Before you do a thing to the house, you have to fix yourself!
Read this and then view my video on preparing your home for sale.
That’s right, I’m not kidding. If you, as the seller cannot shed the emotional attachment to your existing home, we are going to have a tough time selling it. I can sell it, it can be sold for the best price available, even in a tough market, but you have to work with me. You have to trust me to market your home for sale. If you worked for Consumer Reports in the automotive department for 15 years you might have a discussion like I often have.
First, someone will ask your advice on the best car to buy, what to look for, what to stay away from, how to price it and how to tell if it is a lemon? You will gladly share all the experience you have regarding what to do and what not to do. Then, you get arguments from the person who asked for your advice. “Well, I think that the 6 cylinder is the better buy, I think I don’t care about the recall,” etc. – you get the idea. Now I will share with you how to get your home sold fast in today’s real estate market, but by all means, please take my advice.
Sell my home fast!
I love it when sellers say, “oh, I’m not in a hurry, if it sells it sells.” Don’t waste your time or your agents time if this is your mindset. Wait to market it until you do care when it sells, because that is our job: to get it sold. So let’s start selling.
Give Yourself Permission To Set Yourself Free!
- Pretend that the house you live in is not yours.
- Focus your emotions on where you are going to move, not what you are leaving.
- Don’t take it personally, it’s business. I know, I know, your house is different, it’s special etc. Like I said, it’s business.
Rent storage space, pods or dad’s garage.
- You have stuff, everyone has stuff, stuff sitting, stuff cluttering and in the way and just more stuff.
- Stuff cannot stay in the house, get it out!
- Until you make provisions for the stuff you cannot mentally de-clutter because you have no where to go with the stuff.
When I sold my home in 2008 my wife thought I was crazy. I took out half the furniture, all the personal items, winter clothes we didn’t need for several months and all the millions of little knacks that we all have around us. I then put it in a storage unit. I sold my home in one week and yes, it was in this lovely depressed market; and no, I did not do anything for myself that I would not do for you.
Light Fixtures, Appliances, Special Window Treatments
- If there is anything attached to this house that is going with you, take it now. Remove the old chandelier and replace with another, replace the new $2,000 washer & dryer set with another, take your loved Vulcan oven out now. If you don’t do it now, you’ll fight over it later.
De-Clutter And Remove Personal Items
First understand this. To de-clutter does not mean taking a few things and putting those items in closets and desk or dresser drawers. It means, get it out of the house. If you de-clutter and your home looks naked to your eye, it won’t seem like this to the buyer. Trust me on this, think about model homes.
- Create The Model Effect. Why do you think builders with grand models sell so many houses. People buy those lovely houses based on the model home. Remember the last time you saw clutter, overfilled closets, sticky notes and pictures all over the refrigerator in a model home?
This is when you should call in for reinforcements. You need an objective eye, that of a professional stager or an experienced listing agent to walk through your home with you. The second thing you need is to take their advice to heart and don’t argue and do it halfway.
- Remove any unnecessary furniture. If you have a guest bedroom with two twin beds and dresser, why not make that one twin and a side table?
- Living rooms and family rooms are usually the over-furnished rooms right next to the bedrooms and then the rest of the house. Start there. This is business, get it out of there. 3 couches, 3 side tables, 3 ottomans, 2 coffee tables are just a bit much.
- If you have a dining room table that has 4 leaves and 8 chairs and there are only 3 of you living in the house, enlarge the dining room by reducing the size of the furniture.
- If there is a desk in the master bedroom you use once a month to pay your bills, get it out and use another spot until we sell your home.
- When you give the neat tidy look, guess what? The buyer feels better about the entire home.
Now What? It’s De-Cluttered And All My Personal Items I Am Taking Are Out
Now it’s time to assess the overall condition. What looks bad, what needs to be repaired, replaced, updated and serviced. This next step is very, very important. If your house sparkles, has fresh paint, clean roof, clean gutters, serviced HVAC system, good working water treatment system and so on, you can skip these next steps.
Assess The Damage And Make Needed Repairs
So now it’s time to be critical. If you have not yet asked me to come out and consult with you, it’s time to get your brother in-law, mother in-law, or most critical friend. Ask them to walk with you around the house, through the house, into every closet and cupboard and tell you what needs to look better. This can be eye-opening and painful but remember……It Is Business!
Guys and Gals, listen! If you are serious about selling your home sooner, rather than later, you need to get on board with the right approach. Come on, let’s make it happen and sell your home. We can do this together.
Start Outside, If They Don’t Like The Outside It’s Going To Be Hard To Get Them In
- Clean the gutters, inside and out (Simple Green works great).
- Clean your roof if it has those nasty streaks of discoloration.
- Paint your front door (even if you think its ok) it’s the first thing a buyer sees.
- All junk, ugly carts, wheel barrows (reminds a buyer of work) rusted hose reels. et. al., get it gone.
- Get rid of any rusty fences, broken fences, improper working gates etc.
- If your driveway is paved and filled with stains, cracks, etc., consider a top coat.
This is not hard, yes, some things may have been neglected in the past but we are talking big dollar return for the time invested in making it right. There are tons of people looking for work, hire someone to do these items. Remember, this is business!
Time To Go Inside And Assess The Damages
- Look closely, don’t kid your self, do you need to paint? Don’t touch up with a color that is close, paint the entire room. Fresh paint not only looks good but it smells fresh and new. Use neutral colors.
- Before you paint, patch any drywall imperfections, wholes, cracked seams that look like structural damage but is not.
- Caulk the area where base, door and window trim meet the walls if there is any open cracks. Caulk the bathrooms around the tubs, sinks and toilets.
- If the carpet is worn, replace it! I see 10-year-old homes with original carpet and the seller offers a carpet allowance. This is not the thing to do, replace it with a neutral color.
- Repair or replace any faucets and drains that drip, drip and drip. The home inspector will find it if the buyer does not.
- Replace any door hardware that is tarnished, inoperable or was never installed.
- Replace any and all non working smoke detectors.
- Fix doors that don’t operate correctly or squeak.
- You get the idea, need help, call me.
Ok, We Have De-Cluttered, Changed Fixtures, Stored Items And Made Repairs, Are We Done Yet?
Sorry, the answer is no. You have a huge start on getting your Maryland home sold quickly and for top dollar but you are not finished. You’re on your way from third to home but not quite there.
Oh Before you leave my website please complete this short 8 question survey so I can improve your next visit.
Time to Put It All Together, Stage It, Clean It and Sell My Home
- Home Preparation Checklist
- Put all the furniture back in place. Do what you can to make rooms look bigger. This can be done with furniture.
- Clean every, shelf cabinet, door, trim, everything.
- Bulbs in all light fixtures, fixtures dusted and glass cleaned.
- Organized closets neatly! (Yes, you know when you looked at homes didn’t you look?)
- Bathrooms, all with fresh soap, clean hanging towels, clear vanity top and fixtures polished.
- Bedrooms with nice, colorful pillows, attractive comforter, bedside tables clear of books and clutter.
- Dining room table can be set with attractive place settings to reduce chances of more clutter.
- I would love you to wash your inside and outside windows.
- Dust everything you can find to dust, wash and vacuum.
Guys and Gals, you can do this. If you want to sell your home for a fair price in a reasonable amount of time, you need to do what we outlined here. Contact John now for your personal consultation.