Hey Cora, I want to start getting my house ready for sale. What are some of the things that I need to do. Signed Anxious Seller
Dear Anxious: Good question, you can go to my website www.CoraCarleson.com, click on sellers and you will find a plethora (I love that word Plethora, let’s say it again “PLETHORA”) of wonderfulness and helpful information. But here’s what to do – I know it seems overwhelming, but do it step by step.
My first advice is to clear out the things you don’t need right now and put it in storage or in a Pod.
Next its time to clean, clean, clean! I know this sounds really boring and a lot of work, but it’s not so bad – you are moving toward a goal. So dust on top of the fireplace mantle and fan blades, polish your appliances and faucets, and give the windows a thorough washing. If you’ve already moved out or if you’re too busy to stay on top of things, consider hiring a cleaning service to stop by every couple of weeks. Some main goals to focus on are to clear out the clutter. You want buyers to focus on how awesome your space is, not how messy it looks. The more organized your home looks, them more home will appeal to people. It will give the impression that there is plenty of storage.
You want to make your home to appeal to as many people as possible so you may need to repaint the walls neutral color. As much as you love your dramatic red dining room, it could turn off a good portion of your buyers. So repaint your rooms in neutral tones like tans and whites that allow buyers to focus on the spaces themselves, not the color of the walls. You should also keep the décor simple. To help buyers imagine themselves in your space, get rid of any art or other décor that might turn off people with different tastes. A classic landscape painting? Totally fine. Your zebra print leather couch? Might want to slipcover that for showings. We all love our animal antlers etc, but this can be a turn off to some buyers. It’s most likely best to remove them and put your trophies in storage. Lastly reduce the amount of personal items. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove anything overly personal, like the wall of family photos in the hallway or your kids’ artwork on the fridge.
□ Flowers are a great touch, if it’s summer get some flower bowls from Lowes, Home Depot or a local nursery.
□ Sweep the front porch and steps
□ Make sure the house numbers are visible
□ Pick up toys
□ Lawn should be in good condition, mowed and trimmed
□ If it’s winter – turn exterior lights on and have snow and ice clear from the entry, white Christmas lights are a nice touch.
□ If possible, have a place where people can sit to take off shoes
□ Good smells at the entry is important – that whole first impression thing
□ Keep it bright! If it’s the dead of winter, turn all the lights on
□ Throw pillows, make sure they are out and placed properly
□ Keep clutter on end tables to a minimum
□ Soft music is always nice
□ Get rid of bulky furniture. Your furniture should fit the scale of the room, so get rid of any extra or oversized items that could make your space look smaller than it really is.
□ Clear fridge art! Sorry
□ Take all the things off the countertop that we talked about in our walk thru meeting storing it in a cabinet or packing it away. Keeping this area clear makes your kitchen look larger.
□ Polish countertops – remember, olive oil works very well
□ Keep smells down – I know you have to cook – but you might want to avoid cooking fish just before people come to look.
□ Take the trash out
□ Run the garbage disposal, and you might want to put some Simple Green down the disposal – just to freshen things up.
□ For cleaning products, Simple Green has a better scent than bleach – just a thought
□ Again – avoid smells
□ Keep the seat down
□ Remove personal items from shower
□ Polish shower head and faucet and lav faucet
□ Take trash out
□ Clean mirror and countertops, and the toilet
□ Leave lights on
□ Fresh rugs
□ Fresh towels
□ Create the feel of a relaxing, luxurious bath — for less than $30. Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with ribbon, add some scented candles and faux plants, and buy bath mats and towels in coordinating tones such as light green, blue and white.
□ Linens, remember to put the bedspreads on that we talked about
□ Throw pillows for color
□ Laundry out
□ Thin out clothes in closet, and really organize your closets
□ Pack away what you can
□ Curtains or blinds open – lights on
□ Keep private information private, file away documents
□ Lock away checkbooks and other financial info
□ Turn computer off
□ Take out trash
□ Keep books on shelves to a minimum, straighten
□ Remove controversial materials
□ I know it’s a pain, but box up as much as you can in the garage before showing.
□ Again, keep smells down
□ Scrub the floors with de-greaser
□ Consider painting the garage as bright white does wonders for a dingy garage
Walk thru the house one time before you leave – keeping lights on in each room. Good Job!