Getting your house ready to sell…is exciting! And horrifying. And, more than anything, exhausting. Even THINKING about how to get organized and of what you have to do is exhausting.
You probably already know you have to start with any minor repairs you’ve been thinking about. Any of those squeaky doors or scratched/dirty/chipped-paint you’ve known about forever but have become totally BLIND to your day-to-day have to get fixed, and this is the final hour.
Then, once you really get into that project, you start feeling pretty great! Getting those forever-pending tasks checked off your list leaves you feeling like a SUPERSTAR. But be careful …don’t let that fool you into thinking that’s the end of it. This is your pre-step. This is the step before getting into the REAL prep in getting your house ready to sell.
Here’s our quick list to take it from there:
1. Start with getting a storage unit. Think of this as a pre-move, where you get some of your stuff packed and ready for your new place. Even if you’ve built your life around the cozy, cuddly feeling of a jam-packed layout with overstuffed furniture, your potential buyers will feel like sardines. Clear out any non-essentials and try to give your home the most open and clean feel that you can live with until the house sells.
2. WASH ALL YOUR WINDOWS, and clean out storm windows even if you’re not sure they need it. You can get this done stress-free by hiring a professional, or devote a couple of days to do it as you have time. But you have to have those windows sparkling. Picture this: even if someone walks in and doesn’t think to look at the windows, or doesn’t notice the grime, the rooms will look dustier and darker than they would with clean windows. Don’t let anything shadow that first bright and sparkly impression of the house you want to sell!
3. Make sure your Welcome Experience is FLAWLESS—your front door (including the frame, handle, any windows in the door, etc.) and paint jobs around the entryway—not to mention the stoop, steps, and yard around it all—are in tip-top shape. That means no spider webs, bee hives, dirt, and dust. Make sure there’s fresh colorful flowers to make your home feel welcome. Make it feel like each buyer is coming home.
4. Pay extra attention to functional areas, like your laundry space. Doing a deep-and-dirty dive into cleaning this area—for example, by throwing down a space rug and wiping the machines down like new—will make it look like a place your buyer will WANT to do laundry in.
5. You won’t be moving out any time soon if you don’t declutter. Remember, you’re selling a house—not a home. Declutter means depersonalize, so it doesn’t matter if that whacky organizational scheme “makes sense to you.” Get things tidied up so that anyone could look through a room and say, “Yeah, I know what this room is for.” No personal pictures, nick-nacks, and artwork all need to be put away.
6. Get staging done! Look…all of this other stuff was just another stage of preparation. You’re still only halfway there—you’re not “ready.” When it comes to staging, there are SO many things to consider that we’d be leaving you with very tired eyes if we tried to list it all out here. Talk to your realtor, get help from a stage expert, and get the advice you need to perk everything up and get it looking sellable. A home that everyone will be able to dream as their home…
One hot tip to get started: think about your ideal buyer…if your ideal buyer is a version of “you” from whenever you bought the house, you know what he or she is looking for. Or, have you changed the house SO much that it needs to be someone else who buys it? Stage it for the person you’re trying to sell to…but most importantly…make sure your home is decluttered, clean and the entrance to your home looks its VERY Best!