This is the beginning of a series of blogs on tips for sellers. This may be especially appropriate for FSBO (For Sale by Owners). Remember that your home is not a home to buyers. You must distant yourself from your home emotionally as much as possible. Do everything possible to make your home look, smell and feel like a house, not a home. Here are some suggestions on how to do that.
•1) If you have a pet do everything possible to get all of the pet evidence out of the house. You may not even smell the odors but the buyers but you can be sure the buyers will. Even if you do get rid of all the odors there are still a large number of people with allergies, especially to cats. Do you want to risk a potential buyer loving your home only to go home and have a sneezing attack?
Have the carpet and furniture cleaned professionally and then find a way to limit the pets presence. Can the pet stay with a neighbor while showing the house? Can you find a place in the house for the pet to stay during a showing? Kathy and I found that our dog Abby quickly adjusted to spending the night in one of those pet carriers for airplanes. We also put Abby in the garage when we had a showing scheduled.
Your best chance at selling your home will be if you can get the pets out of the house altogether and then do your cleaning. I love animals. I know it can be expensive to put your animal in the care of a kennel and emotionally straining for your pet and for you. Only you the seller can decide how serious you are about selling your home.
•2) Put all of the family pictures, knickknacks, plates, wall hangings and anything else that gives your place a homey feeling into storage. Box them up and store them someplace hidden or at least in the garage. Even if you have the most beautiful children on earth (which of course you do) clear your walls. The potential buyers need to see themselves in your home. Your beautiful children could even be a distraction. You want the buyers to love your house not your children. If you have some generic tasteful art that helps break up a large space you may want to keep it up. Be careful! Unless you have a knack for home decorating a large picture you like may be the bane of the buyer.
•3) Paint the interior of your house. Even if you don't think it needs the paint. Fresh paint will cover a multitude of smells. After painting you must insist all smokers now go outside to smoke. If you have a smoker in the house you may not even be aware of the smell. If a non smoker looks at your house they will immediately be repulsed. They will smell smoke even on your clothing. An attempt to hide smoke with cologne or perfume will only make the buyer more wary.
•4) Don't listen to your friends and family when it comes to selling your house. When Kathy and I were ready to sell our house we had very good friends tell us how much our it was worth. These dear friends are very loyal and they watched our children grow up in that "home." They were emotionally attached to our house as well. This is in my opinion probably the biggest hurdle to overcome. Especially for the people trying to sell their own home. If you take the advice of others who are emotionally attached to your house you will price it as a home instead of a house. If you are serious about selling your house you need to distance yourself and family from your home as soon as possible and think of it as a house.
This is a very difficult task but will help your house sell much quicker for more money.