I am writing this blog column to give you a brief summary of what types of preparations and improvements can help the sale of your property move forward.
Let's start off with some simple proven methods.
- De-personalize your home before you list it on the MLS and start your open houses and showings.
Personal photographs on the walls and childrens artwork on the fridge. Potential buyers have a hard time imagining themselves living here. You want them to see themselves living in this home, rather than having them distracted, thinking about you as they look at your family history while walking up the stairs.
De-clutter everywhere, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. A de-clutter overhaul will also make your life alot easier when you have that short notice phone call to show the home.
Firstly, you will get much better pictures posted online to the MLS, Russellthom.com, craiglist etc. and we all know that 1st impressions last. We don't want the masses of online house hunters to click past your listing because they couldn't see what type of flooring you have in the livingroom.
If you haven't used an item in over 2 weeks, box it up and put it into storage.
If you haven't used it in over a year, do you still need or want it? Old clothing, outgrown childrens toys, old electronic devices like fax machines etc. You may want to consider starting up a donate box and a throw away box.
Clean off 90% of everything on the kitchen and bathroom counters. Don't forget to declutter the cabinets as well.
Arrange your linen/bedroom closets and kitchen cabinets. Buyers love to open cabinets and closets.
A well organized and optomized closet gives a great impression that this home is well cared for. It lends to the thought that the rest of the house is just as well cared for.
Other small meaningful arrangements can include: Neatly stacked dishes, coffee cup handles facing the same way, sheets and pillow cases folded with care and stacked neatly, closet having shirts hung together/pants/jackets etc., neatly lining up shoes and boots, organized bathroom medicine cabinet.
Rent a storage unit.
If you are using a basement room for storage it's better to have it moved to a temporary storage unit along with any extra furniture that hampers a room or hallway. All of the other clutter, family artifacts and other keepsakes can be conveniently stored there as well. Most mini storage facilities are heated and secured with 24 hour surveillance.
Clean and sanitize!! A fresh clean scented house stimulates the brain in positive ways.
Here is a list of top priority items to attend to:
-Sanitize, air out and de-clutter any musty smelling areas. Odd and bad smelling odors leave a negative impression.
-Hang clean folded towels in the bathroom.
-Replace or toss out old and worn area carpets.
-Repair or bleach out stained tile grout and mildewy bathtub caulking.
-Dust the furniture, ceiling fan blades, blinds and light fixtures.
-Wax/polish the floors and steam clean (citrus) the carpets.
-Clean and re-organize the refridgerator. A large percenatage of buyers will take a quick peek in the fridge.
-Sweep out the garage and brighten it up with higher wattage ligh bulbs.
-Pressure wash the sidewalks, driveway and exterior of the house.
-Wash all windows inside and out.
Curb appeal......unkempt properties have been known to scare of prospective buyers.
Even if the home has been renovated from the studs to the roof, the most important 1st impression is the exterior of your home.
-Make sure to keep the lawn respectable.....a front yard of dandelions and morning glory will not be an attraction. It will be a repulsion.
-Keep walkways clear of leaves and debris.
-Paint any flaking or aged window trims.
-A well manicured lawn and garden evokes a buying emotion.
-Ensure that your address numbers are highly visible.
-Light up your walkways.