Preparing To Sell Your Home

Preparing To Sell Your Home

It’s that time of year, again. The flowers are in bloom, the temperature is rising, the grill has been dusted off in preparation for Memorial weekend cookouts, and the clock is ticking down to the end of another school year. Spring is in the air (finally!), and with it comes many changes in households across the country. With the economy as it is and the housing market struggling to rebound, I’ve heard of several people who are getting their homes ready to go on the market this spring. Since preparing to sell your home is difficult for a lot of people, I thought I’d offer a few tips that have helped me with past moves.

Outside vs. Inside

The first impression any potential buyer has of your home is obviously what they see when they pull up to the front of your house, so it’s imperative that the exterior be in tip-top shape before trying to sell. Think about the things you notice when you drive by other people’s homes: Is the grass green and mowed? Is the landscaping pleasing to the eye? When looking at the actual house, what catches your eye first? If there is siding, is the paint fresh and the wood or vinyl undamaged? If the home is mainly brick or stone, has it been pressure-washed? Are the windows clean, both inside and out? These are all items that will sway a potential buyer before they even cross your threshold. The first step should be to take note of how you can improve your overall curb appeal and make these improvements wherever possible.

 

Once a buyer decides they like the exterior, you’ve got to really wow them with the interior to get the most money for your home. Again, it’s all about first impressions. The first thing you see when you open your front door will set the tone for the rest of the buyer’s tour of your home. A good rule of thumb here, as with the rest of your house, is “less is more”. Make sure you clear off any table tops near the front door, giving your realtor a space to leave flyers, business cards, showing notebook, etc. Also, take down any family or personal pictures you may have hanging on the walls. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home, not the strangers they see in those photos.

 

Follow the “less is more” mantra as you walk through your home, especially when deciding what to keep or remove. All bedside tables should have nothing more than one clock and one lamp. Stow remote controls, books, phone chargers, etc. in drawers wherever possible. Bathroom countertops should be cleared of all but one color-coordinated pump soap and hand towel per sink. Bath mats should be folded and draped over the side of the tub when not in use. Kitchen countertops should be as bare as possible. Small appliances can be stored in cabinets or the pantry. Other main living spaces should be free of knick knacks and excess.

ID-10034661One Word: DECLUTTER!

Perhaps the hardest part of preparing for a move is the necessary decluttering that must occur before putting your home on the market. The best method I’ve found for wading through a hoarder’s paradise is the three-box technique: For each room you wish to declutter, label three large cardboard boxes with “KEEP”, “DONATE”, and “SELL”. Which box should be the lightest when you’re done? If you guessed “KEEP”, you’re right! For items that you choose to donate, find a charity that is close to your heart, has the greatest need for your particular items, and is able to give you a receipt for tax purposes. For the “SELL” box, determine if you have the time (and energy!) for a yard sale or to post items on eBay. If not, a great tip is to use online services like Music Magpie, that will give you cash for all those old CD’s, DVD’s and video games that are collecting dust on your shelves. You could also post on Facebook to see if any of your local friends want to buy larger items that are harder to ship, like washer/dryers, furniture pieces, etc. The best part about emptying your “SELL” box is the extra cash you’ll have in case you need it for your next home.

One Day (and Room) at a Time

The prospect of moving can be an emotional rollercoaster for most people, and getting your home ready to sell is certainly overwhelming. The best advice I can give is to take things as slowly as you are able. Only focus on one room at a time when decluttering. Assign yourself a set amount of time, like one to two hours, for working on a room, and when time is up, take a break. Divide your weeks into days, and your days into hours, to make scheduling and planning easier on yourself. And, don’t forget to take time to smell the newly bloomed spring flowers, remembering that change is a necessary part of life!

 

*Image courtesy of PhotoStock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  1. Removing the clutter is one way of preparing your home to prospect customers. If you want an inexpensive make over then paint the walls with lighter shade and it will look beautiful and new again. It will be hard but always look for new adventure.Life if sun and always learn new things like starting all over again.

    Rose

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