In most places these days listing your home is no easy feat. Along with the physical burden of getting your home ready to entice potential buyers, often comes a great deal of emotional stress too- I should know, my own home is currently up for sale! I'd like to share with you the three things I did that made the whole ordeal a little easier for us.
Step 1: De-clutter
After you take care of any obvious maintenance or cosmetic issues (make any necessary repairs to the home, touch up nicked paint, freshen up the curb appeal, etc.), the first thing you need to do is de-clutter. Go room-by-room through your house creating four piles: trash, recycle, donate, and keep. A good rule of thumb for cutting down on clutter is that you should only keep the things you won't mind taking the time to pack when your home sells. If you absolutely can't part with something, but it's taking up too much space in that closet you want to be seen as "ample storage" by all of those potential buyers, consider storing it in a Rubbermaid storage container (we bought a few, filled them to the brim, labeled them, and stacked them neatly in our attic). For really large items you may want to think about renting a storage unit. You'll also want to reconsider any home accessories or decor that is very personal or too taste specific. Don't go too sterile though, you still want your home to look lived in!
Step 2: Organize
After you've rid your home of the clutter you've collected over the years, it's time to organize what's left! Buyers are naturally drawn to homes that look organized for several reasons: Organized spaces imply that the owner takes pride in their home and has maintained it well, in most cases it gives the illusion of more space, and also simply because organized homes are more aesthetically pleasing. Remember, potential buyers will open your closets and cabinets to see what kind of storage they offer- you don't want to send them running with an avalanche of uncontained clutter!
Be creative when you organize and re-purpose as much as you can. There are also so many products available to help you organize everything from your garage to your walk-in-closet, and everything in between! Be sure to label as you go too, it will save you time and energy when you begin the packing process.
Step 3: Cleaning
Last, but certainly not least, you'll need to complete a thorough deep clean of your home. Make sure to wash windows inside and out, wipe down moulding and trim, check for cobwebs and dust build-up on ceilings, light fixtures, and ceiling fans, scrub tile grout, vacuum, and mop floors. You really want your home to sparkle!
Once your home is on the market, you'll want to have basic cleaning supplies handy at a moments notice. I rely on my Reveal mop to keep my hardwood floors clean (and dog hair free), and I love that when I'm done I just toss the pads in the washer! I also keep bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, dusting materials, a roll of paper towels, and disinfecting wipes in a caddy that I can quickly grab and move from room-to-room for when a realtor calls and tells me that they'll be at my home in five minutes. This way I can at least get the dog slobber smudges off the storm door and the toothpaste out of the sink before they're at my door!
What tips and tricks do you have for getting your home "Show Ready"? Please share them with us!