1. Unclutter Every Room
Remove stacks of paper off desks and counters. (Yes, even off personal desks that leave with you. Eyes are drawn to personal items, which distracts from looking at the actual house.) Place smaller countertop kitchen appliances in cabinets to reveal more of your countertops. Remove clutter from kitchen and bathroom counters. Think “model home.” This might be a good time to throw out items you don’t need and box up the rest you won’t need in the next 2-3 months. After all, in a seller’s market, you’re likely to sell quickly!
2. Remove Extra Furniture
Often homes have a bit too many furniture pieces, especially for showing it for sale. You’re getting ready to sell and move after all, so start giving away, selling, or storing (off site) extra furniture pieces. Just keep a functional set for each room. You may want to consider hiring a staging company who will help you “edit” the pieces in your home or fully stage it for you, which is a very effective way to sway buyers.
3. Squeaky Clean It
A wise woman once told me, “Other people’s dirt is grosser than your own.” In other words, we take our own household grime for granted. Try to look at your home the same way you might look at other people’s homes. For example, if you were walking in for the first time, would you notice that there is grease splatter on and around your stove? What about the backsplash? Are the areas behind the toilets grimy? What does the grout look like? Look at ALL the corners and details of your home. It may need a deep cleaning after you declutter. Consider hiring a one-time cleaning service then maintaining it daily until your home sells.
4. Make Minor Repairs
Too many minor breaks and cracks make houses look as if it has not been maintained. This may raise red flags in the minds of buyers. We don’t want to put any obstacle in front of YES, I’LL BUY IT! For example, holes in walls, cracks in the drywall, ceiling, and switch plates. Even faded or yellowing switch plates look quite unappealing to someone looking for their next “new” home. Patch up and paint those holes. Fix leaky faucets. Usually a handyman can make these repairs in short time and without a big price tag. Contact me if you need help finding one.
5. Freshen Up Your Curb Appeal
First impressions are still important. If your grass is dead, start watering it until it greens up again (daily for 20 minutes should do it quickly). Start mowing and edging regularly. Clean off cobwebs and dirt around the doorknob and windows. Remove clutter and extra furniture from the porch. Painting the front door a bright color such as red, yellow, or blue has proven very popular. Ensure there is ample lighting (potential buyers drive at dusk when lights should be on).
6. Make Upgrades (Optional)
If it’s financially feasible, consider upgrading very dated items in your house. Here are some high-impact items to upgrade: remove dated wallpaper, update faucets and light fixtures, and paint the interior. If the carpet can’t be professionally cleaned effectively, replace it.