Preparing Your Home
Prepare to Sell

If you want to sell your home as quickly as possible for as much as possible, then it’s time to optimize your home for sale.   The first step is to disassociate yourself from you house.  Start thinking of your home as a product, not a home.  Make the decision to “let go” of your house and begin saying goodbye to each room and associations with the house.  Save your memories forever, but focus on moving forward rather than hanging on to the past.

Optimizing your home for sale requires some work, so make a list and get started!  Use the tips and links below to help you sell your home.

Inside
Clean up!
  • Organize and de clutter all closets.
  • Clean dishes and laundry.
  • Clean windows (inside and outside).
  • Repaint rooms neutral colors.
  • Polish door handles, fix leaky faucets .
  • Replace burned out light bulbs.
  • Clean or replace dirty carpets and rugs.
  • Open blinds and curtains.
Organize
  • Neatly arrange dishes and mugs in cupboards.
  • Hang shirts in same direction.
  • Keep remote controls at entertainment station (not on couch).
  • Take pets to a neighbor.
  • Keep computer station clean and dusted.
  • If necessary, rent a storage unit for excess furniture, lawn equipment, and personal items.
  • Pack up knickknacks and clear books from bookshelves.
  • Make all visible repairs.
Special touches
  • Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.  Make them as clean, modern, and well lit as possible.
  • “Add” more space to your house by removing bulky furniture and clearing tops of tables, dressers, and other flat surfaces.
  • Don’t store things in your closets, basement, garage, or attic.  These spaces should be clean, organized, and open.
  • Put on a low fire on cold days and offer refreshments.
  • Pack away anything you want to take with you (i.e. special drapes, heirloom chandelier, etc).  Once you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she will covet it.
  • When buyers visit, play soft music, bake something to make the house smell good, and get lost. Give buyers time in the house alone without you in the way.  Remember to talk very little and to allow buyers to have their own experiences in the house.
Outside

Buyers will make a first impression of your home within 60 seconds, and the impression will be formed based on your house’s outside appearance.  Not only that, most buyers research homes on the Internet before visiting, and they form impressions based on the house’s listing pictures.  One cannot over emphasize the importance of maximizing your property’s attractiveness from the outside, including landscaping, lighting, and the house itself.

Yard improvements
  • Season permitting, plant flowers.
  • Add new mulch to flower beds.
  • Give entrance a welcome feeling.
  • Add or remove plants, trees, and shrubs as appropriate.
  • Make sure your walkway and front porch are clear from debris, leaves, ice, and snow.
Home Improvements
  • Make any visibly needed repairs.
  • Paint, varnish, or purchase a new front door.
  • Polish or purchase new door handle.
  • Add extra lighting.
  • Clean gutters.
Curb appeal

When approaching your house, stop a couple of houses away and evaluate your property’s initial impression.  What can you do to make it look more appealing and inviting?  Think like a buyer and make your house their dream home!  Buyers like a clear view of the house.  Highlight special features of the house or yard, and don’t be afraid to landscape the property.  Adding plants and bushes or removing shrubs and trees can do wonders for a house’s appearance.  Notice the roof, front door, windows, and gutters.  Evaluate the house’s rear view, as buyers will try to see the backyard and back of the house.  Also, check your curb appeal at dusk.  Adding simple lighting to illuminate the walkway or front of the house often remarkably improves the house’s presence.