Preparing your home for sale is the first step in the selling process. This is done even before you begin staging it. Once you’ve prepared it, then you can move on to setting the stage. You want to make your place look its best, so that potential buyers can see the beauty in your home and not be turned off by any work that needs to be done. Small repairs and keeping things organized can go a long way towards helping to sell your house quicker and for top dollar. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed preparing the exterior of your home. Now I’ll share some tips on getting the interior ready. I have so many tips for you, that I’ve decided to break up this portion into three different sets. Today in Preparing Your Home for Sale Part 2, I’m sharing tips number 1 – 6. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll bring you the next two installments.
Preparing Your Home for Sale – Interior
Tip 1: CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER
Go through your house room by room to clear out clutter and unwanted items. Purge your closets, medicine cabinets, magazines, books, CD/DVD/video collections, children’s toys, kitchen cabinets, cleaning supplies, tools, gardening equipment and furniture. Have a garage sale or donate usable items. Toss out anything else. After this step is done, go back through the house again. If it’s still cluttered, pack up any items you want to keep but won’t be using. Remove unnecessary furniture, decorative items, toys, clothes, etc. If needed, rent a temporary storage unit in which these things can be stored until after the move or neatly store them in the garage. The less clutter in your house, the more spacious it will appear. Removing clutter will also help to improve the traffic flow.
Tip 2: DOWNSIZE THE FURNITURE
Too much furniture can make rooms appear smaller. For example, if you have a small bedroom, don’t eat up all your space with a large bed and several pieces of large furniture. Remove the extra pieces of furniture and make the bed a focal point. Put the larger pieces in storage, if you want them for your next house.
Tip 3: MAKE YOUR HOUSE AS SPOTLESS AS POSSIBLE
Begin by airing out the home and cleaning it thoroughly. This includes carpets, drapery, bedding and upholstery if necessary. Clean all appliances inside and out. Dust in the hard to reach places and behind anything that you can move. Clean sinks, tubs, showers, toilets and grout. Remove hard water and rust stains.
Tip 4: YOUR HOUSE SHOULD SMELL AS CLEAN AS IT LOOKS
Every home has its own unique scent. Some are just more pleasing than others. Residents of a home become accustomed to the aroma of their house and don’t notice it. Pets, cigars, cigarettes, and cooking odors are the most common. It is important to insure that your home smells pleasing to the potential buyers. Before showing the home, spray the air and fabric surfaces with deodorizers. Scented candles help, but light them enough in advance so that they have a chance to work. Plug-in room deodorizers work great, but use the same scent throughout the house. Remove litter boxes and cages. Spray the areas where pets sleep. Don’t let dirty laundry pile-up, especially wet towels and gym clothes.
Tip 5: FRESH PAINT MAKES A HOUSE FEEL CLEAN AND NEW
Keep the colors neutral to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. Paint or touch-up the ceilings and trim work as necessary.
Tip 6: INSPECT WALLPAPER FOR DAMAGE
Any torn, peeling or damaged wallpaper should be repaired or removed. Outdated, overly-bold or colorful wallpaper should be removed or painted over. Check with a professional to see if your wallpaper can be removed without damaging the drywall or if it is the type that can be painted over.
All of these tips are from my book The Moving Handbook. It will be available next month. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, be sure to watch for the next installment in this series.
All Photos: Better Homes and Gardens
Here are links to the rest of the series: