Jason and I have been looking at homes in our area with hopes of finding one so we don’t have to build a new home sometime in the near future. As exciting as building a new home would be, I am completely scared to make all of those decisions (and I’m such a cheapskate that I think I’ll drive myself insane looking for deals!) As you can imagine, with 5 children, it’s difficult to find exactly what we are looking for with space and storage but it’s also fun as we’ve been looking to see how other people decorate and get ideas in case we do end up building (which is probably what will happen).
As many of you know, we currently rent our farm house, but prior to this home, I have owned (and then sold) 4 different houses. After looking at several nice homes, I thought it would be helpful and fun to put together a list for those of you wanting to sell a home quickly with some tips from a potential buyer and also someone who’s been on the selling side!
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A REALTOR, NOR AM I GIVING LEGAL ADVICE! I AM JUST GIVING MY OPINION ON WHAT WE HAVE OBSERVED.
- Get all of the “extra” out of the house. Rent a storage unit if you have to. If a buyer comes in and clutter is all over, it is an instant turn off. It also makes your house look much smaller than it actually is.
- After you have gotten all the extras out of the house, eliminate again by half… this is especially true with furniture, books, kitchen appliances, toys, and clothing.
- Ask a trusted friend (or two) to come over and let them knit pick your house. Let them be honest about what looks cluttered or needs to be fixed or cleaned.
- For kids items (toys, DVDs, bikes, etc.) keep their favorites. Anything that they don’t play with on a regular basis goes to storage or Grandma’s so they can play with it there. This is also true for baby equipment. Baby equipment takes up so much floor space, it makes your space appear small. If you don’t use it on a regular basis, storing it could help speed up the sale of your home.
- Do not leave any clutter on your counters. I went in a house last Saturday and there were 3 cereal boxes on the counter. This was an instant turnoff. I’m looking for a home with ample storage space and without even looking inside the cupboards it told me there wasn’t enough room to store cereal boxes. There may have been, but I was turned off and didn’t look.
- Fix all small broken items in your home that people see. If you have a broken light switch plate, fix it. If you have some holes in the wall from pictures hanging that are now taken down, fill them in with putty and touch up the paint. All of these very small fixes show you have taken care of the home and cost pennies to fix.
- People WILL look in bathroom cabinets, under sinks, in the bathtub and shower, all closets etc. so be prepared. By organizing and decluttering these spaces you will show buyers there is plenty of room for their own items and that you have taken care of the home.
- One suggestion on cleaning up your clutter is to keep an empty laundry basket or tote in the trunk of your car or back of SUV. This tote or laundry basket is used to grab the random clutter and toss it into your vehicle right before you show your home. The clothes dryer also works if you are not leaving the dryer with the home! If appliances are included, don’t stuff things in there!
- If you have pets, get them out of the house when you show it. Kitty litter, cat food…everything. People either love or hate indoor animals and if you get a hater… having kitty in the house may be a deal breaker. Clean up all spilled kitty litter on the floor and keep an air freshener in the room to take rid of the smell.
- Keep a folder with information about your home and community. You don’t have to be super organized to do this! One of the homes we lived in previously had a folder like this for us when we were looking at it and left it for us when we moved in. She had kept records of where she bought the tile for the bathroom with the name of it even to the point of cleaners that didn’t work on it! That’s a bit excessive, but if you put information inside such as the schools that the house is zoned for, a few phone numbers of local food delivery places, and information about the area (like the # for the chamber of commerce) it can give your home an advantage over someone else’s. Be creative and think about what you would want to know if you were moving into the area for the first time.
What do you think about these tips? Do you have any you would add to the list or take off of the list?