1 Take the emotion out of the house.
- Remind yourself often that it is not your home but a house.
- Remind yourself that this house will no longer belong to you.
- start today by packaging up a new owners box. Include warranties, special notes about how to run appliances, address and phone number of local utilities and maybe even a list of area businesses that you think the new owners would find helpful such as good repairman, save a space for the keys and garage door opener.
- walk from room to room saying good bye – this will help you to prepare for selling
- Always look to where you are going!
2. Remove all or most personal items – Buyers want to see themselves living in this home. They have a difficult time seeing past photos and personal items. This will help you to keep looking forward as well. Buyers should be able to imagine their own photos on the walls.
3. Remove all Clutter – If you haven’t used it in a year you can get rid of it.
- Consider donating items not needed but in good condition
- Remove books from bookcases and pack up most nick knack items
- Clean off kitchen counters and other surfaces (this gives a feel of space)
- Put those items that you must keep in a small box so you can put in into a closet or even take it with you during showings.
- Take the time to get rid of stuff now so you have less to do when packing to move.
4. Rearrange those cabinets and closets
- Buyers love to look in all of those cabinets and closets. Surprise them by having them neat. Better yet, have some bare space to make it appear that you have more space than you need.
- simple things like turning all handles the same way or lining up your shoe collection can really show the buyers that you cared about the house.
5. Consider renting a storage unit
- almost all homes show better with less furniture
- definitely remove any pieces that block paths or walking patterns
- pack up those book cases unless they are built ins
- Remove extra leaves from table to make your room appear larger
- Carefully choose items that showcase the rooms and give each room a purpose
- make sure that there is plenty of room to get around
6. Remove all items that you plan to take with you. This includes those items that may be fixed like appliances, or grannies antique chandelier. Make sure you do this before listing your home if at all possible. Replace items if necessary with another version. ex. replace the chandelier with a different model.
7. This is a perfect time to make all of those minor repairs that you have been putting off.
- replace cracked tiles
- patch any holes
- fix leaky faucets
- make sure doors close properly and don’t rub
- Consider painting your walls neutral colors – sometimes people can’t see themselves in the current room color
- make any updates that are easy to do such as buying that new comforter for the new home now to liven up the bedroom now for the tours
- replace those burned out lightbulbs. You would be surprised how many times I arrive at a showing and find that some rooms are dark as either bulbs are burnt out or not even in the sockets.
8. Do your spring cleaning now – no matter the season
- clean those windows until they gleam
- pressure wash the exterior of the home
- clean out those cobwebs
- re-caulk tubs, sinks and showers
- polish all chrome in the house until it shines
- clean out the refrigerator and add an extra box of baking soda in the back of both refrigerator and freezer
- vacuum daily
- mop floors often
- dust everything – don’t forget blinds, ceiling fans and light fixtures
- bleach dingy grout
- hang fresh towels (a great item to buy now for new home)
- Make sure your home has no odors. This includes mold, mildew, dampness, pet odors, cigarette or cigars, etc.
9. Pretend your the buyer seeing your home for the first time
- go outdoors and look through the buyers eye. Clean up anything that needs a touch up
- stop at each doorway in the home and look around. What will the buyer see? What do I want them to see?
- Make sure the furniture makes sense and creates a good flow
- make sure window coverings hang level
- Is it beginning to look like no one lives here? Your almost ready to list your home
10. Curb appeal is important – if the buyer won’t get out of the car to see the inside they aren’t going to buy your home.
- Keep the sidewalks clear
- mow the lawn
- trim hedges
- paint any trim that needs freshening
- Plant bright colored flowers – or a few pots for added color and pizazz
- Make sure all visitors can read your house number – if they can’t add some large numbers in a visible location