In this third article in a series of what you should do if you are buying or selling a home in 2013, today, we are concentrating on preparing your Windsor home for sale.
For sellers, we have already discussed the importance of:
- Hiring a real estate professional
- Pricing your home correctly
Now we discuss how important it is that your house is ready to sell. Most sellers want their home to sell quickly and bring in top dollar. The bad news is, it doesn’t happen magically. It’s all about planning, organization and knowing how to tidy up your home so that buyers will make you the offer you want. Here is exactly what you need to do to get started. Remember, this is usually not an overnight process, but can take several weeks to properly showcase your property.
1. Change your attitude:
When you put your home on the market, you need to change your attitude by acknowledging that this is no longer your home. Let go of your emotional attachment, though we understand that this is often easier said than done. But imagine handing the keys over to the new owner and moving forward. By mentally saying goodbye to your home at this stage, it helps for the next step.
Take it from every real estate professional; pack up the majority of your personal photos, family heirlooms, trophies or anything else that will distract buyers. Why? Buyers, who can’t see past your personal artifacts, can’t imagine living in your home. And this is precisely what you want them to do. You want buyers to imagine their own family photos hanging on the walls. So go room by room and take away anything that will distract buyers and pack it away.
This has been discussed many times on this blog, but it bears repeating. Once you have removed all of the personal items, now it’s time to go back and take away even more! It’s safe to assume that all of us collect quite a bit of stuff. But the point is it takes away from the details of your property.
- Donate, sell or throw away any items you no longer use or want to move.
- Remove the majority of books from bookcases.
- Pack up knickknacks.
- Take everything off the kitchen counters.
- Clean everything off bathroom counters. Store essential items in a small box that can be stored in closet when not in use.
4. Clean out bedroom closets/kitchen cabinets:
No doubt about it. Buyers will look into your closets and kitchen cabinets. Imagine what would happen if they looked at your pantry and found a disarray of food, paper goods and kitchen tools? They would probably think you didn’t have enough storage space. If buyers see everything organized, it means that storage is ample and you take care of the rest of the house as well. Some things you might want to consider:
- Organizing spice jars
- Neatly stack dishes
- Turn coffee cup handles the same way
- Hang shirts together, all buttoned and facing same direction
- Line up shoes
Sound silly? Maybe overboard? Absolutely not. The last thing you want to hear a buyer say is “this place is a mess.”
5. Rent Storage Unit:
The old saying, “less is more,” rings true here. Oversized furniture that blocks the layout needs to be put in storage. Leave just enough furniture in a room to showcase the fine details of the home and so that your buyers can see you have plenty of room to move around. If you have a small master bedroom, take out the King sized bed and replace with a Full or Queen. Your dining room tiny? Take out extra leaves from your dining room table.
6. Remove/Replace Cherished Items
If you have anything that you don’t plan to include with the sale of the home, such as an antique chandelier that was your grandmothers, or window coverings, then remove it now. What your buyer doesn’t see, they won’t want. Pack those items and replace with generic ones.
So, you have your work cut out for you. But the extra work is worth it. Most buyers want to see themselves in a home that is better or perhaps more beautiful than where they currently reside. If it is organized, cleaned and attractive you are appealing to those motivated buyers. If your home is cluttered, then people will think major updates are needed, thus lowering the value of the home.
And again, don’t expect to do it all in one weekend. Give yourself several days, maybe even a month. It takes time to prepare a house for sale to get top dollar. Keep in mind that you are beginning a new chapter in your life, so consider this as you pack your belongings away.