Preparing a house to go on the market for sale can be daunting.
What needs to be done? How much will it cost?
While every house and home seller are different, there is a fairly basic process that I use when a customer asks for recommendations to get the house ready to go on the market.
Typically, the first step is to declutter the home. For most people, this is as simple as getting some moving boxes and packing materials to pack up the non-essentials. If it isn’t needed every day, it shouldn’t be on the kitchen counter. If it isn’t needed every month, it doesn’t need to be in the kitchen cabinets. The stuff that doesn’t measure up to these standards is ready to go away. Whether it is something to be placed in a moving box for your next home, or it is something to be sold or donated is up to you. We are creating a showroom here.
Other things that are ready to be packed up to get the house ready to sell include personal items like family photos, personal mementos and religious items. Pack up the seasonal clothing that is off-season and that sort of thing. Again, we are creating a showroom here. We want homebuyers to see themselves living here, not you. The more generic your house looks, the easier this is for a typical homebuyer. The less full your kitchen cabinets and bedroom closets look, the better. So, for the most part, the personal decorations and off-season clothing is ready to go into a moving box.
One of the great things about this process is that, so far, this is all work that you’ll be doing when it is time to move anyway. So, packing up for the big moving day is getting easier with every box you pack now.
Once the house has been successfully decluttered, the next step is to assess the house for the market. For the most part, the goal here is to make the house look consistent with itself. If you take a space that is the eyesore of the house and fix it up so that it looks better than the rest of the house, all you’ve really accomplished is to make the rest of the house look bad. If there is a repair to be made, bring it up to the standard of the rest of the house and not beyond that. Again, make the house consistent with itself.
Typically, my recommendations are to fix anything that’s broken or an eyesore and leave the rest alone.
The comments in this article are fairly generic. Many real estate agents, including myself, are willing to come to your home free of charge and share our thoughts with you about getting your house ready to sell.
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