How To Prepare Your House For Sale

Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home!

Disassociate Yourself With Your Home

Learning how to let go is difficult. You've lived in this home for years, and it's become part of you. However, you've got to make that break. Here are a few tips:

 

De-Personalize.

Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, 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."

1. De-Clutter is the number one priority
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.

2. Rearrange bedroom closets and storage cabinets
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:

3. Consider renting a temporary storage unit
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.

If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down.
If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

 

Make Minor Repairs

In some seller's markets, for example, you can sell a home in its present condition without much complaint. In normal markets or buyer's markets, repairs can make or break your sale.

 

Make the House Sparkle!

Cleaning your home should go beyond the usual weekly or day-to-day cleaning job. This could take all day to complete, and you might want to hire assistance.

 

Scrutinize 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.

 

(adapted from Elizabeth Weintraub with the balance)