Selling from Declutter to Close!

Want to sell your home?  Start with the basics.

Together we can get you from Decluttering to Sold!

Welcome Buyers to your HomeAs a Realtor, I suggest that before you think about major projects that could be completed to attract buyers, first stick to the basics. Elizabeth Weintraub had some great suggestions and I added a few of my own based on years of working with a variety of buyers and sellers.  You would be amazed how these simple concepts can make an extraordinary difference.  (And, you’ll likely note other sellers who have overlooked them when you are out looking for your new home!)

Commit to selling

  • 1. Disassociate yourself with your home
  • 2. Your home should now become a “house”, a product to be sold just like any item at a store
  • 3. Realize that this house will no longer be yours
  • 4. Say “farewell” to each room and look to the future

De-Personalize

  • 1. Time to pack up personal photographs and other family mementoes. Do not distract buyers with your “stuff”.
  • 2. We want buyers to envision their personal treasures in your home and on your walls. We want them thinking about how they could make this their next home (and not be distracted by trying to figure out what type of people are currently living in the home.)

De-clutter

  • 1. If you can live without it while you sell, pack it up!
  • 2. If you don’t use it, either give it away or throw it away. Why pack it to store at your next house?
  • 3. Scale down your book shelves and leave some empty space on them by removing books, knick-knacks, photographs, etc.
  • 4. Clear kitchen counters of everything. Put soaps, paper towels, etc. under the counter. For ease, place it all in one basket then put away for showings.

Organize closets, pantries, and cabinets

  • 1. If your closets and cabinets are organized, buyers will assume that the rest of your home has likely been cared for as well. (If things are messy or falling out, that will definitely send the wrong message!)
  • 2. Stack dishes, mugs, and glasses neatly.
  • 3. Face canned goods and boxes all forward.
  • 4. Place clothes on matching hangers and have them facing the same direction. Remove items that are out of season to make the closet seem more spacious. (We never want buyers concerned about a lack of storage!)

Rent a Storage Unit

  • 1. While homes typically show better with furniture, less is more. Remove any pieces that may interfere with what should be walkways and doorways and those that are oversized for the room.
  • 2. Take out extra leaves from dining tables to create more space. Also store extra chairs.
  • 3. Make sure to leave furniture that helps to define a room’s purpose and make sure the “purpose” has sensible widespread appeal.

Replace/Remove Excluded Items

  • 1. Many sellers like to exclude favorite “items” when listing their homes.  Buyers on the other hand might like them to convey with the property (i.e. refrigerator, chandeliers, window treatments, swing sets, etc.)
  • 2. Better to remove them and/or replace them before the buyers know what they are missing.

Make Minor Repairs

  • 1. Cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • 2. Patch holes in walls and ceilings.
  • 3. Fix leaks.
  • 4. Fix doors that do not close and drawers that may get caught.
  • 5. Paint rooms a neutral color. Check out popular home décor magazines for current color palates.
  • 6. Make sure all light fixtures and light bulbs work.
  • 7. Update curtains, bedspreads, table cloths etc. Again we want buyers to see the home not become preoccupied with your personal style.
  • 8. Clean carpets and floors! You may be used to the spots on the floors but buyers are going to notice them all.

Make the House Sparkle

  • 1. Wash windows inside and out.
  • 2. Clean exterior making sure to get rid of any mildew, dirt, etc.
  • 3. Dust window sills, mouldings, heating elements, lighting fixtures, etc.
  • 4. Recaulk tubs, showers, and sinks.
  • 5. Polish faucets, door knobs, cabinet pulls, and mirrors.
  • 6. Make sure to eliminate any strange odors (pets, smoking, strong cooking, mildew/mold). Smells are an immediate turn off to many buyers and not a good impression.
  • 7. If carpets cannot be cleaned, replace them.

Curb Appeal

  • 1. The curb appeal of your home is the first impression you will make on buyers.
  • 2. Keep the yard clear of toys, trash, dead plants & shrubs
  • 3. Mow the lawn.
  • 4. Trim bushes.
  • 5. Paint trim, railing, and front door if needed.
  • 6. Think about shutters as a nice addition to your exterior.
  • 7. Have house numbers clearly visible and looking sharp. (Spray paint can do wonders on mailboxes and house numbers.)

Now Scrutinize!

  • 1. Walk up to the front door. Are you compelled to see what is inside? Is it welcoming?
  • 2. Go inside and check out each room. Linger in the doorways as a buyer would. What is your impression? Do the rooms impress you? Do they have impact?
  • 3. Should you move anything? Should you remove anything? Check out other listings on-line in your price range and make sure you can compete or better yet, that your home shows better!

Still confused? As a Realtor I work with all sorts of buyers and know what they are looking for in a home.  Though it is not always easy to deliver news to a seller about the state or decor of their home, it is part of being a Realtor.  I’ll be honest, but know it is because I am committed to helping you as a seller through the entire process – Decluttering to Close!

4 thoughts on “Selling from Declutter to Close!

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