Read This Before Selling Your House

  • January 21, 2017
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Getting ready to move? These tips for selling your house can help you attract buyers and get your home ready to sell.

Step One:  De-clutter

Potential homebuyers may have a hard time looking past clutter when searching for their dream home.  Clear the counters and tables, and make sure everything is put away in its place. If your house is bursting at the seams, consider renting a storage unit to move all non-essential items there for the time being.

Purge your home of items that you no longer need. You may be able to sell some things, and donate many items to local charities (which can be a tax deduction). The rest can be recycled or thrown away. Letting go of things you don’t use can be liberating! And it makes your move to your new house easier, too.

Step Two:  Remove Personal Items

Buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in your home, not you and your family. Put yourself in the shoes of a homebuyer, and try to understand how your photographs, artwork and decorating style will feel to a buyer. Most real estate agents suggest removing wedding pictures, children’s art work and family heirlooms to stage the house for its new owner. It feels strange, but it’s important to remove yourself from the equation. You are selling your house after all!

Step Three:  Make NecessaryRepairs

Patch holes in the walls, fix leaky faucets and fix squeaky doors or doors that do not close properly.  This goes for exterior and interior doors, and especially the doors in the kitchen and bathroom drawers.  Consider painting your walls a neutral color – you will need to cover the hole patching anyway.  Make sure all light bulbs are working.  The little things do matter.

Step Four:  Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets

Remember that buyers like to peek and will open closet and cabinet drawers.  Present well-organized cupboards and closets.  Believe it or not, tidy closets may send the message that you have taken great care of the rest of the house as well.  Nothing on the floor of closets, clothes hung neatly and not squashed together like they may normally be.  In the kitchen, the small things count too.  Remove clutter in cupboards, stack dishes neatly, face all cup handles outward, turn all labels to the front and group similar food types together. Help people imagine that if they buy your house, their lives will be tidy and organized.

Step Five:  Consider Renting a Storage Unit

Any home shows better with less furniture in it.  Remove anything that hampers a clear path from room to room.  A potential buyer should be able to tell the purpose of the room easily.  It’s also a good idea to remove the pieces you love that are going with you, not staying.  This is easier than a buyer falling in love with a piece too, and then finding out they can’t have it.

Step Six:  Make the Home Sparkle

Do the best and most thorough cleaning you have ever done.  Clear the cobwebs from corners, vacuum or dust mop all the floors, wash the blades of the ceiling fans, clean the grout in the bathroom, lay new caulking, hang up fresh towels, polish all faucets and fixtures so that they shine, and wash the windows inside and out.  Sweep the sidewalk, walkways and porch.  You may even consider spray washing the outside of the house.  Put some vanilla flavoring on low heat on the stove for a welcoming aroma.

Step Seven:  Say Goodbye

If you have lived in the house for a while, it is home to you and not just a house.  Emotionally, start making your way back to thinking of it as a house and begin to let go.  The memories you have associated with the home do go with you.  Walk in every room and make peace with saying goodbye.  You have done well by the house and the house has done well by you.  Now it’s time for you to turn it over to someone else, while you create your  new home in a new place.