My husband and I have bought and sold a few homes during our seventeen year marriage. We have learned from our mistakes as sellers and from our experiences as buyers. When selling your home potential buyers try to imagine how they would live there. It is difficult for buyers to fathom living in some of the homes they tour. Clutter can get in the way of keeping your home clean and can also impact how long your home is on the market. Follow these ten tips to sell your home in a hurry and make a bigger profit.
1. Rent a storage unit. You are going to need to store excess furniture, books, seasonal clothing, extra toys, and more. Get a unit a little larger than you think you will need. That way you will not have to move your belongings from a smaller unit to a larger one. Trust me.
2. Take a good look around you. Have a friend who is not afraid to be honest point out what areas look messy. Most of us have too many possessions that crowd our home.
-Remove most of your personal pictures from walls and flat surfaces. Leave a few so that the space remains personal. Put away all of the mismatched frames, the corny studio portaits, and school pictures. Leave a family photo in a nice frame.
-Put most of your books in storage. Only keep out a few that accessorize well on shelves.
-Get rid of the knick-knacks. You will save time on dusting. And, no one wants to see your porcelain clown, wooden giraffe, pen, or arrow head collection. Really.
-Throw away all magazines. What are you saving (hoarding) those for, anyway?
-Toss the throws. That 70's show afghan on the back of your couch may be cozy but it is an eyesore. Put away all the extra blankets and pillows lying around your home.
-Clean up CDs and DVDs. If you do not have sufficient out of sight storage put these items in the storage unit.
-Most people have too much furniture in their home. Your space should be open and inviting. Remove extra side tables, odd and oversized chairs, microwave carts, old enterrainment centers that are piling up with odds and ends, lamps, buffets, china cabinets, and any other furniture that is not necessary. You want to create an open floor plan that is easy to walk through.
4. Bedrooms are a breeding ground for clutter.
-Pare down the books, magazines, toys, clothes, and memorabilia.
-Remove all of the pageant trophies, posters, and objects made at camp. Put them in the storage unit.
-Take down all of your little Picasso's artwork and put it away.
-Sports equipment belongs in a bin in the garage. A large trash can will hold bats, balls, helments, and raquets.
-Tame the toys. Just because you have kids people do not expect your home to look like Toys R' Us. If potential buyers do not have children they need to visualize the space as how they will use it. Store at least half the toys until the house sells. Your kids will get over it. Mine did.
-Create openness by replacing dust ruffles on each bed with a fitted sheet over the box spring.
-Your master bedroom should feel like a getaway. All dressers and nightstands should be clear of clutter. Remove anything that should not be in this room.
5. Spiff up the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the most important selling points of your home.
-Clear off the counters, even the toaster. Put it away when not in use. Buyers want to see that there is room for their things. If the cabinets appear crammed they may think there is not enough storage.
-Put those seasonal dishes, extra sets of china, duplicate casserole bowls, and appliances you hardly ever use in the storage unit.
5. Air out your closets. Buyers will peek in the closets. Closets should only be half full. Buyers want to envision all the extra room for their belongings. They do not want to see your massive shoe or vintage clothing collection.
-Put away your out of season clothes, projects, crafts, sewing supplies, and all other items that do not belong in a closet. Take them to your storage unit.
-Take extra sets of linens out of the linen closet and remove most of the coats from the coat closet.
-Clear out other storage closets. Remove things that don't belong.
6. Each room should reflect its original purpose. Have appropriate furniture in each room.
7. Bathrooms should be spotless.
-Counters should not have anything on them.
-Store toothbrushes and toiletries in a drawer.
-Put the toilet brush and plunger under the sink.
-Trash cans should have lids.
-Buy new towels for all the bathrooms to use when showing the house.
Your bathroom will look much neater when you follow these rules.
8. Potential buyers should not see or smell evidence of your pets. Move the litterbox to the garage and put all of Fido's toys and bed in his crate. Take the crate with the pet in it when you leave for the house to be shown. Believe it or not, most people are offended by pet odors. Have a person who is honest come over to assess the situation.
9. Clean out and organize the garage and attic. Buyers will be assessing these areas for their storage needs. Recycle containers should have lids. Just as you can use a large trash can for sports equipment, you can also store yard tools in a trash can. You want to create a neat, orderly area with plenty of open space.
10. Keep a basket handy. If someone is coming to look at the house you can throw your junk in it and put it in the car. Do not put the basket in the oven or bathtub because buyers DO look in those places.
Simplify your home with these tips so that you can be ready for potential buyers in a flash. Create a beautiful canvas that anyone would want to call home. If this process seems a bit overwhelming you can always give me a call. We will work together in person or using the phone and computer. I am here to help you all the way! Life. Simple.
4/22/2014 12:18:37 am
Absolutely agree with most items noted in this article. As a accredited staging professional, I would encourage home sellers to seek the advice of a home stsger. Furthermore I would suggest to remove any identifying family photos and framed certificates/diplomas. This is as much for security as it is for aesthetics.
5/11/2014 08:32:53 pm
Great blog, great tips and advice.
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