1. It’s no longer your home
One of the most important things you can do when getting ready to sell your home is to accept that it will soon belong to another owner and let go. Disassociate yourself with your home and see it as a product that you are now selling. Next, de-personalize your home by removing personal photos and family items. You want a potential to buyer to imagine their own family living in the home, not to see how your family is living there.
2. Increase curb appeal
The exterior appearance of a home is one of the most underemphasized factors in preparing a home to sell, but one of the most important. When a potential buyer drives up to look at your home, you want them to be immediately impressed. To ensure a great first impression, realtors recommend applying a fresh coat of paint to your exterior. When you do so, make sure you go with a neutral color and make the paint congruent. This is not the time to experiment with exciting new color schemes.
Here are a few more quick tips for increasing curb appeal:
• Keep the lawn mowed and looking nice
• Trim the bushes and trees
• Pull out weeds, plant yellow flowers, and lay down new mulch to give your garden a fresh look
• Pressure wash the sidewalk, drive, and exterior to make them like new
• Clean the windows and make them sparkle
• Make sure you have lively, green grass to attract buyers
3. Messes don’t sell houses
It’s not much of a secret, but a cluttered house detracts from your home’s appearance. and if you do nothing else, clean up the messes around your house and clear the clutter. Remember, you want a buyer to be able to imagine living in your home, which means making it look like no one lives there. Think of a model home staged by a builder. Notice any clutter? If a buyer sees that things are picked up and well organized, the home will not only be more appealing visually, they will also assume that you have taken care of your home.
• Pick up junk and clutter
• Remove all books from bookcases
• Do not leave things on the kitchen counters, including appliances like electric can openers and blenders
• Put items used daily in a box out of sight but easily accessed
• Neatly stack dishes in the cupboard
• Clean and organize closets with shirts buttoned and facing the same direction and shoes lined in a row
4. Some things have got to go
Most houses show better with less furniture, so rent a storage unit and store furniture that crowds your rooms. Remove furniture that block paths and walkways. Since you have cleared your bookshelves, put those in storage, too. Anything you can do to make rooms feel more spacious without making them seem desolate is advantageous. Take a leaf or two out of your dining room table to expand the size of the room. You still need furniture to showcase each room, but chances are good you could remove some.
5. Want to keep it, then store it
Remove any items you want to take with you that are currently a part of the house. If the in grill bolted into your patio out back is going with you, do not leave it out back for potential buyers to see. Any light fixtures that you are particularly attached to should be remove, put in storage, and replaced. When people see something and find out they cannot have it, they suddenly want it. Avoid this hassle by removing it before you list your home.
6. Make minor repairs
You do not have to spend a fortune, but look at your budget and find out what minor repairs you can make to increase the value of your home.
• Fix the leaky faucets
• Replace cracked tile
• Paint your walls neutral colors
• Patch holes from walls, even little nail holes
• Replace burnt-out light bulbs
7. The little things count, too
Walk through your home with a fresh set of eyes, and do the little things around the house to make it shine and keep it looking nice.
• Dust (do not forget to dust the top of ceiling fan blades!)
• Vacuum daily
• Sweep and mop
• Clean out the pantry and refrigerator
• Clear out old cobwebs
• Get rid of raggedy old rugs
• Get the carpets cleaned and remove stains
• Keep the beds made
• Have fresh towels in the bathrooms
• Bleach or clean dirty grout
• Get musty rooms smelling fresh