This is the final installment of the series Preparing Your Home for Sale. There’s a lot of discussion about staging your home when you are selling it. But before you begin staging it, you need to prepare it. That means clearing out clutter, repairing what’s broken and thoroughly cleaning it. These things can go a long way towards helping you sell your house faster and for the most dollar. When potential buyers walk into your house and see dirty floors, torn screens or worn out what-ever, they’re seeing money they’ll need to put into it. That means less that they’ll have to offer you. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed preparing the exterior of your home. In Part 2, I shared tips number 1 – 6 on preparing the interior. In Part 3, I continued with the interior with tips number 7- 12. Today I conclude the series with the last of the interior tips, number 13 – 18.
Preparing Your Home for Sale – Interior
Tip 13: CLEAN OUT MEDICINE CABINETS
Dispose of any expired medicine or leftover prescriptions. Some can go into the trash and others flushed down the toilet. Read the instructions or call a pharmacy to find out about proper disposal. The Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov) can provide you with a list of medications that shouldn’t go in with the household trash. If you are throwing any items in the trash, place liquids in a sealed bag so they won’t leak and wash out empty pill bottles. Remove any prescription labels with personal information before throwing the bottle away.
Tip 14: KEEP THE GARAGE FREE OF CLUTTER
A two car garage will look like it can actually hold two cars if it isn’t filled with stuff. Storage sheds and attics should also be cleared out as much as possible. Ample storage space makes a home more appealing.
Tip 15: ENJOY THE VIEW
If you have beautiful or interesting views from your windows, don’t block them. Take advantage of the view by arranging your furniture so the view is a focal point. If your views are unattractive, distract from them by creating another focal point in the room.
Tip 16: DECORATING FOR SELLING IS NOT THE SAME AS DECORATING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
Part of preparing your home for sale involves depersonalizing the space. You want to appeal to the greatest number of buyers, so your house should be as neutral as possible. Family pictures, knickknacks, collections and distracting décor should be saved for your new home.
Tip 17: SET A BUDGET
You want to maximize the appeal of your home but not overspend in doing so. The homes in each neighborhood will only go so high when it comes to sales price. It is possible to over-improve your home. Check with your real estate agent or an appraiser to determine which improvements will get the highest return.
Tip 18: MAKE ANY NECESSARY REPAIRS
Walk through the house and examine it as though you were a prospective buyer. If possible, have your home inspected before you put it on the market. By doing this, you can take care of things before they surprise you later and possibly hold up your sale. Here is a list of some things you should do:
- Repair dripping or leaking faucets and other plumbing problems
- Repair cracks or damage to drywall, wallpaper, or paint
- Replace burned out light bulbs
- Replace broken or cracked glass
- Repair or replace damaged caulking
- Replace torn screens
- Repair or replace chipped tiles
- Repair or replace damaged molding and trim
- Inspect your heating system, air conditioning and security system
- Inspect the house for dampness and mold
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tips I’ve shared. They can be helpful even if you’re not selling your home. If you know someone that is planning on listing their house, share this link with them. All these tips and more can be found in my book, The Moving Handbook.
All Photos: Better Homes and Gardens
Here are links to the rest of the series: