Declutter2So you’ve decided to sell your home.  Whether it’s by choice or by necessity, the same steps should be followed in order to sell the home fast, and bring top dollar.  Start by following the incredibly important 3 ‘Ds‘…

1.  Dis-Associate yourself from your home

  • It is extremely important to tell yourself, “This is no longer my home.  It is a property that is being sold.”
  • Make the mental decision to sell, thereby letting go of all emotional attachments.
  • Envision yourself handing over the keys to the new owner(s).
  • Take the time to walk-through saying good-bye to each room.
  • Look toward the future, and keep the memories of your home in your heart.

2,  De-Personalize

  • Since you’ve said goodbye to your home, it is time to remove all traces of who lives there by carefully packing away personal photographs, trophies, awards and personal possessions.  Don’t worry, your style will still shine, but potential buyers will not be wondering if they know the faces in the photos.  Instead, they will be envisioning themselves living in the house rather than trying to figure out what kind of people live there.

3.  De-Clutter

  • You are moving, so start packing!
  • Sort through your belongings and establish 3 piles:  Keep, Donate and Trash
  • Carefully wrap and pack the knick-knacks.  Buyers can become distracted by your collection.
  • Clear off kitchen and bathroom counters.  Make it look like a model home
  • Tidy up bookcases by purging 70-80% of the contents.  Less is more and shelves will look more spacious with fewer items.

4.  Make it look Spacious

  • Clean out and organize closets.  Buyers love storage space and will be opening closet and cupboard doors, so remove at least 30% of the contents of your closets so that there is space between the hangers.
  • Organize and clean out cupboards and drawers for the same reason.
  • Plentiful storage sells!

5.  Rent a Storage Unit

Remember the point about making your home look like a model home?  One of the keys to accomplishing this is to take a good hard look at your furniture.  You may have too many pieces in some or all of the rooms.  Buyers need to be able to easily navigate each room without having to sidestep or squeeze by a couch, loveseat, recliner, over sized ottoman, dog bed…you get the point.  The bottom line is to present the property looking its best as if you don’t live there!  Rent a POD or storage unit to place the excess furniture and those items found in the garage that don’t need to be taking up space such as bins of holiday decorations, camping gear, bicycles etc.

6.  Remove/Replace Excluded Items

There may be items of sentimental value that you do not want to include with the sale of the property such as chandeliers, window coverings, fireplace screen to name a few.  Rather than excluding these from the listing contract, it is better to remove and then replace them before photos are taken and the property is marketed.  Being proactive eliminates the potential for any possible issues with potential buyers cropping up at a later date.

 7.  Take Care of Those Pesky Repairs

Remember the last time you sold or traded-in your car?  You most likely had it detailed, tuned-up and took care of all of those minor issues that at one time were bothersome, but you eventually got used to.  The same holds true when preparing to sell your home for top dollar.  It is important to address those repairs/improvements that have been put off and lived with but Buyers will definitely notice and will want to address via the formal Request for Repairs. Some suggested repairs:

  • Fix doors that stick or jam, especially the front door as it makes the first impression
  • Replace burned out light bulbs
  • Repair leaking faucets/toilets
  • Repair torn/ripped screens/screen doors
  • Replace cracked tiles on floors/counters
  • Re-Caulk tub(s), shower(s), sinks
  • Neutralize wall paint colors

8.  A CLEAN House Sells!

  • Hire a weekly housekeeper during the time the property is being shown and marketed
  • Rake leaves, sweep and power wash walkways/porch, exterior and windows
  • Brush off cobwebs, mow lawn, pull weeds
  • Wash windows inside and out
  • Clean carpeting and floors
  • Clean and shine fixtures and mirrors
  • Be aware of odors…replace pet bedding, clean out refrigerator, launder bed linens, sanitize sports bags
  • Dust…dust…dust…fans, light fixtures, all horizontal surfaces
  • Replace dingy and worn doormats, throw rugs, bathroom and kitchen towels

9.  Spruce-Up the Curb Appeal

  • Replace any dead/dying flowers
  • Make sure address is visible
  • Re-Paint trim
  • Trim bushes/trees

10.  Feng Shui Tips That Sell

  • Make the home welcoming by painting the front door a color that contrasts with the main color.  Add potted plants with rounded leaves versus sharp leaves (that can appear aggressive to buyers) on either side of the door
  • Buyers generally decide whether they will buy a home in the first 8 seconds they spend there, so it is important that they see the best room first.  Create a clear path to this room with a runner or rug or with eye-catching art and accessories
  • If the bathroom is the first room buyers see upon entry, keep the door closed.  Toilets and drains take energy from a room, so keep the toilet lid down and cover drains while not in use.
  • Face the sofa toward the entrance of the room improves energy (chi) flow making buyers feel welcome. Walking into the back of the sofa bounces energy right out of the room.
  • Clutter prevents energy from flowing through the home.  De-clutter and de-personalize!
  • Place large pieces of furniture such as beds and armoires against walls…never in front of windows.
  • Add a wind chime to the front right corner of your house.  This is the Buyer’s area of the home, so this accessory mihgt call in your home’s future owner.