The following will guide you step by step through the process of preparing your home for sale to achieve the highest possible sale price in the least amount of time. Our concentration will be in six areas:
- Staging, Continued
- The rule of thumb is, if something needs repair, fix it! There are probably many things in your home that you have simply become used to over time . . . things that you have been promising yourself that you will attend to. Well, now is the time. The buyer will mentally add up the cost of repairing all those minor flaws and end up with an amount that is generally much higher than what it would cost you to do the repairs.
You might be saying to yourself, "These repairs aren’t any big deal." But the buyer is thinking, "If the owners didn’t care for these little items, then what about the roof and the furnace?" Needed small repairs and perceived owner neglect will either lower the purchase price or lengthen the time required to sell.
- Check all walls for peeling paint and loose wall paper.
- Large repairs: In today’s climate of open disclosure and vigilant professional home inspections, the rule is "Treat a buyer as you would yourself." Repair any problems with major systems or offer an allowance for the buyer to make repairs after closing. Always disclose anything that you know about the property. Having been a consumer yourself, you know that buyers will more readily make a purchase decision with someone whom they can trust.
- Every area of the home must sparkle and shine! Each hour spent will be well worth it. Would you rather buy a clean car, or a dirty one? Would you hurry to buy a pair of shoes with mud on them?
- Clean all windows, inside and out. This helps make the house sparkle.
- Clean all wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs. Clean and polish linoleum, tile and wooden floors.
- Clean and polish all woodwork if necessary. Pay particular attention to the kitchen and bath cabinets.
- Clean and polish all light fixtures.
- Be cautious about selecting colors when painting or replacing carpeting. Your objective here is to make your home appeal to the largest possible buying segment. Ask yourself, "How many of the available buyers would be able to move into your house with their furniture and not have to replace the carpeting?" Position your home on the market to be as livable to as many people as possible, and allow the buyer to mentally picture the home as theirs.
- Forget your personal taste . . . the "market" is always demand driven! The average buyer will have a hard time looking beyond blue carpeting and bold wallpaper. Consider replacing unusual or bold colors with neutral tones. Two coats of white paint may be the best investment you ever made.
This involves creating the illusion of more space.
- Arrange furniture to give the rooms as spacious a feeling as possible. Consider removing furniture from rooms that are crowded. If necessary, store large items.
- Pack up collectibles . . . both to protect them, and to give the room a more spacious feel. Leave just enough accessories to give the home a personal touch. Dispose of unneeded items.
- Remove all clutter and make it a habit to pick up clothing, shoes, and personal possessions each day for possible showings.
- Empty closets of off-season clothing and pack for the move. Organize them to demonstrate the most efficient use of space. Leave as few items on the floor or shelves as possible.
- Use light to create a sense of space. All drapes should be open. Turn on all of the lights throughout the home before a showing, and e sure to replace any burned out light bulbs.
When placing yourself in the potential buyer’s shoes, you will want to consider the overall atmosphere of your home. Keep in mind your sense of smell as you go through the check list. Create the atmosphere of your home as a shelter, a place that is safe and warm, and in good condition.
- A clean smelling house creates a positive image in the buyer’s mind. Be aware of any odors from cooking, cigarettes, pets, etc., that may have adverse effects on potential buyers. Remember that some people are much more sensitive to odors than others. Smokers rarely notice the odor of tobacco that fills their homes, and pet owners may be oblivious to objectionable doggy odor.
- You can use products like carpet deodorizers, air fresheners, and room deodorizers; but the best strategy is to remove the source of the smell rather than cover it up.
- Unfortunately, often the only way to remove the smell of pet urine from flooring is to rip up the carpeting and padding and replace them. If this is preven