Living in a home and selling a lived in home are two different things. Staging, design and organizing your home are essential to get it sold. I offer my clients a complimentary two hour design and staging consultation to help get you started. Additionally, there are many proactive things you can do to prepare to sell your home:
1) Clean, clean, clean. This is probably the most important thing you can do to make your property stand out amongst others on the market. Don't forget items like, vaccuming heat vents, dusting ceiling fans, cleaning fireplaces, washing windows and spot cleaning carpet. Also make sure door jambs and door handles are clean and sparkling. Just paying attention to these few things can make all the difference in attracting a buyer.
2) Curb appeal is very important also. Rake up leaves, pick up animal droppings, trim bushes and trees. Make sure nothing is overgrown especially along the path to the front door. Depending on time of year have flowers in pots by doorways and on patios. However if the home will be vacant do not plant anything that can't be watered. Nothing is worse than dead flowers and plants when the house is on the market. Dead plants, trees, flowers will make buyers think the property has been neglected and that might mean extra work to the buyer if they purchase.
3) Closets will need to be organized and cleaned out. You don't want the home to look like there isn't enough storage for the potential buyer. If closets are neat and organized it will be very appealing to the eye. You can store items in boxes neatly placed in the garage or basement. It is also a great idea to rent a short term storage unit so the house doesn't become too crowded with boxes and other items.
4) Basements need to be organized and clean. If a basement is finished make sure it looks as though it has actually been used. If it feels like it's been neglected then a buyer may feel like they wouldn't use it either. Be certain it is clean, free of cobwebs and the lighting is sufficent. Only store items in a basement if they can be neat and organized.
5) Light fixtures. Okay this is a pet peeve of mine! Make sure all the light fixtures and ceiling fans have bulbs that work in them. Nothing shows homeowner neglect more than burned out light bulbs. It is an easy, inexpensive way to have your house shine. If it is vacant then perhaps ask a friend or neighbor (or your agent) to go check the bulbs periodically for you.
6) Personal items need to be at a minium even if you are still living in the house. Take down some family photos and memorbilia. It can be very distracting for buyers to see personal items as they tour the home. Buyers can become more connected to the family than the house. I have had buyers asking questions about the family and not the property. You can leave a few items of a personal nature so the house feels friendly but really try to limit the amount.
7) Pharmacutical drugs need to be hidden and not kept in typical places like medicine cabinets. Although potential buyers will always be accompanied by an agent you just can't be too safe. You might even want to keep them in your purse or brief case while your house is on the market.
8) Oil stains in the garage and driveway need to be removed. You want potential buyers to see that you have kept the property in tip top shape.
9) Paint touch up will help give the home a clean feeling as well. You always want to make sure you use the same paint color and sheen. You want to fill the holes from pictures being removed.
10) Have Homeowner's Manual's available for potential buyers to see. This will also assure them that you have cared for the home while you lived there and there is nothing to hide. This is important especially if there are new systems (water heater, furnace, appliances etc..) because it will show the buyer these items are truly new.
These are just a few items to get you started. Once we meet and walk the property I will give you more ideas to help sell your home in less time and for more money.