De-clutter. If you want to stand out among the competition you have to create a lasting impression with buyers who tour your home. The house was too busy; the rooms were too small; I couldn’t even tell you what color the counter tops were. Those are all the wrong kind of lasting impression. Get rid of clutter – in bedrooms, in the kitchen, in the garage – everywhere. Getting rid of clutter doesn’t change the size of a room. What it does do is help make a room feel more spacious and inviting. Now is the perfect time to throw out, recycle, and sell (as in a garage sale).
Clean house. See above. The saying goes something like “A house is only a home when it’s lived in.” That’s great, and kind of touching. Here’s another one for home sellers: “A house for sale is only a sold home when it’s clean.” A dirty house gives the wrong impression, and can even keep potential buyers from seeing the true benefits and features of the home. What it says of the sellers is, I don’t really care about my house, and it invites buyers’ train of thought to take the next step, “If it’s this dirty what else could be wrong with it?” Clean, clean, clean.
Make the home as turnkey as possible. Think repair or replace. Patch holes in walls, paint, replace carpet. Trim back hedges and keep up on outdoor up keep. If you’re a first time home seller chances are your home is smaller, maybe less expensive, and will otherwise appeal to first time home buyers or older buyers who are downsizing. The last thing a growing family or an elderly couple want is a fixer upper. Anything that can be fixed should be fixed. Help buyers see just how easy it is to move right in and get on with their lives without having to adopt your incomplete repair projects.