Seeing it through a Buyer’s Perspective
One of the biggest challenges in getting your home ready for sale is trying to see it through a Buyer’s eyes. We all get used to our surroundings and have made our homes work for the way we live. However, if you’re trying to sell your house, you don’t want to tell the world how you live – you want to show them how they can live in your space. So before that For Sale sign gets put onto your lawn, consider doing the following:
Stage every room for its natural purpose. For example, if you never eat at your kitchen table, make sure to put a table there when you list your home for sale. You want potential Buyers to picture themselves eating brunch or feeding their kids breakfast at that table. If you’ve converted the second bedroom into a den, or the den into a yoga room, make the effort to convert those rooms to the way that most people will use them. Asking Buyers to use their imaginations rarely works.
Have a trusted friend walk through your house and pretend they’re a Buyer. Nothing is more reliable than a friend walking through your home and pointing out all the weird things you have in your home that you’ve grown accustomed to.
Clean the places you don’t normally clean. You probably haven’t cleaned your baseboards in a long time and you probably haven’t removed the dead bugs in your light fixtures since last year. Very few of us live in pristine conditions and it’s incredibly easy to overlook the dirt you see every day. Consider bringing in professional cleaners before listing your home.
Get rid of smells. This especially applies to you if you have pets. It’s very easy to grow immune to the smells in your home. To you, it just smells like your home. To a Buyer, it might smell strange. Or even worse, bad. Take the time to Febreeze your couch, wash the curtains, get the carpets cleaned, send the dogs to the spa, change out that kitty litter, and commit to not cooking particularly odorous foods for the duration of time that your home is listed for sale.
Get rid of personal photos and mementos. True, these are the things that make your home feel like, well, home! But that’s exactly why you need to get rid of them. Pack away your wedding photos, your vacation souvenirs, your shot glass collection – they’ll soon have a new home anyway. Let potential Buyers see their own things in your home versus getting distracted by yours.
On that note, while you’re packing things away, you should also put away any jewelry and valuables you may have lying around. We’re not saying not to trust people, but it’s best to take away any temptation.
Remember the importance of lighting. While you may have gotten used to the fact that the under-mount lighting in your kitchen has been busted for the last year and that your bedroom is dark, the truth is that everything looks better with proper lighting. Change out old burnt lightbulbs and upgrade the wattage of existing lamps for maximum impact to emphasize your clean, beautiful home.
Intimidated? Don’t be! Remember that good real estate agents see hundreds of homes every year and have learned to see homes through a Buyer’s eyes. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent for specific guidance on how to prepare your home for sale.