You have made the decision to put your home on the market. Now the question becomes-
- What do I need to get it ready to sell?
- How can I ensure that the sale happens quickly?
- What are some things that I can do to get the best price possible for the property.
- Where do I start?
- What do I need to know if I plan to do it on my own?
Your number one goal should be to prepare your home for sale so that the buyer can mentally move in. When you focus on this goal, not only will your home present well in person, but your home will stand out in the sea of all other homes on the market at the same time. The images of your home used in both online and offline marketing will attract more prospects, resulting in you:
- making more money on your home
- selling your home faster
One of the primary things you as a current home owner can do to prepare your home for sale, is to clean out the clutter in your home and reduce the personal items that you have around your home. This is a process that should be tackled over a period of weeks if not months… so it is a good idea to plan ahead.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when cleaning and sorting through everything:
- An uncluttered house will make the house feel larger.
- Remove most personal mementos. This makes it easier for the prospect to envision their life in the house.
- Reducing the items on shelves and counters,etc. will make it easier to keep the home in top condition for the various showings.
- Reducing the extra furniture and furnishings will allow built-ins and special features of your home to stand out.
- Don’t forget the storage spaces. Prospects will open closet doors to evaluate the amount of storage space, look in the basement and the garage. These should be cleaned out and organized.
- Remember to review your outside living area as well. Decks, patios and front porches will all look more inviting with fewer pieces of furniture and less personal clutter hanging around.
How far in advance should I start this process?
That depends on how much stuff you have. Many baby boomers have collected and inherited so many items including antiques, furniture, artwork, tools, collections, china etc. Realistically for most home owners, starting six months in advance is adequate timing to pair the items in your home down and get it ready for sale. If you are limited for time and need to capture the right real estate market, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you.
Where should I start?
Go room by room and make piles or lists. Start in the attic and work your way down to the basement. Sort your belonging into groups:
- What is definitely going to your new home with you?
- What items do you want to give to family?
- Are there items of value that you could sell or auction?
- Which items may not be worth much in value but could be donated to local organizations?
- And lastly, what is definitely trash and needs to go to the dump?
Keep in mind; just because you don’t see the worth in something, doesn’t automatically mean its trash. Consider donating it before tossing it.
What do I do with this stuff once it’s sorted?
- Have your kids or family members come pick up the items that are going to them and remove them from the home.
- If you have valuable antiques or collectables that you no longer need, hire a company to do an auction so that you get the most money for your items.
- Have a yard sale or sell additional items online
- Donate household goods to Habitat for Humanity, Tedford Shelter, Salvation Army or Goodwill. You will also get a tax deduction when you donate!
- Remove recyclables and trash
Next week we will talk about the next step to get you home ready…. staging!