So you’ve come to the conclusion that selling and moving to a new home/city is in your best interest. Maybe it’s to move to a better school district. Perhaps you’ve accepted a higher paying job in a new city or maybe you’re just ready for a change in climate or scenery. We’ve assembled a list of tips that may help make this process a little easier on you.
1. First thing’s first…. de-personalize
You will want to “remove yourself” from the home. In other words, take down extremely personal items such as portraits, Johnny’s finger paintings. Pack these times of items in clear, plastic totes with lids. You’ll want to skip the cardboard boxes when packing these irreplaceable items. You want potential buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls… not focusing on yours and wondering what kind of family is currently living here. Consider placing a “Welcome Home” sign in the entryway when you remove the latest family portrait.
2. Begin the process of de-cluttering
- This is a great time to donate items that you haven’t worn or used for awhile. Be sure to get a donation receipt when dropping off the items for the added bonus of tax deduction.
- Remove books, games and anything flat from shelves/bookcases and pack.
- Pack up knickknacks and unnecessary decor. Leave out a few pieces for the purpose of staging.
- Counters and tables collect junk. Clean it off! The less stuff on surfaces the more spacious they appear.
- Pack up all off-season clothing/shoes that you won’t need during the process of selling and moving.
3. Make your cabinets and closets snoop-worthy
Most, if not all, potential buyers will look in cabinets and closets. If they open a door and items tumble out… it could leave a negative impression. If they find a visually pleasing, well-organized cabinet, it can give the impression that you’ve taken great care of the rest of the house as well. Some simple ways to achieve this (after decluttering the items you don’t use often):
- Line up shoes in an orderly fashion
- Hang clothing facing the same way (think of an organized retail store)
- Neatly stack dishes and arrange cups with handles facing the same way
- Have a spice drawer/cabinet? Alphabetize the jars.
4. Consider renting a storage unit
When showing your home, less is more. The less furniture you have, the more spacious your home will appear. If you emptied any bookcases or shelves when you cleared your books and knickknacks, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to scale down the size. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers wondering, “What is this room used for?”
**Consider what items you will need first when you find your dream home, and pack those near the entrance of your storage unit. The off-season holiday decorations can go towards the back.
5. Knock out your “fix it” list and clean, clean, clean!
- Fix anything cracked.
- Patch holes in walls.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Fix doors and drawers that don’t close properly.
- Paint your walls neutral colors, especially if you have non-traditional colors on your walls.
- Replace all dim or burned-out light bulbs.
- Stage all beds with fresh bedding that looks new.(no torn blankets)
- Wash windows inside and out.
- Borrow a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
- Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
- Polish faucets and mirrors.
- Vacuum daily.
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
- Replace worn rugs.
- Hang up fresh towels for each showing.
6. Have a friend do a walk-thru with you
Make sure your friend will be completely honest with you. You are striving for an amazing first impression. Bring a notebook and pen and jot down any comments they have when you do your walk-thru.
- Start outside in your driveway. Take note of the sidewalk and landscaping on your approach to the front door. Notice the entryway…. does the house welcome you?
- Tour the house as if you were a real estate agent showing a client.
- Pay attention to how the furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense. (make sure all walkways are clear)
- Make sure window coverings hang level and shades/blinds are pulled to allow natural light in.
- Notice the smells…. does it smell fresh and clean? Do you notice any musty scents? Take care of any odors right away. This will be a deal breaker for some people.
We hope this lends a little help in prepping your home for sale.
Lastly, we suggest beginning the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage, so there are no delays when you find your dream home. A pre-approval letter in hand when you make an offer can make the difference if other’s are bidding as well. We’d love the opportunity to help! Check us out at www.KokomoMortgage.com.