Selling your home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in live. This is your home, the place you share with your family. What is your motivation to sell? A new addition is on the way and you need a bigger home. Just got that new promotion or job, maybe it’s time to downsize. Regardless of the reason, you need to remember this business decision; you have to separate yourself from your emotions.
Take an objective look at your home. In tough economic times, first impressions count more than ever! Your home needs to look its best; your home is going to “the big dance”, is it ready? Take a notepad and go room by room to evaluate what needs to be done, needs to go, and what can stay. If you were buying your home today, what would bother you? Make the minor repairs; paint the rooms that need it. What about fixtures? I new light fixture or faucet doesn’t cost much but can make a large difference in appearance.
De-personalize! Take down the pictures of your family and remove the family antiques. Personal photos create a feeling in buyers that they are invading “your home”. You want your buyers to think, “I could live here and where would I place my belongings.” When buyers do that, they are subconsciously taking ownership of the property. Don’t forget to remove heirlooms! You never know what someone will want or like, we had a client who had a mirror from their grandmother. The buyers requested the mirror as part of their offer and ended up walking away from the home because of a mirror. Don’t let your grandmothers mirror be the deal breaker, if you aren’t willing to part with it, remove it from the home.
De-clutter! Rent a storage unit and store the things you want to keep, have a yard sale, sell on craigslist or donate everything else. Empty out that garage! Believe it or not but your car can fit in there! Go throughout the house and remove as much as you can! If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it! Clean the counters and bookcases. When you think you have removed enough, go back and remove at least π of what is left!
Curb Appeal! You drive up to your home each day and probably don’t notice things a buyer will notice. Keep the grass cut, put down fresh mulch, remove the weeds and add flowers to the beds. Take a tough view of how the exterior of your home looks as you approach the property from every direction. Make them want to get out of the car to see the home.
Clean, clean, clean! Make the place sparkle! Ever watch the movie Full Metal Jacket? Put on your fatigues and clean like you’re in boot camp. You don’t have to go as far as cleaning the toilet with a toothbrush, but you get the idea. Clean every surface, fixture, item in the home, bleach grout, re-caulk bathrooms.
If you can use your subjectivity and get all of these things accomplished, then you’ll have a better chance of getting top dollar for your home. Remember, as Barb Schwartz of StagedHomes.com says, “Clutter eats equity!”