HOME PREPARATION TIPS FOR SELLING:
These tips will help you be ready for the very popular Spring Market. It starts earlier than you may think and to get top dollar you should be ready by the beginning of March… not May!! By the early Spring many buyers, who were passed by in last Fall are anxious to get moving and ready to purchase.
To make this process of getting “ready to sell” easier, follow these steps, take your time (no stress), and consider any money spent an investment in your higher sale price to come.
These are not your average “declutter” tips. These are my secrets (ok, not so secret anymore) to the high sale prices my clients receive. Declutter is such a generic term. This is how to PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR A SPRING SALE.
Biggest and most important secret… Think of the HOUSE as someone else’s HOME… because it soon will be. Remove the emotion and move out in your head. Take some pictures (for both before/after shots and to have as keepsakes. This is the last time it will look like YOUR Home). Secure storage space. An offsite location (rental unit or friends unused basement) or onsite POD
Pack your summer clothes away – decide what you wore and will never wear again. Use supersize Ziploc bags and move the good stuff to the storage space. The rest, put in the “Donate” pile (but more about that later). Depending on the age of the children in the home it could be a team effort. The goal is to have ALL summer clothes out of the house. You will be moved by the time you need them again!!
When packing up your outdoor furniture for the season edit it down to the bare necessities. Will you use ALL of this when you move to your new home or will you be getting new stuff? If new, get rid of it now. Same goes for gardening tools and planters. Keep enough to do your Spring cleanup – but minimization is the key. Garages and Sheds look much better when they aren’t jammed up.
After you complete your holiday baking pack up these things instead of putting them back in your kitchen cupboards. Unless you are a weekly baker, these things are pulled out very infrequently and won’t be used again until the new house. Another trip to the storage unit!
Personal papers – you will need to know where they are for all the documents you will be signing. So get them ready. Purchase one file box for all the important documents if you don’t already have one. Destroy (a shredder is a really good investment) anything older than 7 years. Edit what you don’t need. When was the last time you looked through the box of old Mother’s Day cards? Do it now and then off to the recycle box they go. Certainly keep special cards – they are priceless so give yourself another box for those. Give each child ONE box to keep their mementos – whatever they can fit; they can take to the new house. Other than the ONE main box, these boxes need to be moved to the storage space too.
You are starting to see how much “stuff” you have, need and don’t need by what is quickly filling your storage space and what is left in your home.
How about the sports equipment. Do the Roller Blades still fit? When was the last time Johnny went snowboarding – does the board require more tuning up than its worth? If you won’t be using it this winter – pack it up and move it to the storage space or put it in the “Donation” pile. Winter Wear; clothes, coats, boots etc. Now that you are wearing these items on a regular basis, determine what you want to keep and what can be donated. These are the items that are in huge demand right now. Don’t hold onto them until your move if you won’t be wearing them.
Family pictures, certificates, wall hangings…its time to pack them up. Remember the first “secret”…think of this house as someone else’s home. Anything that reminds you of YOU needs to be cleaned and packed for unveiling in your new home. This is a big part of the emotions that come with moving. At first it will be hard, but you will thank me later when you’ve sold and you have already worked through much of the emotions.
Now that you have addressed most of your “stuff’ it is time to look at repairs and touch ups. With most of your things in the storage location or donated the home it may look a whole lot bigger, but it may also look a whole lot dirtier. You are now seeing the nooks and crannies that were hidden before. Now is the time to put on the finishing touches that will show buyers how you’ve cared for the home. Show them you’ve respected the comfort it has brought you and your family. Give it a major cleaning, do the minor repairs and touch ups. It may even need a coat of paint. Buyers want a relatively blank canvas so they can envision how this grand ole dame will bring happiness to them and their family. I have prepared a full checklist of items for Secret #10 that you can download and print here. Sellers Checklist
So don’t fret… although selling a home is a lot of work, the more preparation you do in advance the smother the entire moving process will go. Here is a list of resources with contact information to assist. Sellers Resources
The bottom line “secret for a successful home sale” is:
“There are NO secrets to success.
It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure”.