Steps To Take in Preparing your Property for Sale

Steps to Take in Preparing your Property for Sale

· Sever Ties to your Home

  • Think along these lines, "This is not my home; it is merely a house – a product to be sold much like anything you’d find in the grocery store
  • Mentally "let go" of your emotions and realize this house will no longer be yours  
  • Envision handing over the keys and appliance warranties to the new owners
  • Say goodbye to every room
  • Don't look back; look toward the future

· Do Not Make it about You

Pack away personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers have trouble looking past personal belongings, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to visualize their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want buyers thinking "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?"  You want them thinking, "I can see myself living here."

· Get Rid of the Clutter

People collect an amazing quantity of junk, so much so that some may consider hoarding a disease. For many, it is hard to part with “stuff”, but try to take this approach: 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 (possible tax deductions) or throw it away?
  • Remove all books from bookcases
  • Pack up those knickknacks
  • Clean off everything on kitchen counters
  • Put essentials used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use
  • Remember this: You will need to pack anyway, so do it now and get your home sold!

For those of you who can’t do this on your own, there are professional companies to help you organize. It is much easier for them, as they do not have a personal connection to your “stuff”

· Clean Up Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets

Buyers are curious and have a tendency to snoop, meaning they will open closets and cabinets. What kind of message are you sending if these places are crammed, or even worse, things fall on the (now former) interested buyer?  Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if everything is organized. It elicits the thought that you take good care of the house. For guidance, closets should be no more than 30% full. Without appearing overly obsessive, you may consider the following:

  • Alphabetize spice jars
  • Neatly stack dishes (not on the counters, of course)
  • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way
  • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction
  • Line up shoes

Bottom line – show that you are neat, organized and ready to have a smooth transaction!

· Rent a Storage Unit

Yes, I realize the first thought is that this will cost you some money to rent a space. However, the cost of not selling your home will be much greater, so make the investment. Most homes show 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. 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?" Remember, you want to create the illusion of having more space and putting your items in storage is one way to accomplish this.

· Remove/Replace Favorite Items

If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If a buyer never sees it, the odds of them actually asking for it are slim to none. Once you tell buyers they can't have an item, they will covet it, and it could be a deal breaker. Also, if you are set on keeping a particular appliance, you may want to consider replacing it.

· 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 color
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs
  • Replace worn bedspreads and make your bed everyday

Remember, the buyer is going to have the property inspected most likely. You do not want to give the buyer any reason to not want your property. Avoid repair requests when possible.

· Give your Home that Pristine Image

  • Wash/Windex windows inside and out
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior
  • Remove any cobwebs
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
  • Clean out the refrigerator
  • Vacuum daily and make sure floors are waxed/polished
  • 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. You want to appeal to all five senses
  • Minimize the pet effect. Remove food bowls and litter boxes. Deodorize thoroughly.

· Scrutinize

  • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you? Buyers will form their opinion immediately!
  • Linger in the doorway of every room and imagine how your house looks to a buyer
  • Rearrange furniture until it makes sense
  • Make sure window coverings hang level
  • How does your place “feel” when they are in your place? Give them reason to want to make it their home.

· Curb Appeal

Buyers often drive by a property and decide not to go inside. Give them every reason to want to get out of their car and into your home

  • Keep the sidewalks cleared
  • Mow the lawn
  • Paint the exterior
  • Add shiny hardware to the front door
  • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion.
  • Trim your bushes
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number
  • Make sure the front door is appealing and easy to open

· Additional Ideas to Consider When Staging your Home for Sale

·         Visit model homes and look through magazines for decorating ideas

·         Invite your friends or a REALTOR® over to get an objective opinion

To make sure you sell your home for the best price, most favorable terms, and in the shortest amount of time, it is important to use a licensed professional with specialized skills.  As your agent representing you in selling your home, I am educated in every aspect of the transaction, from writing an offer to negotiating the price, to arranging financing and following the transaction through to escrow.  As your agent,

  • I know the market and will help you set the right price
  • I know what buyers are looking for and the financial incentives that will encourage them to buy
  • I am a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which enables me to provide detailed information about your home to the thousands of other agents assisting buyers
  • In addition to the MLS, I interact with agents on a daily basis.  We trade information about new properties and match eager buyers with the right homes
  • I have access to several advertising opportunities, using a wide range of mediums, that will raise interest in your home
  • Windermere's national referral system provides me access to the large number of people who relocate each year, increasing the pool of qualified buyers for your home

I believe in creating a dramatic online experience.  With approximately 96% of searches being conducted online, it is critical to have an online presence.  For a  look at some of the sites I will expose your property to, please ask to see my comprehensive marketing flow chart

Ready to sell your home?  For a more exhaustive report of what I do to get your home sold in the least amount of time, for the best price, and most favorable terms to you, please contact me now at 858-997-3704.