By Martha Smith, Certified Self Storage Manager
Regardless of the reason, whether it be financial, up-sizing, downsizing or maybe a job transfer out of state; the task of selling your home is very stressful. However, there are a lot of things you can do to make your home more attractive to potential buyers and take away some of that stress!
Let’s face it, we all want to get as close to our asking price as possible, or more if we are lucky enough to have a bidding war between buyers. That takes some prep work and planning to achieve. Be sure to talk with your realtor and get started early. Most of the time your realtor will recommend some tips to better stage your home, such as cleaning and decluttering.
Let’s get started. It’s best to pack up and remove personal items such as family photos, heirlooms and knickknacks. Box up the kid’s toys. Empty the closets and clear off the counter tops. Put your mail away inside a drawer. Organize your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Literally clean out and only keep the necessary items you need daily and weekly in your home. You want the potential buyers to have the ability to imagine themselves in your home, and they cannot do when it’s full of stuff.
So, what do you do with everything you packed up and are not ready to get rid of, but you can’t keep it in the house while you are trying to sell? You should consider renting a storage unit for all the excess and boxed up items, and the large furniture you can live without for a few months. You won’t believe how much larger your home will appear when it’s decluttered. If you need supplies for all the packing, you can purchase high-quality boxes of varying sizes and types, tape and much more in our retail stores located inside our rental offices. Our boxes are durable, heavy duty and will stand up over long periods of time while in storage.
Buyers will also be looking for cleanliness. You should do a thorough cleaning to make your home look and smell good. Wash the inside and outside of your windows. Bleach dingy grout, you won’t believe what a difference it makes. Make sure the refrigerator and stove are clean inside and out. Wax your hardwood floors and dust and polish the furniture. You can also rearrange your furniture to make the rooms look cozy and welcoming. For example, arrange coffee tables with sofas or love-seats in a conversational group setting. And remember, less is more! Be sure to move all that furniture you don’t absolutely need into your storage unit. It will make the rooms appear much larger and more open. Clean the toilets, tubs and showers. Clean all the sinks. Vacuum all the carpets. Empty all the trash cans.
If you are able, make arrangements to have your pets stay with friends or family during each showing and open house. Be sure to remove your pet’s dishes, crates, leashes and toys during those times as well. We all know that Charlie just loves Fluffykins, but no one else really needs to see that dingy old teddy bear that is missing an eye, half the leg is chewed off and covered in years of slobber. Plus, removing your dog or cat (or snake) will prevent them from escaping through an open door, or from being a nuisance while strangers are in your home. The last thing you want is for your pet to bite someone out of fear!
Next, take look around inside and check for any maintenance and repairs that need to be done, and even just some “chores” to get your home in top form:
- Replace any burnt out light bulbs. You can replace them with higher wattage bulbs or LEDs. It will give your home a warm, comfortable feeling.
- Check your flooring. Making sure there are no cracked or broken tiles in the kitchen or bathroom. Repair or replace any hardwood floor planks that are scratched. Vacuum the carpet and stairs.
- Maybe change the front panel to your dishwasher. It’s an inexpensive fix and can make it look like new. Empty the dishwasher or at least run it so the dishes inside are clean.
- Patch any holes in the walls that are visible.
- A fresh coat of paint throughout can make a world of difference, especially if it’s been years since you painted last. Be sure to use a light neutral color, nothing too bold.
- Clean the curtains, blinds and shades. Then open all of them up to let in the natural light.
You should also look around outside. Are their cracks in the sidewalks or walkways? Check the fence for loose or broken slats. Give the shutters a fresh coat of paint. Is the lawn cut and manicured? Make sure all bushes and shrubs are trimmed and clear flower beds of weeds. Make sure your property is trash and debris free. Treat it like your very particular in-laws are coming for a visit! Make it as clean and pristine as you can.
Use these handy tips and you may be surprised how fast you will sell your home for your asking price! And remember, use your storage unit to move all the extra items out of the home and make it more appealing and inviting. If you have any questions about using your storage unit to stage your home for sale, please contact us or reach out to any of our knowledgeable property managers. And, if you are ready to start cleaning out today, you can rent a storage unit online 24/7 and get your home listed!