If you are thinking about selling your home within the next few months, here are some things you can do NOW to get ready!
Begin by Decluttering
- Tackle one room at a time otherwise you might get overwhelmed.
- Include your closets because people will open them to asses the storage in your house.
- Pack up anything that is not absolutely necessary to have on hand while you are still living there.
- Take down personal pictures, keepsakes, collectibles, and other non-essential personal items. People want to picture the home as their home. Personal items make it harder for them to do that.
- Stack the boxes neatly in a basement or garage. Even better if you can remove them from the house altogether — maybe to a friend or family’ house, or a storage facility.
- Be sure to mark all the boxes as you close them up using a permanent marker.
- Let the kids help! They will love packing up their things and it will give them something to do!
TIP: If your children have their names anywhere in their bedroom, it’s a good idea to remove them before listing your home for sale.
Assess the Lighting in Your Home
- Remove any window coverings that are not necessary. (Privacy should not be compromised.) Are your windows dirty? You will want to clean them well, inside and out.
- Change out any yellowish light bulbs for daylight or natural light light bulbs. These will help brighten up the room for evening showings. Replace any burned out light bulbs.
TIP: The rule of thumb is to allow as much daylight into your home as possible. Adding lamps is not recommended as they make it obvious that your home lacks natural light.
Get a Second Opinion on First Impressions
- Ask someone to walk quickly through your home without you (after the Stay-At-Home order is lifted) and jot down notes of things they see at first glance that look out of place, dirty, dusty, or otherwise unattractive. Clean or remove those items. (Call me if you’d like me to do it for you at no charge: 440-508-6088.)
- Ask a couple of your neighbors if there is anything about the exterior of your home that is an eyesore. (Owners don’t usually see these “eyesores” when it comes to their own property.)
Cover Bright Paint with Neutrals / Remove Wallpapers
- You probably spent a lot of time choosing your room colors. Most people have very specific color preferences. What appeals to you may not appeal to other people and could delay the sale of your home.
- Paint over bright rooms. Choose a neutral beige or gray or at a minimum warmer colors to cover over the bright colors throughout your house.
- Wallpaper is really frowned upon by most home buyers. If at all possible, spend a day or two and remove all your wallpaper throughout the house. Here’s a video with some very simple steps. It’s not too hard! Wallpaper will likely delay the sale of your home.
- Wash all floors and remove stains in any grout between tiles. Clean stained carpets.
- Wipe down all doors, paying close attention to the areas around the handles and near the floor.
- Wipe down appliances on all sides, all cabinets, and trash cans.
- Remove cobwebs from ceilings and windows.
- Rent a pressure washer from Lowes or Home Depot if you don’t have one to tackle any outside dirt and mildew.
- Be sure tubs, sinks, bathroom counter-tops, and toilets are clean. Remove any tub stains.
Spruce Things Up
- Add a hanging plant or two in the kitchen.
- Add a new welcome mat to the front door.
- Clear out flower beds and add mulch — both in the front yard as well as the backyard.
- Replace door knobs and cabinet hardware if outdated.
- Replace old outlet covers and floor vents with new ones.