How to Prepare Your House for Sale
Disassociate Yourself with Your Home.
● Say to yourself: "This is not my home; it is just a house. It is a product to be sold.”
● Make the decision to let go of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
● Picture yourself handing the keys to the new owners.
● Say goodbye to every room.
● Don't look back. Look toward the future.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past your personal possessions, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there. You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."
It’s easy to accumulate possessions. Consider this: 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, throw it away, or find a new home for it?
● Remove almost all but a few books from bookcases.
● Pack up those knickknacks.
● Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
● Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
● Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the positive message it sends if everything in your home is organized. Buyers will think you take good care of the house.
● Neatly stack dishes.
● Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
● Hang shirts together, buttoned, and facing the same direction.
● Line up shoes.
● Tidy, organize, and clear-out medicine cabinets.
Rent a Storage Unit.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways. Put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, we suggest you 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 with plenty of room to move around.
Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take with you window coverings, built-in appliances, or fixtures, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother and you wish to keep it, take it down now, and replace it with another light fixture. If buyers never see these items, they won't want them. Once you tell buyers they can't have an item, it can potentially put a halt to your sale. Pack these items and replace them if necessary.
Make Minor Repairs.
● 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 have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls. (Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
● Replace burned-out light bulbs.
● If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
Make the House Sparkle!
● 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.
● Hang up fresh towels.
● Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
● Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
● View your house from outside. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
● Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
● Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until optimally placed.
● Make sure window coverings hang level.
● Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
● Does it look like somebody lives in this house?
Check Curb Appeal.
If buyers dislike like the exterior of your home, you'll never get them inside.
● Keep the sidewalks cleared.
● Mow the lawn.
● Paint faded window trim.
● Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. (Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.)
● Trim your bushes.
● Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.