Selling your home can seem like a daunting task. In order to make it as seamless as possible there are certain mistakes you should avoid making. Before we were realtors and we were selling our own house, we avoided these mistakes and had a contract after only one day active on the market!
Mistake #1 - Fix Things Needing Repair - I am sure there are things around your home that need some attention. These can be holes in walls from removed picture frames, scratched and scuffed baseboards, broken blinds and window screens, burnt out bulbs, bathroom showers that need to be re-caulked. The list could go on and on. These are the things you say you will take care of them later, well before you sell is later. They should be addressed before the house is listed. You don't want to draw attention or give the appearance of the house not being well cared for.
Mistake #2 - House is Too Personal - When you are selling your house, removing the personalized items is a must do. Not removing them makes you run the risk of distracting potential buyers. They see you and not the house. They see the memories you have created with no room for their own memory making. They see your collectibles or specific taste. When we were selling our house, we took down all the extra photos. Any wall photos that were still needed to fill wall space were replaced cheaply with images from pretty calendars. The calendar art was slipped into the front of the frame and the frame hung back up in the original location.
Mistake #3 - Not Deep Cleaning - When you sell you don't need to go nuts, but the house does need to be clean. Again, you don't want someone walking through the house thinking how they have to hire a maid before they can more their stuff in. Things that should be addressed include cleaning the corners of the bathroom where the dirt gets stuck, washing the windows inside and out, washing the caked on dust above the kitchen stove, cleaning the air vents and air intake. These are the things that we take care of once a year, if that. Sometimes they just get overlooked.
Mistake #4 - Too Cluttered - This can be seen two different ways. First, I heard this quote the other day... clutter is the graveyard of things you thought would make you happy. Think about that for a while. The things in our homes should make us smile. If it doesn't make you smile or you don't use it, get rid of it. Pass it along to someone that will appreciate or use it. Second, when a buyer is looking at a home, clutter can make it seem busy. It can also make it seem smaller. Look at the pictures of the model home below. Notice how minimal the decorations are?!? It is the simplicity that makes buyers like a house. There are two things that happen mentally. They want to live this way, so looking at a decluttered home gives them hope. Second, it allows them to picture their own things in the home.
One of the keys to selling our home quickly was to make it look like a model home. Think for a moment about a model home... They are tastefully designed and staged without too much furniture or things. Everything is clean. There is nothing personal in the home. When you walk through a model home you want to live there! Look at these photos as case in point.
The funny thing is after I made all of these changes to the house with just a little sweat equity, I found that I was happier living there. I had room to breathe in the house and it looked so clean. I no longer saw projects and things that needed to be done. It made living there more pleasant. Just look at these photos from when our house on the market! Don't you want to live there too!
So even if you aren't thinking of selling, why not start some of these now and enjoy living in your home more! Do you need help identifying what needs repair or decluttered?