Spring is just around the corner and you have decided that this is the time you are going to make the leap and put your house on the market. Does the thought of that make your head spin? Have you put off the upgrades, touch ups, de-cluttering and repairs you should have begun months ago? There is no time like the present to get started, and the list begins here with suggestions to get you motivated.
MENTALLY MOVE OUT-You have probably heard over and over the idea that you should “de-personalize” your home so that a potential buyer can envision themselves living there. While you don’t need to strip your home of all its character, the truth is some buyers can’t see past your stack of bowling trophies, deer mounts, wall to wall shelves of DVD’s and Teddy bear collection. If this is stuff you love and will keep, pack it up and put it in storage now. If you don’t plan to pay to move it to your new home, sell, donate, give away or recycle. Removing these things now can begin to change how you see your house and help you begin to mentally move out.
THINK ABOUT YOUR HOUSE LIKE A USED CAR-If you have ever sold a used car privately, or even as a trade in, you most likely wanted to get top dollar and spent a little time spiffing it up. You removed your personal stuff, hunted down the shriveled up French fries, pens and loose change from under the seats, and vacuumed, polished, washed, wiped and buffed. Maybe you even put the repair and maintenance records out for perspective buyers to see. You should do no less for your home than you would for your car…..make it a cream puff to get the attention you want!
BRING IN THE CRITICS-Are you having a bit of trouble seeing your home in its true light? Consider inviting in some family members or friends who you can allow to voice their honest opinion about your home. Outsiders can often point out sights, sounds or smells that we don’t notice in our own homes. I recently attended an open house for another agent’s listing. While the house was nicely staged and appeared clean, the “gym bag” type of odor coming from the bedrooms, most likely the bedding, was enough to make the buyers run for the door. Squeaky doors and floors that you may have lived with for years, may be grating to someone else’s ear. Assure your critics that you want them to be truthful and are grateful for their feedback.
LOOK HIGH AND LOW– When doing that cleaning that will prepare your home for sale, don’t forget the high spots and low spots you often miss. Pets that rub on walls a few feet off the floor, or cobwebs hanging from above can be areas often overlooked. Just because you haven’t turned the ceiling fan on in four years, doesn’t mean a buyer won’t. Clean that layer of dust! While you have the ladder out, inspect bathroom exhaust fans for dangerous buildup of lint, and turn on ceiling lights to inspect for dead fly graveyards!
MAKE A RUN FOR THE DOOR-When your home is on actually on the market, you may find it stressful to adjusting to a life Realtors call “show ready”. If you begin living like this prior to your home’s listing going active, you may find the transition easier. If you will be removing pets or children during buyer showings, prepare in advance a bag or bin of toys, snacks, blankets etc, to keep them comfortable for the short displacement from your home. Keep another container available for a quick pick up of toys, shoes and small tems that can be tucked away out of sight. Buyers will open closets and cupboards, so make sure items won’t tumble out onto their feet. Lastly, keep a set of fresh, clean towels to put out at a moment’s notice and spritz a light, fresh scent if you have concerns about pet or cooking odors. Requests for a showing of your home may come on short notice. Being prepared to accommodate a last minute appointment might allow that right buyer to see your home, and have you on your way to your new one.
Debra Bajouwa SRS, CBR ,e-Pro is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with CM Fox Real Estate serving Buyers and Sellers in New York’s Capital Region . You may e-mail Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website www.debrabajouwa.com