Step 2: Get Ready: Declutter, Stage and Clean
When preparing your house for sale, keep these 3 goals in mind:
Remove personal items, extra armoires and anything that could distract potential buyers. Smaller furniture will make the rooms look bigger, so consider swapping out that King sized bed that takes up the whole bedroom for a smaller one, and replacing your sectional with a a couch and chair. Consider using this opportunity to purge or use a storage company.
Make sure every room is staged to its best and optimal use
People tend to have a hard time imagining how the house will look when it sits empty and naked. Having a properly staged housed can do wonders for how it presents and, ultimately, how much it sells for. While hiring a professional to do this is a possibility, you can also do much of it yourself by de-cluttering, cleaning, having fresh and well-maintained furniture and by making sure that every room is furnished. It may take a bit of creativity, but the end results are worth it.
Clean, clean and clean again!
The cleaner your house is, the more attractive it looks. Having a clean house demonstrates that it was well taken care of and well maintained which, in turn, will attract more attention. Clean the windows, the stove, under the fridge and even the light fixtures. A house can never be too clean. This also applies to smell as well. Smoke and pet odours are AUTOMATIC turnoffs for most people so make sure that is taken care of before showings start.
Special Considerations for Houses
First impressions go a long way. Many people focus on renovating the inside but the neglect the outside, which is the first thing that people see! Making sure that the grass is cut, the backyard is tidy, the walkway is clear and the eaves are clean is very important. Spending some time doing landscaping and minor repairs, such as painting peeling window frames, will go a long way. More often then not, the picture of the front of your house will be the one that will be the face of the marketing, and it's imperative to make that great first impression
Repairs and Touch ups.
Many of us are guilty of living in a world of “good enough” (myself included, as my wife can attest to) as well will invest lots of time and energy into a project or renovation only to lose steam at the end. Maybe the baseboards don’t get put on, the paint doesn’t get touched up and those new light fixtures that you so excitedly purchased are still sitting in their packaging while you have 5 lamps plugged in. Well, now is the time to get that done. Either hire a handyman for a couple of days who can do them quickly or get the motivation to do it yourself. Whichever works, but just make sure it gets done.
Backyard/Outdoor Living space
It has long been said that ‘kitchens and bathrooms sell a house”, but the outdoor living space is getting right up there. People love to be able to envison themselves outside, barbequing and playing with their kids or pets, so be sure it looks as attractive as possible! Stain the deck, stage the patio, plant some flowers, but make sure that people can see themselves having a relaxing evening in your yard (after they move in, of course).
Get a Second Set of Eyes
You’ve lived in your house and you know it up and down and sideways....you know everything there is about it. But did you know that there is a still a faint smell of smoke from the previous owner and that some of the kitchen cabinets don’t close quite right? Having a friend over that you trust to walk through your home and scout for things that maybe you have grown accustomed to is a great idea. Obviously, you can always ask your realtor for help as well!
Know When to Stop!
Sometimes you just have to say “that’s it, I’m done”. Getting your house ready for sale is stressful enough, let alone doing biting off more than you can chew in prepping it. The key to selling your house is maximizing its existing positive qualities and downplaying the not so positive ones. Tidying up, making it presentable and finishing off some lingering projects is enough to do for most people. You can’t fix everything, it’s not going to be perfect and chances are you are your own hardest critic anyway.