No matter what shape your home is in – whether totally pristine, looking comfortably “lived in,” or a wee bit on the messy side – deciding it’s time to get your house ready to sell can easily raise the stress levels a bit! While each home is different, there are a few do’s and don’ts to help most of us homeowners. Everyone’s list is a bit different, so I thought I’d share some of mine over the next few weeks. And yes! I’d love your suggestions for ideas you might want to add. Those are always a big help for all of us, including some upcoming first time homebuyers I know.
Basically, my goal when preparing a house to sell is to make it appealing to the widest variety of home shoppers as possible.
DeClutter, DeDecorate, and DePersonalize!
The first thing I always do when I am about to move, and that I recommend to everyone – DEclutter, DEdecorate, and DEpersonalize!
Clutter’s Last Stand was a big help to me many years ago. I got half way through that book and was so motivated after reading about why and what and how to declutter, I spent the next few days actually DOING it and it looked GREAT! What a difference it made to eliminate items we hadn’t used in months or years and have less “stuff” in the way. And we weren’t even moving to a new house then.
It’s even more useful to declutter BIG time when you ARE moving. Each item you give away or throw away is one less thing to pack and, if you are paying for movers, it’s going to save you money as well.
One important tip I learned from Clutter’s Last Stand and still practice – make three piles: Giveaway, Throway, Put Away/Storage
When preparing to sell your home I highly recommend that, if you have a lot of items that have to be stored and/or if you have very little room for storage, rent a storage unit until you are ready to move into your new home. If you call around, you are likely to find a storage unit offering a discount to new clients. We did that a couple of times when we were moving and were quite happy we did! One loved one was going to use storage/moving pods for moving their household goods. They had them delivered early and filled them full. They decluttered their home AND were packed and ready to go when the moving van picked them up a month or two later.
The less of “our stuff” in a home we are selling, the easier it is for a buyer to see how big it is and be able to visualize how “their stuff” would work in the house – a vital part of shopping for a new home.
Make sure you also box up any and all specialty home decor items. If you’re not specifically staging your house, I’d probably suggest you leave some generic pictures hanging in a couple of rooms. Overall, though, simple blander home decor makes it easier for a prospective home buyer to “see” their furniture in your home. For example, I LOVE the vintage country rustic home decor style, as do several of my friends. Then again, I have several other friends who would never decorate that way. Their tastes lean more towards traditional formal and if they were househunting at my house with my home decor, they might leave thinking they didn’t care for the home when it was actually all my cute country teddy bears and and quilts they weren’t comfortable with.
While you are decluttering and dedecorating, don’t forget to depersonalize too. Any family photos, trophies, most books, pet accessories, etc. should be packed up in preparation for a move to your new home where they can again be special for your family. Remember, it’s nothing personal!
It’s just another good way to help the most homebuyers see their own families, friends and personal lives intertwining in your house with the goal of having them make a great offer to you to buy it. So pack all those sweet treasures safe and snug to be rediscovered after you sell this house and move to your own new home.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize!
It’s so vital throughout the whole process of preparing to sell your house to “keep your eye on the prize.” And, of course, the prize is selling your home as quickly as possible and for selling it for the highest price.
Now that your house is nicely decluttered, dedecorated and depersonalized, it’s time to move on to the next suggestions for getting your home ready to sell… (Check back soon for Part 2 ).
P.P.S. If you are ready to sell your home NOW, or want to know the current market value of your house, click here or give me a call at 657-229-5293 or email me at Kaye@KayeSwainRealEstate.com Even if you live outside my area, I can help you find an excellent REALTOR who can help you sell your home in YOUR neck of the woods.