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Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Forward and SELL!!!

Spring is the time we push our clocks forward and we all lose that precious hour of sleep. It is also a time when some people get the urge to clean and purge their home. So here we are….it’s spring -- are you ready to clean?!! Not only will your house SPARKLE but it will prepare you to get your house ready to put on the market. Here are a few helpful tips to help you clean up and get ready for potential home buyers:
  1. Take a tour: Walk your home inside & outside as if you are thinking of buying it. Take notes in each room on things that need repair, repainted, or removed. You want to get your house back into the shape it was the day you moved in.  If it is difficult to see your house objectively, consider hiring a professional – most stagers will do a walk through “consultation” with you for a nominal fee.  This will help point out what you have learned to live with.

  1. Enjoy the outdoors: Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and get the landscaping and the outside of your home back in shape. It's the first thing any potential home buyer will see when they drive up, so make sure the following is done:
    1. A well manicured lawn is the first thing any potential buyer sees when they drive up. Colorful flowers in a bed of dark mulch, trimming your trees, as well as just sweeping off the front stoop. 
    2. Gutter, shutter & lighting repair.  Look at your shingles or get a professional roofer to come and give you a free inspection…better to address a leaky roof now than when you’re negotiating the offer.
    3. Don’t forget the back patio and any other outdoor areas that need refreshing.  Often a good sweep or power-wash will work wonders!
    4. Oh…and don’t forget to put out a fresh WELCOME mat.

  1. De-clutter: An inexpensive and effective start is to go through each room and remove excess piles of paperwork, toys, or anything that is taking up too much space.   You are selling real estate and the buyer has to see as much of it as possible so don’t clutter the corners!
    1. Clean your closets and store out of season clothing in the attic or off site.
    2. Do you have excess furniture that you just haven’t known what to do with?  Toys your children have outgrown?  Donate to your favorite charity or give to a friend…many will come and pick it up!
    3. Make sure there are natural and W I D E enough walkways through the house.  You are selling the space of the house, so make sure it feels like they are getting all of it!

  1. Depersonalize: Home-buyers should be able to “see themselves” living in the house.  It’s difficult to imagine that if there are an overwhelming number of heirlooms, collectibles or knick-knacks in each room. 
    1. Keep any collectibles or knick-knacks to a manageable amount of three. 
    2. If you must live with family photos, limit it to only those portraying “the good life” – action shots, vacations, award winning moments…and pack up the wedding & posed family portraits. 
    3. Any high value or irreplaceable items should be packed & stored so there is no worry of accidentally having it damaged during an Open House.

  1. Deep Clean: Every inch should sparkle. This means getting rid of those cobwebs, dust bunnies, and strong odors. The house should be in tip top shape so make sure the baseboards, drapes, light fixtures and other "somewhat neglected" parts of the house get the love they need.  Nobody wants to walk through a house and feel like they need to shower after they leave.

  1. Garage help: Finally, don’t neglect the garage.  Spend some more time outside enjoying the weather and organize it. It may not be a place that gets lived in but it is a major bonus spot and it should be open enough that home buyers can vision their own belongings in. 

Once you have mastered all of these tips I would say....... 

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