Prepping Your Home for Sale

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Sellers all agree that they want their home to sell fast and bring in top dollar. 

With some careful planning and preparation you can make your home desirable to many homebuyers. 

Disassociate

First, it’s important to disassociate yourself from your home. You’ll want to take a step back and try to see your home through a buyers eyes. Of course, it can be difficult to since you’ve most likely lived there a long time and it’s really become a part of you. The fact is that we all get emotionally attached to our homes. 

Step back and tell yourself that the home will soon belong to someone else and is going to be for sale, like the Crossover at the car dealership. Visualize handing over the keys and say goodbye to your home. Enjoy reminiscing and give thanks for the memories. And when you feel ready…. Don’t look back! You’re not going that way! 

Declutter and Depersonalize

Make sure you have some packing supplies ready and start by packing up the family photographs and heirlooms. You’ll want potential buyers to be able to visualize themselves living in the home and that’s almost impossible with personal effects around. Also think about removing furniture items that won’t be going with you to your new home. May as well get rid of it now. You’ll want understated pieces for staging the home for sale. 

Clutter…..people all accumulate it. And a lot of it is junk. If you haven’t used it in a year you probably never will so consider donating it to charity or throwing it away. If you aren’t loving it or using it you most likely don’t want to have it in your new space. 

Pack the majority of your books that you want to keep and pack up your knickknacks. Shelves and countertops should only contain minimal items to offer a clean streamlined visual for potential buyers. You kitchen countertops included. 

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Closets

Most people have way too many things in their closets. Now is the time to clean out your closets and pantry and get everything beautifully organized. The fact is that buyers are nosy and they WILL look in all the closets and cabinets. Having everything organized and uncluttered will help them to see that they will have plenty of storage for their things.

 Homes show best with less furniture. You may want to consider a storage unit for items that you want to keep that block pathways or restrict the flow of the home. If you have leaves in your dining table take them out to make the table smaller. It creates the illusion that the dining room is larger. Spend some time viewing open houses or model homes to get a feel for the best way to stage your home to sell. 

Repairs

Make sure to pay attention to small repairs. These can be items like torn screens and sticky door locks. You’ve likely gotten used to these little things but buyers will see this as a potential problem and could be turned off to your home. Fix leaky faucets and replace burned out lightbulbs. Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks. 

Inspections

Get pre listing inspections. You want to know ahead of time if there will be any large expenses that could hold up your sale. Being able to supply your buyers with a general home inspection and termite inspection reports will help them to make a decision about making an offer on your home. The reports will also give you the opportunity to repair and items that need repair before you market the property. This attention to detail is very desirable for todays buyers. 

Get Neutral

If you’ve got wild wallpaper, loud wall colors or patterned tile consider changing to more neutral decor. Trendy items will not appeal to all buyers and you want to appeal to as many as possible. Pain the walls a neutral color (not cold white), remove wallpaper and replace patterned tile with solid color. 

Clean, Clean, Clean

This is when you might want to consider hiring some outside help. Cleaning your home for showing goes way beyond normal day to day cleaning. Windows will need to be washed inside and out. The exterior and sidewalks will need to be pressure washed. 

Kitchens are of great importance to buyers so make sure your counters are cleaned daily, stainless steel sparkles, and that the counters are uncluttered. Keep the refrigerator clean too. People open them, all the time. 

Make the beds, vacuum daily, polish floors and dust furniture. Hang fresh towels in the bathrooms, wipe down shower and counters and make sure the toilet seat is down. 

Pay attention to odors. If you have pets make sure the litter box is cleaned. Air out the house and put a couple drops of grapefruit essential oil in a diffuser. 

Objectively look at the front of your home from the street. Would you want to come in? Consider painting the front door and adding a seasonal wreath. Plant some colorful fresh flowers in pots or in flowerbeds. Add new bark to the flowerbeds and groom the lawn and plantings. Paint any faded trim and make sure your house number is clearly visible. 

Now that you’ve cleared the clutter and cleaned your home you’re ready to walk through and really be objective about your hard work. Perhaps having a stager come in for the final touches and getting ready for the photographer to get some really good listing photos. Listing photos are really important these days with buyers searching online for homes. Good listing photos have been proven to get more buyers interested in your home.  

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