Tips For Home Sellers
Ten things to remove before listing...
Everyone has heard rumors of de-cluttering when it's time to sell your home. But, what does that really mean? Before going hog wild and moving out... here's a few of the most important things to consider removing before you list your home for sale.
10. Personal photos. I don't always recommend removing photos of the 'family' but if you have hallways filled with photos or photos on every end table it is probably necessary. Buyers really DO get distracted by them. They will take them all in as they walk down the hall. Not only do they take away from the home, but it's really disturbing when a buyer is excited to 'know' the sellers. And, the buyers do look at them.
9. Bills and personal papers. I understand that you cannot remove these document from the home all together, but please take the time to organize them, box them up and put them out of sight. If you have bills laying out on the counter or kitchen table it's like an invitation for the buyers to 'peek' at them. Believe me - I discourage it - but it still happens. And as a seller you just don't want to leave the temptation behind.
8.Money. I would love to say that every buyer (and Realtor) going through every home is honest, but I really don't want to test those waters. If you have cash, cash boxes or coin jars sitting out in the open... put them away. It's just better for everyone if it's out of sight. As Realtors we do what we can to protect your home, but your help makes a difference!
7. Valuables. Jewelry, watches, valuable antiques.... anything that might be worth a bit of money that you wouldn't want to lose. Out of sight, out of mind. If buyers don't know they are there they won't think about it. I can't tell you how many homes I've been in where the jewelry is left on the dresser.... somehow it's uncomfortable. At least put it away.
6. Guns and ammo. I don't care if they are in a case or out laying around or under a bed. It's better if you just plain old remove them from the home prior to listing. For some reason they make buyers (in my experience) feel really insecure.
5. Shoes! If you have a pile of shoes at the door... ask yourself why. A pile of shoes gives a buyer two impressions. The first? That there isn't enough storage in your home. 2. That there are too many people living in the home. So, in order to avoid wondering on the part of the buyer... just put them away. Same goes for piles of anything in any room!
4. Medicine. Take it out. Don't store it on the counter. Don't store it in the cabinet. Don't store it in the bathroom. Remove it. There have been many complaints over the years of potential buyers 'stealing' the medicine out of the cabinets. I have never had it happen on my time clock, but to avoid any trouble it's best to simply remove it.
3. All things on your kitchen counter. Everything? Really? Yup. The cleaner you can leave the counter, the more buyers dream of being in there. Have you ever been in a cluttered kitchen? Does it feel inviting? How about a cleaned up kitchen? Does it make you want to spend time there? Also, if you store things on the counter it gives the appearance that you do not have enough storage space.
2. No more cluttered closets. Seriously. Clean 'em out. There is nothing more tacky than a potential buyer opening the closets and having things sticking out or falling out everywhere. The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
1. Nothing but magnets.... and maybe not even that. Take a photo of your fridge, take everything off, wash the front (and side), and take another photo. It is really refreshing to walk into a home that has a clean fridge. Kids pictures are beautiful but buyer's can't imagine their own children's drawing on there if it is covered with yours. And, the magnets... If they aren't decorative (and even then) they are generally more of a distraction to the room than a help. Consider it
Make the Most of that First Impression...
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted - or at least freshly scrubbed - front door. If it's autumn, rake the leaves. If it's winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.
Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends
Here's your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look, "with a little work."
Make Your Bathrooms Sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Don't let little problems detract from what's right with your home.
Open up in the Daytime
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.
Lighten up at Night
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.