- Have your home ready to make a great first impression. Clean, paint or replace your entry door. Keep yard mowed and shrubs pruned. Eliminate clutter inside and out.
- Eliminate clutter in all rooms, spaces, closets, garages, kitchens, etc. Remove and store some furniture if your home looks cramped. The less clutter, the bigger your whole house will appear. Box and store everything you can live without while selling your house.
- Cleaned, organized houses sell faster. Everyone needs to keep their spaces clean and organized all the time. You need to be ready for a house tour at a moment’s notice.
- Your home needs a fresh scent. When your home is for sale, don’t prepare foots which leave a lingering odor. Simmer a little cinnamon potpourri on the stove to give your kitchen and home a welcome scent.
- Turn on as many lights as possible during a home tour. Dark rooms and areas have little appeal. Brighter lights and walls make rooms look bigger.
- Keep your kitchen spotless, inviting and free of dirty dishes and clutter. Assume people may look inside your oven and perhaps look inside your refrigerator.
- Fix any leaky faucets and be sure toilets flush and fill properly. Keep all sinks and tubs clean. A new shower curtain looks nice. Consider displaying “guest” towels during showing. Apply new caulking around tubs and sinks.
- Eliminate potential hazards around the house and property. Repair squeaks, rattles and leaks. Be sure steps and railings are in good repair.
- If using a Realtor, leave your house during showings. Potential buyers will spend more time considering your house if you are not there.
- Clean everything; carpets, windows, mirrors, window treatments, appliances and around doorknobs and light switches.
- Tighten loose doorknobs, hinges and electrical switch plates. Repair sticking doors and windows.
- Have a good friend or neighbor review your property and house like a prospective buyer. Have them alert you to items which they see as needing attention.
- Organize the items you have in storage as to things you will take with you to your new home, and those you will sell or donate to charities.
Within 15 seconds of walking into your home, a buyer has already formed an impression of your property. That’s why uncluttering your home is so important If an item is not necessary for day-to-day living, box it up and take it to your storage unit.
Uncluttering is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything the the house. After years of living in the same house, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner.
Clutter collects on shelves, counter tops, drawers, closets, garages, attics and basements. You want as much open space as possible, so every extra little thing needs to be cleared away. Renting a storage unit now will prove very beneficial. Take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend or Realtor help point out areas of clutter, as long as you can accept their views without getting defensive.
Furniture and Room Clutter
Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms, not too much for your personal needs, but too much to give the illusion of space that a home buyer would like to see. You may want to tour some builder’s models to see how they arrange furniture in model homes. Observe how they place furniture so you get some ideas on what to leave in your house and what to take to storage.
Get everything off the counters, even the toaster. Put it in a cabinet and take it out whenever you use it. Find a place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have enough cabinet space to put everything. Clean them out. Box and store dishes, pots and pans that rarely get used in your storage unit.
Prospective home buyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their “stuff”. If your cabinets, pantries and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space. The best way to convey ample room for the prospective buyer is to have a much “empty space” as possible. If you have a “junk drawer”, get rid of the junk. Box all rarely used items and put them in storage.
If you have a large amount of food items crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them, especially the canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and you don’t want to be lugging them to the new house anyway. Let what you have on your shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can before you move.
Make sure the area under the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub the area down as well and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water leaks that may cause a home buyer to hesitate in buying your home.
Closets are great for accumulating clutter, though may not think of it as clutter. We are talking about extra clothes and shoes- things you rarely wear, but cannot bear to do without. Do without these items for a couple of months by putting them in a box because these items can may your closet look “crammed full”. Sometimes there are shoe boxes full of “stuff” or other accumulated personal items too. Another great use of your storage unit.
Garage and Storage Area Clutter
Basements, garages, attics, porches, sheds and yards accumulate not only clutter, but junk. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the space. Remove everything that is not essential and take it to your storage unit.