What first impression do buyers get from your home?
Once you've found a real estate agent to partner with and priced your home right, you're ready for the 3- S's : Score, Store & Stage.
Score... some extra cash by having a garage sale.
A clutter-free home is an impressive home. Now is the time to clean up and clear out. It'll benefit you now with a quicker sale and you'll have to move less stuff: win, win. If your WNY house boast lots of storage buyers need to be able to see it. Don't make them use their imagination to get a feel for how large and spacious an area is, show them. Take an hour each day and go through the house dropping unwanted/un-needed items into a garage sale box. Do you still have unpacked boxes from when you moved into your current home? Those need to go to the garage sale ASAP.
If organizing and holding a garage sale isn't your thing, consider donating your items. Make an itemized list of what you've donated and get a receipt. Now you're clutter free, feel good and have a tax deduction.
Store... de-personalize and free up some space in your house.
You need to make your home a house. Potential buyers need to be able to imagine their things in the house as they tour it. Your face glaring down from family photos or your favorite collection strewn out over a tabletop may make it hard for them. Remove as many personal items as possible: photos, collections, children's artwork, etc.
Does your house have small rooms and large furniture? You may need to store some of that too. Large furniture in a small room doesn't make for easy viewing or maneuvering. Or your large furniture might make the room look small. Try paring down: remove a chair, end table, store your large couch.
Now I know you may need to live in your home while you're selling it but you won't need all of your clothes. Store off-season clothes off site: family members house, storage unit, etc.
Stage... out of the pages of your favorite magazine.
A staged home sells faster. What is a staged home? Think of all those picturesque homes you see in magazines. A home stager can work with you to help you get them most out of the sale of your home. Scoring some cash and storing your personal items are the first steps to staging your home. A professional stager can help you do the above steps and arrange your home to make it pleasing to the eye of a buyer.
Don't forget the outside of your home. Curb appeal is everything. If the potential buyer hasn't found your home online yet, they probably have passed by. Does the outside of your home make them want to come in? Siding is clean or neatly painted. Windows are clean and shutters secure. Roof is intact and gutters are clean. Yard is well-kept. People will judge a book by its cover...
One thing to remember when working with a home stager and your Realtor: we are here to help. Our suggestions are not meant to hurt and we're not making fun of the way your home looks. We work with buyers and know what they want. Imagine a buyers surprise when they walk in your house and it's exactly what they wanted/needed. Take a few weekends, spruce up the place. You will be happy you did.