The decision has been made – you’re ready to sell your home. But how can you make a sale without any buyers? You need to prepare your home for the open house to attract potential buyers.
Step 1: Make Your House a HOME
It’s important to first remove yourself from the home—figuratively speaking—that you knew, and turn it into a house that needs to be sold. Focus on the future and your new home, rather than the memories made and shared in the one you’re attempting to attain value for. Once you have this mindset, you’ll be able to see the property objectively, and make necessary decisions to improve the overall look of your home for potential buyers.
Step 2: Remove Personal Effects
A completely different person will be purchasing your house. But how can they imagine that as a reality if the picture of your little league baseball team is sitting on the mantle? Or family photos from the past 10 years are right there above the fireplace? You want to ensure that the space presented is one free of any obligations – that it is no longer your space. That it can belong to anyone. Make buyers enter the home and think “I can see myself living here.”
Step 3: Clean. Clean. (And Then Clean Some More)
It’s not that your house is dirty – it’s that your house needs to be restored to its original state.
Vacuuming floors and dusting bookshelves is nice. And you should absolutely make your house sparkle. But you need to go above and beyond to prepare your house for potential buyers. Look at cleaning your house not only of dust mites, but of any type of clutter and general untidiness. For example, the bedroom floors should no longer be used as the final resting place for your clean laundry. Remove all those boxes hidden behind closet doors and take them off the property. Completely empty the shelves behind bathroom mirrors. Take all the kitchen utensils out of the kitchen.
The worst case scenario is a potential buyer entering the home on Open House day, checking the closets to see how much space there is, and finding clothes or other items that don’t belong to them. Your goal should be to make your house a livable home for someone else.
Step 4: Assess any Home Repairs
Now your house is clean. But is there minor damage anywhere? Perhaps there are scuff marks on the trim around the bottom of the walls in your children’s former play area – touch them up with paint. Tiny hole in the wall? Grab some spackle and cover it up. Try to be extremely observant of your house in this phase. This is an opportunity to really make your house free of any blemishes, and secure the most value on the market. Take a careful look around the inside and outside of your house and spend the few dollars that it will take to fix any slight imperfections.
Step 5: Curb Appeal
Now that you’ve returned your home to its original beauty on the inside, it’s time to turn your attention to the outside. One of the most important consideration buyers take into account when they first see a home on the market is the way it looks when they first see it. A moment of “Wow. This is a great looking home!” is much better than “Geez. I hope the inside is nicer.” You want to do everything you can to prevent potential buyers from having the latter thought. You do not want them to have a negative idea about the home before they have even stepped inside – where they will actually be living.
So, mow the lawn. Rip out all the weeds. Sweep the driveway. Clean the gutters. Do all the little things to spruce up the outside. Spend some time focusing on making the house look appealing from the outside.
5a. Sell. That. House.
Now your house is ready to be shown off to any and all potential buyers.
If you are looking for an agent that is committed to walking the home-selling journey with you—we call that #TheFriedrichWay—visit us online at GreatIowaHomes.com or give us a call at 515-232-6175!