You have decided to sell your house and have decided on a Realtor. Now you can just sit back and let the offers roll in, right? No, now you have to get to work. Once your house is on the market, it is no longer “your home”, it is a “product”.
You are moving anyway. Why not pack up all the unnecessary items after you have done a complete purge. This will help you neutralize your home and make it more desirable. I think my house is lovely, just the way it is, you say. Well, you aren’t selling your decorating expertise now are you. Here are a few suggestions to help you out.
- Family photos - you love your family, but they don’t come with the house. Pack them up.
- Kids toys - This will be hard, but they need to be as invisible as possible.
- Hunters – No trophies on the walls. They could scare or offend a buyer or their child.
- Gun owners – Lock them up and get them out of sight.
- Plants – Less is more. If you aren’t taking them with you get rid of them now.
- Kitchen appliances – Countertops should be as clear as possible. A coffeepot and maybe one other item depending on the length of the counters.
- Fingerprints – Grab a box of Magic Eraser from Mr. Clean. Go through the whole house. Clean trim, baseboards, walls and around door handles. You will be surprised how much dirt and grime you will find in areas you thought were clean.
- Refrigerators, Stoves, Ovens and Microwaves – Clean them. In the last 6 months, I have had 2 different women open the oven door and refuse to see the rest of the house because the oven was dirty.
- Rooms – if you have an office in your dining room or a playroom in your living room, change them back to their designated purpose.
- Decorations – Keep them to a minimum. If you are keeping drapes, take them down and replace with something neutral if needed. If you are keeping the dining room chandelier, replace it before you put the house on the market. If it is attached, it comes with the house and if they see it they will want it.
- TV wall mounts – this is tricky. Some people may like that they are already installed, but most won’t. If you take it down, be sure to patch any holes and paint as necessary.
- Jewelry and prescription drugs – This has become a big problem at Open Houses, especially the drugs. Please take these things out of the house, especially when you know there is going to be a showing.
- Small children - Things that don’t attract adults will attract children, such as musical instruments or electronics. Pack them up or secure them.
- Pets - take them with you for showings. If that’s not possible, at least, crate them.
The main thing to remember is you are opening your home to the general public. An agent will be with anyone who has made an appointment, but if more than one buyers are at the showing, one can distract the agent while the other gets to another room by themselves. Open houses are worse. Without an appointment, any number of people can come in all at one time.
Now that you are worried about putting your house on the market, Relax. Thousands of people sell their homes. They just take precautions. Good Luck!