There’s a whole lot more to selling a house than simply putting a sign in the yard. Whether you choose to work with a realtor or list by owner, there are many ways you can increase your home’s selling potential and decrease all that waiting until the act of sale.
Clean. Seems like a no-brainer, right? But it’s surprising how much is overlooked by the person actually living there day-to-day. Grime in the bathrooms and kitchen and dust everywhere else should be addressed before every showing. Store a bottle of all-purpose cleaner in each room for easy access. And dust rags? You just can’t have too many.
Declutter. Counters, shelving, table tops, closets, hallways, the garage … the more clear and sparsely-decorated, the more spacious that area will appear. Before showings begin, pack away all mementos, snapshots and assorted personal effects. Then label the boxes. You’ll be thrilled when the move comes.
Purge. Boxing up everything is helpful but do you really still need those old bowling shoes from college? Paring down your belongings is helpful at selling and moving time. Consider having a yard sale, listing a few things on eBay or donating to a local charity to lighten your family’s load.
Inhale. Every house has a smell. Ensure yours is a good one by emptying all trash receptacles, checking the refrigerator and disposal for food odors and, if you have pets, hiding all evidence. Create pleasant smells by burning scented candles or, according to legend, baking cookies.
Repair. Address things that need repair. If a door sticks when closed, fix it. If the cabinet handle is loose, tighten it. Now is the time to get to all those little jobs you’ve been putting off. So break out your tools, light bulbs, filters and WD-40 and get to work. You don’t want a leaky toilet costing you a house sale!
Neutralize. Yes, it was fun painting stars on your son’s ceiling and the princess mural on your daughter’s wall. But now it’s time to get back to basics. Nobody wants to buy a house filled with immediate projects. So invest in some good white paint (or go crazy and get off-white) and start “everyman-ing” that house.
Landscape. Trim the bushes back from the house. Pressure wash the sidewalks and bricks. Freshen the lawn, garden, annuals and mulch. As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. So, when prospective buyers drive by the house, you want so much curb appeal that they can’t help but pull over to dial the number on the sign.
If all else fails, hire a stager. Yes, there are people who are actually paid to handle all of this work for you!