So, you’ve decided to move. The next question to ask yourself is: Is your house ready to sell? There’s more to selling a house than signing a contract and putting up a sign. Make sure you are ready for the showings, and maybe even an Open House or two. It’s also a bonus if you can be ready to show on a short notice. Typically Sellers request 24 hour notice to show a house, but if a client stops at their Realtor’s office and wants to view some houses NOW – the houses that are ready to show, get the viewings, and potentially sale!
1) Clean it! That means all the corners and use that old toothbrush on the grout – and keep it clean for as long as it’s on the market! De-clutter your counter-tops. If a potential purchaser sees only the 6″ x 12″ space you’ve left open on your kitchen counter, that’s all they’ll think there is. “No Counter Space” is a death knell to home sales. Put those appliances away (or box them up) if you don’t use them daily. Only leave out the toaster & coffee maker — and please clean off the front of your refrigerator! Nobody but the family needs to see little Timmy’s latest drawing!
2) Put away all personal items. Take down family photos that you have on display. Replace that photo wall with one generic picture instead. Look for artwork that can bring out your accent color for the room it’s displayed in. Be sure to depersonalize the bathrooms & bedside, too. It’s not just photos, but any personal belonging that may be of value to you – either monetarily or sentimental – remember strangers will be wandering though your home, so keep valuables put away.
Take those boxes you’ve filled with your personal items and either put them in your garage or rent a storage shed. You don’t want to have boxes sitting around in the house – that makes it look like you don’t have enough storage space, and that’s not a message you want to send to buyers! Maybe thin out your furniture, too. Make your rooms look roomier by moving out heavy furniture, book shelves, etc. Remember, this is just temporary – think of it as getting a step closer to moving to your new home!
3) Make it smell G-O-O-D! Bake cookies — or bread! Nothing smells like home the way fresh-baked bread smells (cookies, too)! If you don’t bake use the handy Pop – n – Fresh type of baked items (bread / Cookies). Or there are air fresheners, scented candles, etc to improve the scent of your house.
Be sure the house does not smell like a pet, too! Clean the cat-box & move it out to the back porch during any showing! Let’s appeal to (not offend) the Buyer’s senses
4) Speaking of pets… make sure they are confined or just take them with you during any showings. Look around the house & try to remove any signs of pets in the house, too. repair any scratched doors, fill in any holes in the yard, clean up any pet droppings in the grass. Not only could it get tracked in the house, the odor will follow the buyer around, then they’ll always refer to the house as the “stinky house”. Not an impression you want to make.
Try to make your listed (or soon to be listed) property looks cheerful and welcoming to potential buyers. Decorate for the holidays in a restrained, tasteful manner. Don’t go Clark Griswold on the Christmas lights! Use a lighter touch for your decorating while listed. Make your home look “Happy for the Holidays” and a sale may follow to make your New Year even brighter!