How to prepare your home to sell
You have decided it’s time to sell. So what now? You need to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. You are about to embark on an adventure. No matter what kind of market you are in, Buyers are picky. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home to sell.
1. Pack up. Not everything, just things you don’t use on a daily basis or at least during the listing period. Out of season clothing and shoes, serving pieces and china, the stuff we accumulate because we think we will use it some day. Go to your local liquor store and get free boxes. You can also contact your Realtor because chances are, they know someone that has just moved and has boxes they would gladly give away if you will pick them up. Or, if you prefer, buy plastic bins that stack easily and are good for storage in your new house.
2. Pare down. This is your chance to get rid of those things you have been meaning to donate. Make 3 piles. Pack, pitch, and donate. If you haven’t used it or worn it in a year or two, chances are, you won’t miss it. It’s also a good teaching moment for children. They can feel good about choosing toys and games to give to those that don’t have as much.
3. De-personalize. Do you have a wall of photos? A collection of…well, anything? Take it down and pack it up. You wouldn’t want anything valuable to be damaged and some people have a hard time picturing themselves in a space that is filled with others’ personal items and photos – especially if it’s not their style/taste. I have had many a buyer who was distracted by the cute baby photos or the costly guitar collection. Make it easy on them, and me!
4. Honey-do. We all get busy and let things go a little longer than we intend. Now is the time to pick up that hammer and paintbrush or at least the phone to call in a professional. Does the front door need freshening up? Could the carpet use a deep clean? The little things that you have let go could cost you big money if they aren’t taken care of before a buyer sees them. Fix them before you list and you will have less headaches later.
5. Store. You have pared down and packed up. Now you need to make sure the couch doesn’t take up the entire living room or that the dresser that has been in front of that closet for years, is moved so potential buyers can see inside. It may cost you a little money up front to store what is too big for your current space or taking up too much room, but it will save you in the long run.
In a nutshell, make your house look like a model home. A little cleaning, de-cluttering, and staging can make a big difference in what buyers think when they first see your home. Remember, it needs to look great in pictures first. Then, when buyers visit, you may only get one chance to “wow” them. Do it right the first time and your adventure just may be one you are willing to repeat!
P.S. I have an extensive list that I give all my Sellers. Contact me if you’d like a copy.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.