Did you accept that promotion to the corporate office? Do you need to move closer to your parents? Is it time for a change of scenery? If you answered “Yes” to any of these, then it is probably time to get your house ready to sell. Getting your house ready entails more than just packing clothes and DVDs into boxes, more than simply throwing out or yard selling unwanted furniture and Christmas decorations. You have to prepare your house to sell. You have to make it as appealing to buyers as possible.
There is a lot of work that goes into preparing a house to sell. There is cleaning to be done, rearranging of furniture to emphasize each room’s use, and depersonalization that must be done. All of this must be done if you want to give your house the best chance of selling, but there are areas of your house that are more important than others. These areas are the ones that can cause a potential buyer to disregard your house and continue shopping.
We discuss below the three most important spaces in your house that require the most attention, as well as what you must do in these three rooms before you can put your home up for sale.
Let’s start with a space that is not actually inside your home, but is one that will either draw home buyers into your house or send them speeding away. This space would be the front yard. It is the very first thing people see when perusing neighborhoods and the Internet for a new home. This is your chance to make a great first impression; mess this up and you will find that several viewing appointments will be missed.
Buyers do not want to have to do a lot of yard work when they buy a new home. If they find that your yard is overgrown, they become immediately skeptical of the rest of the house, and they will keep that skepticism throughout their decision-making process. Mow the grass and keep it low. If you have an ornate garden, you will have to replace all of the decorative shrubs, trees, and perennials with varieties that are basic, low, and easy to maintain. As beautiful as your garden may be, it is actually hindering your ability to sell rather than improving them.
Once inside, this is (assumingly) the first area that buyers see. That is why the living room is so important. You need to show a potential buyer a space that is simple and inviting. As mentioned above, you need to depersonalize the area. Replace family photos with basic framed art that matches the décor of the room. Declutter your home by removing books, trinkets, and memorabilia. If you have pets, be sure to remove any evidence of them as well. Home buyers are turned off by the presence of animals. As clean a presentation you can make, the better.
Be sure to shampoo the carpets and clean the walls. Buyers will want to see a bright room when they walk in. Repaint if you need to. You should even buy a vibrant new rug to bring life to your living room. As the saying goes, “Put your best foot forward.” This will give your home a better chance of selling.
If anywhere in your house was in need of decluttering, it is in the garage. While the use of the garage is pretty evenly divided between its original intent of parking a car and its ability to serve as a storage space, you need to have it as clean as possible. If boxes are haphazardly stacked against the walls, and tools and toys are scattered throughout the space, then you need to clean it up.
Restack those boxes neatly. Consider replacing them with plastic totes. These will not only make your garage less cluttered, but it will also make it easier when you go to load them into the moving truck. Hang any yard tools up out of the way, go ahead and pack those kids toys up, and move any equipment or appliances you have against the wall. Give buyers as much visible floor as possible, this way they can visualize how they want to use that space, whether it is for storage or a vehicle.
Image Credits: Scott Webb