These are a few easy things that anyone can do and will really help your home shine for those showings.
This is by far one of the most important steps in getting your house ready to sell. No one wants to walk into a home they are potentially going to call home and be distracted by the toys piled up in the corner, overflowing closets, a garage you can’t walk through and kitchen counters you can’t even see.
After 9 years, 2 kids, a large dog and two adults who work from home, we have accumulated a lot of STUFF. Way too much stuff. So the first thing we did was declutter our home.
When I hit this phase I wanted to not only declutter our home to put it on the market, but also reduce the clutter in our lives. So I picked up three plastic storage bins from True Value and turned them into three different categories 1) Keep 2) Sell 3) Donate.
As I went through each room in the house I would take these bins with me and pile items into the respective bins. Once they were full we would package them up and take the KEEP bins to storage, place the SELL items for sale on community sites and empty the DONATE bin at our local Goodwill. This really helped the decluttering/packing process not feel as daunting. And yes, after this step we could actually see our garage floor for the first time in… years.
2. REMOVE PERSONALIZED ITEMS
While you are decluttering, you’ll also want to remove all personalize items. It’s important for your potential buyer to walk into a home and see themselves living in the home, not picture YOU living in the home.
Remove family photos, personal calendars, personalized art, anything with your kid’s name on it, etc.
3. PATCH UP WALLS
As you declutter and remove personalize items you will most likely be taking items off the walls, which will leave visible nail holes. It only takes 30 minutes to patch these up with 3M Patch N Prime and then touch up the paint. It’s a little extra step that will help the potential homeowner feel like they have one less thing to do when they move in.
4. NEUTRALIZE YOUR HOME
While a lot of people love bright colors, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you are a DIYer like me, you can probably walk into a home and instantly think, “Oh, I’ll just paint that room a new color when we move in!” But there are a lot of people out there who don’t like to pick up a roller and don’t want the extra expensive of hiring a painting company right after they buy a new home.
So if you aren’t afraid of a little labor, try to paint your walls neutral colors. This will give the home a really crisp and clean look. During our kitchen remodel we decided to paint our walls gray (love, love), but the rest of the downstairs was still beige. So I ended up repainting the downstairs so it had a consistent look. Just look at how much our living room change with just a coat of paint.
5. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY
How many times have you thought, “I should probably tighten that screw, replace those mix matched door knobs, and put some oil on that squeaky door?” As homeowners it feels like the ‘to-do’ list is never ending but now is the time to fix those little things.
In the two weeks before we listed our home we finished more projects around the house then I finished in all of last year (ok may be not, but it felt like it). During this time I switched out the old, chipped brass doorknobs for stainless steel ones, fixed leaky faucets, etc.
7. DRAW YOUR BUYER IN WITH CURB APPEAL
Curb appeal is so important when selling your home. After all it’s the buyer’s first impression of your home. Think about how many people may simply do a quick drive by of your house to see if they even want to come schedule an appointment to look into side? You want to make them WANT to come in and see more.
We took extra special care of our grass, planted flowers along the walkway, laid fresh bark and pressure washed the driveway. Just these few things made SUCH a difference.
8. TAKE BRIGHT PHOTOS
Pictures can sell your home by themselves. We live in a very visual world and people are drawn to pretty pictures. Just look at how popular Pinterest and Instagram have gotten over the years.
When taking pictures of your home make them really bright, use angles that make your rooms feel larger and really focus on your assets.
I saved money by taking our listing photos myself, but it may be worth the extra couple hundred dollars to have a professional take them if you aren’t comfortable doing them yourself.
9. MAKE THEM FEEL WELCOME
When it’s time for showings, make your buyer feel at home when they walk into your house. Make it charming by adding fresh flowers to each room, keep all the lights on in the house and leave a little surprise to make them feel welcome.
It was extremely hot when our house was on the market so I put out a little tray with cold waters on our dining room table and made a little welcome sign. These little touches add warmth to your space without making them feel too personal.
So this wasn’t my strong point during the process but it really does help to relax. It’s easy to stare at your phone all day waiting for someone to call for a showing or waiting for that perfect offer to come in. It can be really nerve wrecking but just remember that it takes time and it only takes ONE person to be the RIGHT person for your home.
The whole process was a whirlwind and a true learning experience. It’s amazing to see how much we accomplished on our home in such a short amount of time and how amazing it looked when we sold it. I don’t think our house has EVER been so clean and put together! And naturally it all came together in the last few weeks we lived there…. Sigh.
If you are looking to put your house on the market, I hope these tips can help you sell your home just as fast!