your House Anonymous
Probably sounds odd, even a little distant. Here’s the thing – we are selling a commodity, not your home. Everything that makes your house home is going with you to your next house. We are selling the house or condo, so ideally, it shows off the property and not you. Getting your home ready to sell means removing all the person stuff and leaving the personality.
This is a good moment to put away all your personal photos – pack ’em up for the move. Take down the nick-knacks, trophies, pictures and magnets on the refrigerator. Looking for an example of this? Visit any new construction home site around Boulder and you’ll find wonderfully decorated rooms that anyone could live in.
There will be the “boys bedroom” with a space or baseball theme, the “girls bedroom” with pink or green, the man cave with faux flat screen television and popcorn cart. But no personal pictures indicating someone else lives there. Follow the example of the new construction homes and box up your personal belongings, photographs and more.
But don’t just stuff the box into the attic or garage. The next step to getting your home ready to sell is to de-clutter your space.
The Hardest Step In Getting Your Home Ready To Sell
Believe it or not, uncluttering our homes can be the single most difficult part of getting your home ready to sell. After years of living in a home, clutter builds up. We may not even realize it. clutter collects on shelves in the pantry – that ready to eat mix you know you’ll try one day. It is in the garage where we store all the odd things we’ve taken apart and mean to put back together. Clutter is on our shelves, stored in the basement and displayed around the house. Getting rid of your clutter is an important step in getting your home ready to sell. Take a step back, sometimes a friend can see what we don’t want to see.
For this step in getting your home ready to sell you’ll want boxes, tape and markers. A good starting idea? Three boxes: Good will, garbage and Keep.
Start In The Kitchen
The National Association of Reatlors points out that women in relationships or single make up the majority of home buyers. And women tend to check out kitchens and bathrooms first when visiting a potential home to buy. When getting your home ready to sell, the kitchen is a great place to start.
- Get everything off the counters. Everything. The Keurig, the toaster, that shiny knife set, get it all off the kitchen counter tops. Find a space to store everything in your kitchen cabinets and pantry. You will probably quickly notice, there is no room with all the pots and pans and dishes. This brings us to step 2.
- Clean out your cabinets and pantry. Box up all the pots, pans and dishes you rarely (never?) use. As you box, remember the three options: toss, keep, goodwill. Part of the de-clutter process is getting rid of the junk; there is no need to move it all to your next home!
- Have a lot of pantry food? Canned goods? Now is the time to start using up that food. Canned goods are heavy; do you really want to pay a mover to haul stewed tomatoes from one house to another?
Home buyers are going to look in your cabinets and pantry. When they see open spaces, they will envision storing all their belongings in the kitchen. When they see crammed, crowded shelves, they will wonder how they can ever live in the space. Creating an open, inviting kitchen with plenty of storage is an important step in getting your home ready to sell.
Two important and often forgotten areas to concentrate on when getting your home ready to sell: the junk drawer and under the sink.
- The junk drawer is simple. Eliminate it. This is all the small clutter you have been collecting. If you can’t bear to part with the junk, put it in a box labeled junk drawer and then see if you really feel the need to place it back into the kitchen of your new home!
- Under the sink, remove all the extra cleaning supplies, box of garbage bags, etc. Scrub this area so it shines, If you notice any tell tale signs of a leak, bring in a plumber or handyman. Buyers frequently run faucets and look under sinks.
Uncluterring The Rest Of The House
Closets are notorious for clutter. The clothes you rarely wear, Shoes that were totally in style just last year. Or was it the year before? The linen closet crammed full including that horrendous wedding gift from a beloved aunt. Box it up: trash, goodwill and keep. Retain just the items you really need and wear. If possible, box up the out of season clothing for your move to your next abode.
Furniture can also be clutter. Sure, every thing we have makes life perfect for us. But you are getting your home ready to sell. So consider removing some furniture, for now, to create better flow. Buyers love “open floor plans.” Part of this is less furniture and more “space” for the future.
Basements, crawl spaces, the garage and attic are next on the list. This is where we tend to store our already boxed up junk. Removing all of this “stuff” will allow home buyers to envision using these spaces for themselves. Rather than move your “junk drawer” to a box to the basement, consider getting a temporary storage locker so that your house is perfect for home buyers. This might even be a great time to host a garage sale.
Don’t charge up credit cards or feel you have to remodel. Do consider fixing the little things you live with – the squeaky door, the broken drawer in the kitchen, the overhead light that always flickers. When getting your home ready to sell keep in mind that perspective buyers will turn light switches on and off, flush toilets and even turn on the shower. Shiny working fixtures impress home buyers!
Another great suggestion: hire cleaning crews. The windows, carpets and entire house will benefit from a deep clean. This is an important step as you are getting your home ready to sell and just before the photographs go into the MLS.
Floor To Ceiling
Check your home for wear and tear. Cleaning the carpets, touching up or repainting walls, repairing any leaks and corresponding stains are all great steps when getting your home ready to sell. Cosmetic work has an excellent return on investment. White or off-white colors are ideal for paint; you want your home to be as neutral as possible. If the wood floors are worn, consider refinishing. Check that all doors and windows are operating. Sticking windows can frighten home buyers and be an indication of a structural issue. Not surprisingly, a little shot of WD-40 can go a long ways when getting your home ready to sell.
Whether it is bacon for breakfast or your beloved four legged friend, odors can have an impact on value and home buyers’ first impression. As you start getting your home ready to sell empty kitty litter boxes more frequently, shampoo around pet living areas, consider air fresheners or home baked goods. Odors can be a real issue for house hunters. In doubt? Ask a friend, neighbor or your Realtor for an honest assessment on how your home smells.
Don’t Forget The Exterior
The big question is, will you repaint the exterior of your house? Does the house look tired and faded from across the street? If so, fresh paint is an excellent avenue.
Yes, it is an expense, but having a freshly painted home is an easy way for your house to stand out. It can be one of the better investments when getting your home ready to sell. A less expensive and worthy option is painting the front door. This is the very first part of your home that buyers are up close and personal with.
Remember, curb appeal is a big deal when it comes to selling. You want to focus energy on the exterior of your house. As buyers arrive, do they love what they see? Getting your home ready to sell may involve changing the landscaping or simply adding fresh flowers in a pot at the front door. Be sure to mow and water the lawn in the summers while shoveling the sidewalks in the winter.
That’s it. My suggestions for getting your home ready to sell. I hope you found this blog helpful. I’m Bob Gordon, Remax Realtor with twenty years experience. Are you ready to get started with the sale of your home? Contact me now.
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