This is you're single most important task now...
In today’s market, staging one’s home is the single most important task during your entire listing. Please find our top ten tips to help sell your home after years of experience.
One - Begin by disassociating yourself with your home. Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house.” A product to be sold, much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf. Make the mental decision to let go of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours. Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners and look toward the future.
Two - Next, start to de-personalize your home. Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there. You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."
Three - And now de-clutter your home. People collect an amazing quantity of items in a lifetime. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it. If you don't need it, why not donate it or have that yard sale you have always talked about? This is the time to put away everything on your kitchen counters and to clean off the front of the refrigerator. Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet or the kitchen pantry to keep close by. Think of this process as a head start on the packing you will eventually need to do.
Four - And rearrange your bedroom closets and kitchen cabinets. Buyers love to snoop when your house is being shown and they will open your closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends them if items fall out. Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she or he sees everything organized. It communicates you probably take excellent care of the rest of the house as well. So take the opportunity to turn all those coffee mug handles in the upper kitchen cabinet the same way and line up all those shoes in the closet!
Five - Now the real trick...rent a storage unit. Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"
Six - Remove or replace favorite items. If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won't want it. Once you tell a buyer they can't have an item, they will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
Seven - Remember the other three rules to selling real estate...paint, paint, and more paint. Making both minor repairs and a freshly painted room or entire house is a must. Some obvious items are: replace cracked counter tiles, patch holes in walls, fix leaky faucets, fix doors that don't close properly and replace broken windows. Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls. Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom. ”
Eight - Make the house sparkle. Now is the time to clean the house. Wash the windows inside and out. Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior. Clean out all the cobwebs in the basement and attic...even in the barn. Re-caulk the tubs, showers and sinks. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors. Clean out the refrigerator. Vacuum daily. Wax floors. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Bleach dingy grout. Replace worn rugs. Hang up fresh towels. Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows. Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no. And even consider the freshly baked bread left on the counter or the fresh apple pie just out of the oven during your showings but a must is fresh flowers!
Nine - Now scrutinize. Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you? Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer. Check out the curb appeal. Keep the sidewalks cleared. Park the extra car differently to best show the room in the driveway. Paint faded window trim. Plant yellow flowers or group flowerpots together. (Yellow evokes a buying emotion.) Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number and mow that lawn...yes, and right before the weekend for your next showings if possible. Nothing is more enjoyable in Maine, than in walking a property for the first time, just after the lawn is freshly cut.
And Ten - Last, absolutely plan on taking your loved ones with you on every showing...Yes, even the dogs and cats! Nothing else ruins all of your hard work in preparing for the showing of your home then this. So prepare your vehicle for keeping all the leashes and cat crates, buy a new can of tennis balls and look forward to all that exercise down by the water with your kids while your home is being shown!
Please reach us at your convenience at 207.236.7000 or 888.236.7015 or feel free to contact us, email info@TheNewEnglandReCo.com, or visit our web page "Our Difference - Our Brokers" to learn more about the finer aspects of staging your home for sale in today's market.
If you prepare, plan, spend some money wisely, and apply common sense when staging your home, it will sell faster among all others...and it will help you prepare for the next adventure in your life!