One of the most common questions we get from homeowners is how to get their home ready to sell (second only to what their home is worth!).
Putting the effort into preparing a home for the market is certainly worthwhile. A sparkling clean, well-staged home can make a big difference in the interest a home generates and how long it stays on the market. Getting a home ready to sell is often less costly and complicated than homeowners imagine. It does, however, take time and elbow grease.
When we’re working with clients, we always provide a consultation with a home stager – someone that helps them edit their own furnishings and décor into a simple, pared down version that will help buyers imagine their own belongings in the home.
Whether working with a stager or not, the most important thing that homeowners can do is declutter. Removing the accumulations of daily life reveals the bones of a home – and the potential for a new buyer to make it their own. Where to start? Here are my top 5 tips to get you motivated and well on your way to a market-ready home:
1) Clear off counter tops and tabletops completely. The goal is to make all horizontal surfaces in your home smooth and visually uninterrupted. Add back in one or two accessories for a pop of color and interest after you’ve cleaned everything off.
2) Hide paper clutter. File cabinets, drawers, boxes, and baskets with lids are your friends.
3) Deep clean your kitchen and bathroom(s). Scrub the floors, baseboards, and cabinet doors. The less cluttered your home, the more dirt and grease spattered surfaces will stand out.
4) Eliminate or pare down bulky furniture. Make sure that each room has ample space to move around and see features like windows, woodwork, and built-ins. If you have excess furniture items or clutter you need to remove, you can store a few items neatly in the garage or rent a temporary storage unit.
5) Remove or downsize personal photographs and collections. These items will distract buyers from what you really want them to see.
My favorite quick fix decluttering tip: take 3 minutes to go through a room and fill a hamper with any clutter or items that need to be put away. Bring the hamper to your car with you if you don’t have time to sort through it before a showing.
Finally, don’t feel the need to undertake major remodeling projects. The majority of the time, this is unnecessary, and will not net a homeowner close to what they have invested. However, addressing small fixes and handyman jobs can be an excellent use of your time and resources. Refreshing paint, repairing holes in walls, and fixing or replacing items that are in disrepair are all good ideas.