The biggest investment you ever made in your life was most likely your home. If you put it up for sale, you want to sell it for the highest price, so you have the funds to pay off the existing mortgage and buy a new home. You also want it to sell quickly, so you and your family aren’t left in limbo waiting to move to a new place. You can achieve both by following these tips.
Clean up the clutter.
Children’s toys in the living room, pet bowls for food and drink in the kitchen, and piles of clothes in the laundry room from the clutter you don’t even notice any more because they’re part of your everyday life. But potential buyers will and they’ll find the mess to be a big distraction. Eliminate clutter to bring the focus back to your home’s space and architecture. Doing this also makes your rooms look more spacious, cleaner, and newer.
Remove the personal.
If buyers can imagine themselves in your home, then the more likely they are to buy it. They won’t be able to do that if they see reminders of you and your family everywhere, such as in family photos, collections of Elvis plates, or quirky paintings of poker-playing dogs. Eliminate all personal items. If your walls are looking bare as a result, add innocuous modern artwork such as paintings of landscapes or mirrors.
Buyers want their families to feel safe in your home and neighborhood, so emphasize any security features that you have, such as alarm systems, cameras, or extra locks, by asking your realtor to point them out during the open house. If you’re including safes for sale with the home, leave them open and empty for buyers to inspect when they view your rooms.
Minimize the furniture.
You won’t have the time or the money to physically enlarge rooms just before you put your home up for sale. But you can make them look bigger by leaving only essential furniture in them. Get rid of the china hutch, the plant stand, and the sideboard in your dining room, and leave only the dining table and a few chairs. If your furniture is big, heavy, and out-dated, replace them with modern and minimal pieces that you rent, get for cheap at thrift shops, or borrow from friends and family.
Make visible repairs.
Go around your home with a critical eye and make note of anything that may need repairs, such as torn screens, leaky faucets, or cracks in the walls. Get these fixed before the first open house. Leaving these problems for potential buyers to see will make them wonder what hidden problems does your house have. They’re also overestimate that cost to make repairs and deduct those amounts from their offer price.
Brightly colored walls, loudly patterned window coverings, and ornate chandeliers may express your personality perfectly. But such attention-getting decorations will turn off modern buyers who want the chance to make a new place their own. Replace them by sticking to neutral colors in the walls and subtle patterns on the furniture and window coverings. If you need ideas on what is considered neutral today, visit a few model homes in housing developments and pay attention to the colors, patterns, and decorations they use.
Don’t forget the exterior.
The outside of your home is the first thing that buyers see when they approach it so it has to look good if you expect them to cross the threshold. Mow the lawn, trim the trees, and remove any children’s toys and gardening equipment from the front lawn. Power-clean the outside walls and the driveway with a washer that you rent from your local home center. Make your trim pop by touching it up with new paint in a contrasting color from the rest of the house.