Prepare Your House to Sell
Are you ready?
Time to prepare your house to sell. The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It’s necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.
Step one to prepare your house to sell is de-personalize. Pack up those personal photographs and drawings Tommy made. Buyers can’t see past personal items. You don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls. You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”
Step 2 to prepare your house to sell is de-clutter. People collect an amazing quantity of junk.
- If you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.
- If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
- Remove all books from bookcases.
- Pack up those knickknacks and collections.
- Clean off kitchen counters.
- Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use. So you are ready for a showing.
- Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Step 3 to prepare your house to sell is organize. Buyers will open closet and cabinet doors. A buyer believes that if small things are done well big things are done well too. So if your closet is organized, you serviced the furnace. It shows you have taken good care of the house.
- Alphabetize spice jars.
- Neatly stack dishes.
- Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
- Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
- Line up shoes.
Rent a Storage Unit.
Step 4 to prepare your house to sell is clear it out. Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”
Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
Step 5 to prepare your house to sell is move it out. If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. Anything that is attached to the wall is a part of the purchase. Curtains are part of the house. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
Make Minor Repairs.
Step 6 to prepare your house to sell is fix it.
- Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
- Patch holes in walls.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
- Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you love dark blue walls.
- Replace burned-out light bulbs.
- replace the worn bedspread
- Get new bath towels
Clean, Clean, Clean
Step 7 to prepare your house to sell is clean it.
- Wash windows inside and out.
- Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
- Clean out cobwebs.
- Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
- Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
- Clean out the refrigerator.
- Vacuum daily.
- Wax floors.
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
- Bleach dingy grout.
- Replace worn rugs.
- Clean the carpets
- Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
Step back…Be objective
- Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside?
- Stand in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
- Examine how furniture is arranged. Get a friend to help to rearrange.
- Make sure window coverings hang level.
Check Curb Appeal.
If a buyer won’t get out of her agent’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get her inside.
- Keep the sidewalks cleared.
- Mow the lawn.
- Paint faded window trim.
- Plant bright flowers or group flower pots together. Marigolds are inexpensive.
- Trim your bushes.