There are many things to think about when you are planning to sell your house and move. Here are a few things to help you you prepare.
First impressions matter, even before buyers come through your front door. Clean up the exterior and spruce it up with some brightly colored flowers. Trim shrubs and keep the lawn neat. And, if it snows, make sure that your walkways are shoveled, salted and free of ice.
While your house is on the market, always keep the inside neat and reasonably clean so it is ready to show. Find a place for dogs or cats (by either crating or kenneling them or in a location other than the house or yard) when your realtor holds an open house or when other realtors are showing it to their clients.
Make the kitchen look as attractive as possible – it’s where most prospective buyers and owners will spend quite a bit of time. New cabinet hardware and uncluttered and clean surfaces will help give it a fresh look. Empty trash cans and make sure your house smells fresh and clean.
Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves living in your house, so take the “you” out of your house. Pack your family photos and other personal items out of the way – you’ll need to do this when you move anyway. Be sure to keep loose items stowed in closets and cabinets. Begin removing unneeded items and store them elsewhere if possible. If you have begun to pack, store packed boxes out of the way.
Do not over-improve. Brighten up your rooms by opening shades and blinds or adding lamps. Concentrate on things like a thorough cleaning and maybe a coat of neutral paint on the walls. Many buyers will want to personalize for themselves when they move in so no need to overspend.
Most importantly, have your realtor help you ‘right’ price your house for sale. Be open to reducing ‘your’ price to attract multiple bids, remembering that you do not have to accept the first offer. This strategy is better than pricing it higher than the market will bear and having it go “stale” on the market.