Make Your Home "Anonymous"
The first step in getting your home ready to sell is to "de-personalize" it. There may be "personality" - but no person.
The reason you want to make your home "anonymous" is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home. When a potential home buyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about living in the house themselves.
Put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box. Rent a storage area for a few months and put the box in the storage unit. Do not just put the box in the attic, basement, garage or a closet. Part of preparing a house for sale is to remove "clutter," and that is the next step in preparing your house for sale.
Clean up the outside.
Curb appeal is the first impression of your house. Keeping the grass cut and the area tidy will help make a great first impression. Paint or wash the exterior of the house (including window casings, shutters, and doors). Wash the windows inside and out. Check the gutters and chimney.
Touch up the interior.
Put a fresh coat of paint in the most used areas of the home. This will clean as well as brighten up the rooms. Wash the walls where paint is not appropriate (i.e. wall paper, paneling). Wash all floors and bathroom tiles. Shampoo dirty carpets. Get rid of clutter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic. Use self storage if necessary. Replacing air filters will help keep the dust down.
Replace bathroom and kitchen fixtures that are worn or leaking.
People will notice a leaking or worn-out faucet. By replacing these items, you will give a new look to the room. Clean under the sinks. If there is any leaks fix them. Then clean up the damage using contact paper or paint.
Get rid of any bad smells in your home.
Pay attention to pet or cigarette odors. Place scented potpourri around the house. On the day you're expecting a potential buyer, pop a batch of frozen cinnamon rolls or home-made bread into the oven for a great aroma.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ROOM IN THE HOUSE - THE KITCHEN
The kitchen is a good place to start removing clutter, because it is an easy place to start.
First, get everything off the counters. Everything. Even the toaster. Put the toaster in a cabinet and take it out when you use it. Find place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have cabinet space to put everything. Clean them out. The dishes, pots and pans that rarely get used? Put them in a box and put that box in storage.
You see, homebuyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their "stuff." If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space. The best way to do that is to have as much "empty space" as possible.
For that reason, if you have a "junk drawer," get rid of the junk. If you have a rarely used crock pot, put it in storage. Do this with every cabinet and drawer. Create open space.
If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them - especially canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and you don't want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway - or paying a mover to do so. Let what you have on the shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can.
Beneath the sink is very critical, too. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub the area down as well, and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water leaks that may cause a homebuyer to hesitate in buying your home.
Disconnect Your Emotions
You need to think of your house as a marketable commodity. Property. Real estate. Your goal is to get others to see it as their potential home, not yours. If you do not consciously make this decision, you can inadvertently create a situation where it takes longer to sell your property.