Making Your Home Sell in Less Time

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, you need to hit the ground running before the “For Sale” sign is placed in your yard.  The good news is that with proper planning and minimal effort, you can help your home sell swiftly, and for the price you are asking.

The first plan of action is to view your home with a fresh set of eyes.  When you come home from work today and pull into the driveway, what do you see?  Is everything tidy and well-kept? Have overgrown weeds and shrubs taken over?  Is paint chipping off of what was once a beautiful exterior of your home?  Enter the front door of your home with the same enthusiasm as first-time buyers, hoping this might be the place they will raise their children and grow old with loved ones.  Leave your decorating ego at the door and take a look around.  Do you really think everybody has the same taste as you?  Be honest now!  Or is it possible a neutral palate would be helpful for a potential buyer to set the stage for their own tastes?  If you drop your emotional attachments to your styles and possessions and look at things objectively, you can easily prepare your home to be sold and also ready yourself for your next move.

First things first, organize and pare down what you have.  Start with these three thoughts:  Throw away, stow away and mow away!  Take stock of what you own and decide what you can donate, give away, sell, or otherwise get rid of.  Safely store family treasures, including furniture that you cannot part with.  You don’t want precious heirlooms you had hoped to hold on to becoming a part of the negotiation process with a buyer.  You’ll be amazed at how large rooms will appear without papers, extra furniture, unused exercise equipment and other underutilized junk, so remove things that are personal to you, but clutter to somebody else.  You’re going to be moving anyhow so you may as well accomplish this now while also improving your home and increasing your odds to sell.  You don’t want shelves to fall down or contents spilling out if somebody opens a closet or cupboard, so make sure the interiors are tidy also.  Hint:  If it helps, pretend that your mother-in-law is coming for a visit. 

A thorough ceiling-to-floor cleaning is a must.  Cobwebs, dirt and grime need to go away if you want your buyer to linger in your rooms and picture themselves there.  Some people cannot look past the dirt, so if you can provide a sparkling clean background as buyers walk through, they will have a pleasant experience and won’t attribute your home to offensive odors or disarray when they remember the homes they’ve looked at that day.  It’s much better that they refer to yours as “the clean house.”  Replace faded and stained rugs and carpets, if possible, and make sure floor and tile grouts are clean.  Small repairs that you’ve put off are no longer on hold.  Now is the time you want to fix cracks, repair leaks, and replace outdated or broken light fixtures.

Next, take a look at the exterior of your home.  While you’re purging the interior contents, don’t forget to tackle the garage and outdoor areas.  Old ladders, garbage cans, and sports equipment should be relocated to someplace unseen.  A fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way to immediately improve the curb appeal of your home without breaking the bank, and a quick power wash of the driveway and some weeding can drastically change the esthetics of your home.  Pruning shrubs and trees and planting a few inexpensive plants and flowers will add character and color.

You don’t need to pay a pretty penny for your home to be staged when you can do it yourself.  Just remember that less really is best when it comes to setting up a room.  The simple goal is to create a pleasing environment that somebody else should be able to feel comfortable in.  Neutral walls, pillows, rugs and window treatments will allow the buyer to picture their personal belongings intermingled, without have to compete with images of overpowering colors and styles.  You don’t want buyers to be jockeying for space as they maneuver around furniture, so make sure movement from room to room is easy.  Fresh flowers add vibrancy and life, while well-lit rooms help to create an inviting gesture to enter.

Try to remember the good bones you immediately recognized in your home.  Do you remember how you felt when you turned the key to open the door so many years ago?  Present the best that your home has to offer, with minimal effort, and you’ll be giving yourself the upper hand in today’s real estate market. 

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