Below are some buying tips that you may find helpful:
DISASSOCIATE YOURSELF WITH YOUR HOME
- Say to yourself: “This is not my home; it is a house – a product to be sold much like an item on a grocery store shelf.
- Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
- Look toward the future and embrace the change you are about to experience.
Back up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there! You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.
- If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
- Pack up knickknacks.
- Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
- Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
- Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
REARRANGE BEDROOM CLOSETS AND KITCHEN CABINETS
Buyers look practically everywhere and will open every closet and every cabinet door. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well.
RENT A STORAGE UNIT
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”
REMOVE/REPLACE FAVORITE ITEMS
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
MAKE MINOR REPAIRS
- Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
- Patch holes in walls.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
- Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
- Replace burned-out light bulbs.
- If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
MAKE THE HOUSE SPARKLE!
- Wash windows inside and out.
- Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
- Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
- Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
- Clean out the refrigerator.
- Vacuum daily.
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
- Bleach dingy grout.
- Replace worn rugs.
- Hang up fresh towels.
- Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
- Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
- Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
CHECK CURB APPEAL
If a buyer won’t get out of her agent’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get her inside.
- Keep the sidewalks cleared.
- Mow the lawn.
- Paint faded window trim.
- Plant flowers or group flower pots together.
- Trim your bushes.
Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.