One of my favorite tools for helping home owners to "see" what a buyer experiences when their property is being viewed is the screen on my digital camera. It never lies. Somehow that camera is able to pick up not only what the room looks like and what's in it, but what's not and often times how it feels. Most times my clients are surprised when they "see" through the eyes of that lens and believe it or not, it empowers them, because they're not guessing anymore. I love that A-HA moment. The real team work frequently begins at that point.
Get out your digital camera and snap a few photos from different angles. Upload them on to your computer so you can experience the difference you've made in your own property when all is said and done. Remember, you have power, you are observing and discerning, using discrimination.
You knew this was coming, right?
If you've not already started, today would be as good a day as any to begin cleaning and de-cluttering that space you evaluated.
You'll want to start separating those items you'll be discarding, donating, storing and placing aside. I usually place larger (larger meaning, larger than a soup bowl) décor items in a box to be used judiciously throughout the home after this process is complete. Clean everything including upper door jams and especially those décor items you might be using later to merchandise your space. Did you know that dust produces odors? It's true!
I don't house clean for my clients, but have four consistent recommendations for cleaning and I've been making them for years.
- If you will be cleaning yourself, try diluted vinegar. Buy it in a jug, because it will save you money. I learned this growing up and even remember Heloise writing about it (am I aging myself?). Here's a link from the City of Richland, Washington for those Naysayer's.
- Magic Eraser®. This little gem is a true money saver. Test in an inconspicuous area if you'll be using it on painted walls first.
- Hire a cleaning company if you are not committed to cleaning top to bottom inside and out. The one time expense of hiring a company to come in with a crew and clean your home for 6-8 hours may very well be worth the expense. Be very clear that you are selling your home and you want everything cleaned, including inside window frames - most house cleaners I speak with will not clean windows. **De-cluttering must be done before they arrive for best benefit!!
- One of the most important recommendations I make - hire a window washing company or wash your windows inside and out. There is just no room for negotiation on this one. We know buyers respond to clean and bright windows.
Of course after all that is done you'll need to keep up with the cleaning and we might as well have fun with it, right?
We fill squirt bottles with water in my home....and hide them to surprise our unsuspecting victims. What will you do to have fun in the cleaning and de-cluttering process?
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