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Home Care & Ownership Tips
Cleaning, Staging and Prepping: How to Get Your House Ready to Sell

You may be anxious to move into a new home or you are set to take on a new job in a different city. Either way, you want to sell your home and do it quick. While your Realtor is there to help you in terms of the marketing and negotiating, you also can do a lot to get your home ready to sell.

You may have already read our article on the maintenance and home improvement projects that are guaranteed to attract buyers and increase the value of your asking price when you are ready to sell. This article will cover some of the other physical, mental, and emotional strategies involved in making your home look more desirable than all the other ones on the market and, most importantly, irresistible to potential buyers.

Emotional Preparation

Although it may not seem that difficult, you will need to emotionally detach yourself from the house in order to make it ready to sell. Even though you may be excited about a new house, you will be surprised by the emotions that will come up due to the fact that you made memories in the house that you are selling. However, once you can remove that connection, you will be able to do a better job at getting the house ready for a new owner.

When it comes time to have people walk through your home, do not get emotional if anyone is to be critical or judgmental about your property. Do not take it personal and do not appear desperate. Instead, look at the situation purely as a business transaction. Many times, people will do this in hopes that their negative comments will get you to come down on the price as they think you are emotionally eager to sell the home for another one. This will help you remain level-headed as you sharpen your negotiation skills to get what you want in terms of a sales price.

Mental Tasks

Mentally, you may feel overwhelmed by the long list of tasks that you must accomplish to make the house look just right. However, making lists and delegating the work can create a great family project while, at the same time, getting everything ready to market your home the right way.

Physical Projects

Once you have the emotional and mental “stuff” sorted out, then the real work begins. Here are some of the things that you will need to do in order to get your house ready to sell:

  • Put away all personal photographs and family effects to make it feel as though the potential buyers are walking into a model home. You want to make it easy for them to imagine living there.
  • Get rid of the clutter because it takes away from the actual size of the rooms. You do not want to fill up the closets either! This means packing books, knickknacks, and other “junk” that is collecting dust. Also, keep all counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms as clean as possible.
  • Remove the mess from the kitchen cabinets and pantry as well as from bedroom and storage closets. Neatly stack and arrange items in closets and cabinets. If any of these are already crammed, take out and pack up as many items as possible to make the storage areas seem bigger and more accommodating.
  • Take out the items that are attached to walls that you want you to keep or the potential buyer may assume that those items are included and get attached. This can cause an emotional meltdown on the part of both parties and it can even kill a deal.
  • Ensure that all cosmetic issues are repaired and that the house is beautified from top to bottom with an intensive clean of all exterior and interior areas. This means patching cracks, fixing anything that squeaks or groans, replacing light bulbs, and freshening up the paint.

Lastly, do your own walk through as if you were visiting the house for the first time and try to look at everything as if you were buying the house. Go back in your memory to the point where you walked through homes and track what you liked and disliked. This will help you take a more practical approach to how you prepare your home for sale.

Your Home is a Stage

As previously suggested, de-personalizing your home is ideal for when it comes time to sell. Going a step further, today’s real estate gurus will tell you that staging is the way to go. You can choose to hire a professional staging crew as you might have seen on shows on HGTV or you can learn from their example and do it yourself.

  • Remove most of your own furniture and get a storage unit for your personal items and extra clutter.
  • Rent some simple furniture and adapt the décor to something you might have seen in a model home. Many tricks are used in terms of placing the furniture to alter the feel and size of various rooms.
  • Make everything neutral and straightforward in terms of décor to keep buyers attached. Brightly painted walls and strange artwork may deter an interested buyer.
  • The front and back yards may also become part of the staging process with patio furniture and fresh flower beds or other greenery to make the property more inviting.
  • If you have pets, you may want to consider having them stay with a friend or family member to minimize the pest problems, fur, and allergy issues.

While it seems as though the staging process makes it appear as if no one lives there, that, in fact, is the idea to put across as buyers do not want to associate that the house is someone else’s place. They want to feel like it could be their own home.

Put it in Writing

Ownersite Technologies can help you create a maintenance record and a detailed report that covers every aspect of your home – inside and out – which can become an integral component of your home sales strategy. Information can include maintenance, repairs, upgrades, remodels, appliances, materials, dates, costs, contractor information, and warranties.

Having all this information in one place becomes a key selling point in a competitive market because it shows potential buyers that you have taken the time to build a comprehensive history of maintenance about your home. Otherwise, buyers are always wondering if the owner told the truth in terms of work that had been done on the property. Here, there is the confidence and reassurance visible in the electronic files of receipts, photographs, and other data. Combined with your other strategies and the marketing efforts of your Realtor, your partnership with Ownersite’s Home Ownersite Web portal will be hard to beat in the real estate game.

Ownersite Technologies is happy to offer a free 30-day trial of Home Ownersite, the comprehensive, web-based tool that simplifies home inventories and recordkeeping. With plans starting at only $29.95 per year, Home Ownersite is the perfect tool to manage the complete ownership lifecycle for your home and valuables. To start your free, no-obligation trial or to review the different plans available, please click here.


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