Straight talk about getting your home ready to sell

Real Estate Agent with Greenridge Realty Oakmont

If you insist on keeping your home exactly the way it is, and don't care if it ever sells, do not read this.

Do you seriously want to sell your home?

Then you have to stop thinking about it as your home!

It can be very difficult to let go. I know. But you need to make this change within yourself... Not only letting go, but that you are now preparing the home for the new owners. This transition in your mind cannot wait, if you truly want to sell your home.

This jump can be very hard for some people. You literally have to let go of the "you" in the home environment, and make it into a buyer-friendly s-p-a-c-e if you want it to sell in today's market.

Above all, that is what sells a home: S-P-A-C-E!

The hard truth to face is that:

If your spacious home is filled up with your stuff, it is no longer spacious... no matter how big it is!

 What can you do?

(Note: these are not mere suggestions, this is your "TO DO list" if you want your home to sell.)

Number one:

Move the television out of the living room (unless it is a flat-screen which hangs on the wall). Put it in a bedroom or family room.

Number Two:

If you have family photos all over the place, especially a "gallery" of photos on the wall, take them down & pack them away. You will have to pack them when you move anyway. Do it now. Patch the holes & paint. Buyers do not care how cute your grandkids are. You want buyers to picture themselves in the space, not you & yours. This rule applies to overabundant political & religious objects as well. Ouch!

Number Three:

Do not have more than 5 decorative items in a room. Those vases, candles, baskets, figurines, shells, rocks, etc. have to go! If you are taking them to your new home, get them packed up. One or two plants in a room is sufficient. They take up s-p-a-c-e! Do not leave more than one book or magazine lying about. Buyers don't care that you know how to read - in fact, they may deeply despise your choice of reading material! Yikes!

Number Four:

Get rid of any open bookshelf units. Especially in a living room or dining room. Unless the bookshelves are attached to the wall, get them out of the house. (At the very least, move them to a bedroom or family room.) They are one of the biggest detractors in a room. Not only do they take up huge amounts of space, but your ratty-spined paperbacks just plain look terrible. In a huge way. Sock!

If you cannot remove the bookshelf unit, take everything off from it - I mean everything - all at once - ‘till it's empty! Then put only some of the best looking books (read: spines) back onto the shelves. Lay some on their sides as bookends to hold up the few others. Place 3 or 5 other matching or similar items in the empty spaces. Call it good! Your bookcase now seems to take up less space! Do not put anything on the top of the bookcase.

Number Five:

Get rid of extra stuff! Clean out your closets. You want buyers to see that there is plenty of storage space. No, don‘t have a sale! Get rid of it! Take it to Goodwill, or some other place that will make good use of it. Straighten the pantry. Get rid of that junk in the basement or garage. Pretend you are moving TODAY. Help! Go look in the garage & decide what you will take with you when you move. Get rid of the rest- now! Same with the basement. The attic too, if you have one. Buyers will want to see everything, including what the insides of your cupboards & under your sinks look like. Throw out those old cleaning products that you haven't used in five years. Buyers want to see a clean, dry space under the sinks.

In conclusion:

Start now. Don't wait. It will take a lot longer than you think. Hey, I told you in the beginning it was straight talk! And while you're at it, clean out anything else that needs it, if I neglected to mention here. Congratulation on making it this far! Maybe we can sell it after all!

Stay tuned to my blog for more buyer & seller straight talk!

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Lynn Afton

REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County
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