Everybody reads articles about preparing a home for sale. I think there’s a problem with those articles. Most people don’t really see what they have. Get someone to come into your home, such as a good friend or close relative, who you think will be honest and straightforward and who you think has a good handle on the real estate presentation world. Tell them to be brutally honest about what should be put away, thrown away, given away or stored.
Most owners love what they’ve done to their homes. And they’re color blind too. So if they’re told to depersonalize, reduce clutter or whatever the advice that is coming their way, they ignore it, unless they’re that rare individual who can take off those rose colored glasses and really „see“ their home as others will.
So get your person or persons – two advisers are often better than one – and walk through your house with a pad and pen, making notes as you go. And start with the outside if you’re living in a townhouse or single family home. Otherwise, start at your front door.
Noticing as you go – is the door clean? Is the knocker or bell working? Are their shoes/umbrellas, stuff littering the foyer? What’s on your kitchen counters and around the sink? Put it all way, including sponges, soap dispensers, picture on the fridge, anything on top of the fridge or stove. Leave your coffee maker and one other appliance out. Flowers or a potted plant look pretty on the counter. Maybe one more accessory such as a teapot. No tea towels hanging on the front of the oven either. Do you get my drift? You have to be brutal. If you hardly ever use it, pack it up or throw it out or give it away. Then start cleaning. Everything should sparkle. Floors, windows, furniture, accessories, everything! Too much furniture in the room. Again, remove it and don’t put it in a garage or basement. Move it out of the property. Remember, less is more. If you’re debating about any particular item, just remember this little saying – if in doubt, move it out.
Now look at your walls and floors. If you have wallpaper, chances are no one is going to like it. Remove it and paint the walls a warm beige. If the carpet is not a neutral color, change it. If the carpet is stained, change it. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Your goal is to make it look good. Don’t worry that it might not stand up to normal wear and tear. Your buyer will probably change everything anyway – and probably start with the things you liked best!
If it’s broken, fix it. If light bulbs are burnt out, replace them. If furniture is worn out, cover it or throw it out. If you’re not taking it with you, out it goes.
Now let’s talk about bathrooms. Wallpaper? Again, not good. Remove and paint it a neutral color. And don’t argue that you don’t like neutral, wishy washy colors. You’re moving anyway and neutral colors sell homes. Clear the counters. Hang some new, pretty towels – everything in neutral colors. Change the shower curtain to a solid white or beige. Put one thing on the counter. Scrub the room from top to bottom. If anything is broken, fix it or replace it. Nothing should be on the floor. Just the tile. No toilet paper stock in a basket. No bottles of shampoo and conditioner on the tub ledge. Maybe a rubber ducky if it’s cute and clean. No sponges, no cleansers. And no black mold on the grout where the tub meets the wall. Use bleach to clean it – lots and lots of bleach.
Let’s talk about the bedrooms. If you have floral bed coverings, unless they’re really neutral, change them. If you have a bunch of toss cushions sitting on the bed, put most of them away. Clear the night tables and dressers. Just a lamp, a phone and maybe a clock. No books, no magazines, no pretty accessories….unless you have a fairly large night table. Same deal with the wallpaper. Neutral paint again. No hampers. No junk. No piles of books. Clear out the closets. Nothing should be on the floor. Give away the clothes, shoes and purses you don’t wear anymore. Pack up the seasonal items and hide them under the bed. Put the remaining clothes on nice plastic hangers – no wire ones. Leave space between each hanger. Shoes on the shelf neatly please. Handbags there as well. All like soldiers lined up in a row.
If you have children, their toys should go in baskets. The baskets should be in the closet. Dresser tops should be clear. The rooms should be almost empty because kids rooms are usually a lot smaller than the master bedroom and all that stuff lying around will make those bedrooms appear smaller than they really are.
If you have a den or family room, you’ll probably have lots to do in there as well. Coffee and end tables should be almost empty. People often place furniture with TV viewing as the focal point. Lots of times, this is not the best furniture arrangement to show off the room. No one will notice that the TV is not in the best viewing position. Your goal is to make the room look as large as possible.
When your Realtor calls to say there’s a showing, get out of the house. Take the dog and cat if you can. Don’t forget the children and your Mom. No one should be home. If you can’t leave, then the rule is – don’t talk to anyone. Maybe nod your hello. Don’t follow them either. Sit outside if possible. Go for a walk. If you absolutely cannot leave, squish yourself into a corner and make yourself as unobtrusive as possible. Pretend you’re Casper the Ghost. Don’t eat or drink either. Stay out of the kitchen. And definitely don’t cook anything. You’ll make the house smell and buyers don’t like smells – only pleasant and mild aromas.
It’s best if you’re not there because you’ll make the Buyers uncomfortable. They’ll be so busy trying to avoid you, trying to talk quietly that they might not give your house the attention it deserves. You may think it’s a good idea to be home so you can answer any questions the Buyers may have. Trust me – you’re wrong. If there are questions the Realtor can’t answer, there are phones in use today. The Realtor will call the listing agent to get answers.
Let’s talk about valuables. If you have things that you value, such as jewelery, coins, cameras, knick knacks, put them away or pack them up. Hide them. Leave nothing lying around that might tempt anyone. And while we’re talking, pack up all your family photos. Every last one.
I think you’re now getting the idea. That you just don’t decide to put the house up for sale. The majority of sellers need to do a lot of preparation to get their property into its best possible showing condition. If you do it right, you’ll sell your property quickly and for more money. The rule is, „the quicker you sell it, the more money you get for it.“ So set aside as much time as you need to do this preparation the right way. Then you’ll be able to pick up that extra money that your property can produce and move on with your life. Trust me, it’s not fun showing property. Do what you need to do before and you’ll go to the bank after, with a fuller wallet.Immobilienmakler Heidelberg Makler Heidelberg