Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers running for their cheque books. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.
1. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home
Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf
Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours
Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
Say goodbye to every room
Don't look backwards -- look toward the future
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artefacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
Remove all books from bookcases
Pack up those knickknacks
Clean off everything on kitchen counters
Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use
Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway
4. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
Alphabetize spice jars
Neatly stack dishes
Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way
Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction
Line up shoes
5. Rent a Storage Unit
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying,"What is this room used for?"
6. Remove/Replace Favourite Items
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary
7. Make Minor Repairs
Replace cracked floor or counter tiles
Patch holes in walls
Fix leaky faucets
Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam
Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls. (Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
Replace burned-out light bulbs
If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
8. Make the House Sparkle!
Wash windows inside and out
Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior
Clean out cobwebs
Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
Clean out the refrigerator
Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
Bleach dingy grout
Replace worn rugs
Hang up fresh towels
Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows
Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odours are a no-no
Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer
Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense
Make sure window coverings hang level
Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished
10. Check Curb Appeal
If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.
Keep the sidewalks cleared
Mow the lawn
Paint faded window trim
Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive
Trim your bushes
Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number
Home staging is about illusions. It's how David Copperfield would sell a house. It's beyond decorating and cleaning. It's about perfecting the art of creating moods. Staging makes your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, more loving and, best of all; it makes home buyers want to buy it.
Contrary to what you might think, it's about more than preparing the house for sale. Staging is what you do after you've cleaned, DE cluttered, painted, made minor repairs; it's all about dressing the house for sale.
It's about adding the small details: the lipstick, mascara and, for simplicity, a stunning, single strand of Tahitian pearls.