Before we went away, we shared that we had been thinking about selling our home. With 3 teenage boys, all keen for more space, a building business starving of storage space and 4 kids set to have their own cars within the next 4 years, the time has come for us to look at small acreage living. This week I have begun getting ready for us to go live on the market and have complied a handy list to help you get preparing you home for sale.
Preparing Your Home For Sale
First Impressions Count
You have 8 seconds to make your fist impression a lasting one for all the right reasons. When preparing your home for sale, begin with your street appeal. Tidy up your yard, freshen your garden, add some new mulch, give the old tired fence some much needed paint, whatever is needed to ensure your home looks it’s best from the moment your potential buyers arrives, now is the time to invest the time, effort and money to do so.
Second Impressions Count
Now that your potential buyer is out of the car, the very first part of you home they step into, becomes just as important as the street appeal of your home. Your entry should be warm and inviting, bright, clean and clutter free. Put away the shoes that usually crowd your door, add a plant or some flowers and a fresh smelling candle is always well placed.
Decluttering is the single most important job within the home. Over the years that we live in our homes, we all gather “stuff”. Make a start on your packing now, and get rid of your excess “stuff”. Anything you can’t hide in a cupboard or a draw, needs to be put away. Now don’t put everything away, just enough so that the space doesn’t feel crowed with you. Be sure your kitchen and bathroom benches are clean and clutter free.
Personal Items Away
You home should nearly be devoid of all your personal items. Photos, school bags, handbags, lunch boxes, kids artwork, pets accessories, washing, ironing, toothbrushes, all of these need to go away for photos and inspections. A note about inspections, these need to be away for all inspections. Time and time again, we have gone back for a second inspection, only to find the house has the ‘lived in appearance’. Buyers want to visualise how they will live in the house, not see how you do.
Bright, Light and Breezy
Half an hour prior to an inspection, open the windows and turn on the lights. If it’s hot, turn on the air conditioning, if it’s cold, turn on the heating. It is important that the buyer feels as comfortable as possible within your home. Make your home as light as possible, turn on lamps or lights where needed to ensure each room is flooding with light. Fresh flowers are a must if you can afford them, if you can’t, “borrow” some foliage from the neighbourhood. This helps to create the fresh feel in your home.
Prior to listing your home, take stock of all the little jobs not yet done, for example, ensure every bulb is working. Patch any holes, fix squeaks and leaking taps, touch up the paint where necessary. Do whatever you need to, to ensure the potential buyer can walk into your home and feel as though it is move in ready.
Pay special attention to kids rooms. Decluttering here is equally as important as all other areas in your home. It’s tempting to leave the kids rooms due to it being such a hassle, but to really connect with your potential buyer, it really is a must to declutter this space as well.
Back Yard and Garage or Shed
These are often neglected areas of your home in the tidy up stakes. Give you garden a good tidy up, keep the lawns trimmed and if you have pets, ensure all of there mess is cleaned up, prior to every inspection. Spending a few hours clean and rearranging the shed will also be a great investment in time. We all love the ideal of a perfect garage or shed, in reality it is rare. Connecting with your buyer in this area is as important as all other areas of your home.
I am a firm believer in staging or styling your home for sale. Generally styling packages will cost around $3k-$5k, but honestly the return on investment will be worth the bother. Alternatively, if that expense is our of your reach, ask a consultant to walk through your home with you. You’ll be surprised what their fresh eyes can achieve in about an hour. You would expect to pay between $150 and $300 for this service. A small cost for the potential benefit.
Vacating your home while inspections are taking place, is the single most important thing you can do, BUT be sure you take your animals with you. A potential buyer will not be able to talk freely with their significant others, while you are present, furthermore it is almost impossible to picture yourself in a new home with the old owner still in the same space.
Selling your home can be a daunting thought, however with some careful planning and a little work before listing, you can expect your home to sell quicker and for more than without the little bit of work.
Have you bought or sold recently? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen when inspecting a house for sale?