Whether you’ve been in your house for one year or multiple decades, it is typically bittersweet to think about saying good-bye. But it can be a whole lot sweeter if you are able to take top dollar for the sale!
When you are preparing to list your home, taking a few simple steps can reduce the time it spends on the market and increase your earnings. The challenge is, this has been your home—so you may be blinded to its blemishes. Take this chance to step back and work through a list of tips that will give your home a quick boost in the eyes of could-be buyers.
Channel Minimalism: The fewer the items, the larger the space looks—and that’s always a selling point for potential buyers. If your junk drawer has long since overflowed, it’s time to pack it all away for dealing with at a later time. Also on the storage list? Seasonal clothes not in use, knick-knacks on shelves, stray books and even pieces of furniture that don’t serve a clear function.
Take Yourself Out of the Picture: Literally. Buyers like to envision themselves in the home, which can be hard to do when there is an oversized portrait of your family over the mantle. Besides pictures, consider storing away any statement pieces or family heirlooms that are meaningful to you, but potentially distracting to buyers.
Organize “Unseen” Places: When you’re the one looking to buy a home, storage space is important to consider—so expect that drawers and closets will be peeked in. Although these may make for convenient hiding place for those items you just boxed up, it doesn’t make a good impression when opening the closet unleashes a landslide of shoes and jackets. This may be the month to invest in a storage unit.
Get (Somewhat) Handy: That dent in the wall from the door handle? Now is the time to patch it up. The same goes for little nail holes, simple paint jobs and stains on the carpet. It shouldn’t take you too long to (finally) cross it off your to-do list—and it could mean a quicker sale.
Invest in a Deep Clean: Some sellers may be able to pull off the deep clean on their own, but if you’re short on time and energy, this is a good excuse to hire a cleaner to scrub the baseboards and shine up those grout lines.
Consider the Curb Appeal: Although there is no need to go overboard with an exterior makeover, you should make sure the lawn is mowed, leaves are raked or sidewalks are cleared of snow. (Especially if it is the fall when all three could be necessary at the same time!)
Replace “Built Ins” You Plan to Take: The chandelier may be the focal point of the dining room, but don’t draw buyers’ eyes to it if you plan to take it during the move. Now is also the time to swap out any special mirrors, appliances or other items that may become points of contention during the sale if you and the buyer weren’t on the same page about what stays with the house.