You may have a new client who has outgrown their home or maybe they got a job in another state, but either way it’s time to sell their home. If this is their first time selling they may not even know where to start. Having a realtor say “you should start staging your home” may sound as foreign to them as having a pilot say “here, fly this plane for a minute”. Don’t fret today we will talk through how they can get their house ready starting from the beginning.
Agents: Feel free to forward this list to your clients to save them time and start the discussion.
Home Owners: Follow this guide and accelerate your home sale. As you read through it, make a list of any questions and ask your agent. They know your area best and may have additional tips.
This means not only donating old clothes, shoes, and books. We are talking about removing ⅓ of your possessions. While that may sound scary, it will have a HUGE impact on the feel of your house to prospective buyers. You will more than likely be getting ready to move anyway, so it should be easy to remove some of the smaller things from your living areas such as knick-knacks, framed pictures, and vases. Consider it a jumpstart on packing for the move. If you aren’t planning to take some of the things with you, don’t just leave it in your home to take up space, get rid of them. Whatever is left, make sure they have a home. Some place to hide away the everyday essentials until you make the move into your new domicile. This will help your house stay clean and will promote an open and relaxing feeling when buyers walk in.
If it has been a while since you have really scrubbed the shower wall, now is the time to put in the elbow grease. Places like the kitchen and bathrooms are closely inspected and are considered the two most important rooms for buyers. That means the difference between a sold sign in front of your house and a few more weeks of showing could be spotless bathtubs, clean sinks, and floors you can eat off of. For the bathroom, make sure you get in between tiles, behind the toilet, put away hygienic products including ones you store in the showers, and even clean up your drawers just in case. For the kitchen make sure the counters and appliances are spotless, organize utensil drawers, clean any hard to reach corners on the floor, remove magnets/notes from refrigerator, and make sure the inside of the refrigerator is clean. See our article about The Deep Cleaning Most Sellers Miss for a checklist.
Realtors know as soon as the buyer pulls up to the house they are already assessing and making decisions. It is vital that the outside of your house look it’s best. There should be no tools or toys lying around. You do want to make sure your hedges are trimmed, the grass is mowed, and there are no bare or yellow spots in the grass. This is also a great time to plant some flowers and paint the foundation to ensure that their first impression is a good one.
If you have noticed nicks in the paint, squeaky doors, and a running toilet, potential buyers sure won’t miss those details either. You can get most of these fixes at one store so it won’t take up too much time. Go to your nearest hardware stores to get samples of paint to help cover up those nicks, WD-40 to help with unpleasant sounds, and a new float arm for the toilet. If you removed wall decorations you may have seen some holes that can easily be filled and don’t forget to replace any burned out bulbs – use a warm colored light. These little fixes can make a big difference and they won’t break the bank.
Hopefully these will get your clients well on their way to staging their home. There are many more things a seller can do to make their house even more enticing that weren’t included in this post. Look for an even more in depth article on repairs and cleaning soon.
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