From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center/DivinelyOrganized
It’s Time To Sell Your Home-Tips To Get You Started
You have refreshed. You have remodeled. You have turned what used to be a house into a home filled with memories and love. Yet at this stage of life, your home just is not a good fit any longer. Whether you are downsizing because the kids are all grown up and gone on with their lives or your kids need more space to grow, you know it’s time to break camp and move on. If you are considering a major move and it’s time to sell your home, this post will give you tips to get you started without the stress of preparing to move.
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Preparing to move can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be if you prepare ahead of time. So, before you call the realtor, let’s get you in the proper mindset to pack up your life and move it to another location.
Step One – Declutter:
You have talked it over and you have mentally decided it’s time to make the move. Now what? Well, first of all, you need to do what I always advise you to do when making a change in your home, which is purge. I also suggest that a good rule of thumb is to give yourself six months to prepare for the move but if you need to move quicker, no less than three months for a smooth, stress-less, hassle-free, move.
- I suggest going room by room for this purge. Whether you are an empty nester or you have small children, I suggest you begin in the children’s room. This will be much easier if the children are small because then you are only purging toys and clothing they have recently outgrown.
- I need you to focus and to be ruthless. Do not keep items for sentimental reasons. If the child can no longer wear the coat grandma bought 2-years ago. Let it go! Bless someone else with it. But, do not carry it to the new space.
- If the old toys and clothes the kids have outgrown are still in great shape, either sell them or donate them. Again, do not keep them and carry clutter to your new home due to sentimentality.
- If you are purging for adult children, it may be more difficult because you are hanging, on to their childhood and that can be difficult to part with. But be strong and realize they have moved on and if there are trophies, collections, or awards, ask them if they want them, and if they don’t then although difficult to do, either find a way to condense and organize it or LET IT GO!
- After the kid’s rooms, move on to your room and be just as ruthless when purging. Remember you are moving to a new place and there is no need to take sand to the beach. You do not want to begin a new chapter with old stuff you no longer use or need.
- As with the kid’s stuff, if you think the clothes you haven’t worn in over a year are too good to toss, then sell or donate them, but get rid of them.
- This is also a great time to clean out old toiletries and makeup. Remember, prospective buyers, WILL open drawers, cabinets, and closets. When they do, you do not want to give the impression that your home does not have enough storage space by having every nook and cranny filled to capacity. Less stuff gives the illusion of more space. You are not just decluttering to make your move easier you are also decluttering to hopefully increase your bottom line when you are ready to sell. Remember that!
- Finally, take a look at your furniture. Only keep what will fit into your new lifestyle. For example, if the children are grown and gone, will you buy a new sofa? If so, think about selling the old couch before the move.
- We are saving the kitchen for last. There’s a reason for that.
Step Two – Make Your Home Relatable:
Every room except the kitchen has been decluttered and the “stuff” scaled back. Now it’s time to turn your precious home into a house that someone else will want to live in.
- If you are like me, you have all sorts of personal decorations and stuff lying around…right? Of course, you do because that’s what makes the house a home. Those things are what make the home personal to you. Well, unless you are a minimalist and in that case, you probably do not need this article, but stick around anyway.
- Unfortunately, the personalization of your home should be kept to a minimum. Which means now is a good time to remove excessive or personalized art. It’s a good time to box this stuff up and place it in a storage facility. This of this way, you are getting a head start on packing.
- Here is where you start your Moving Binder. This binder will become very important as the process continues.
- Number each box you pack up for storage.
- Write down each item placed in each box, which room it was in, and the box number. This will help you when it’s time to unpack and will also keep you from rebuying something you already have for the new home.
- Having the storage space will make moving so much easier because you can continue to pack up things and move them out little by little. And, if you hire a moving company, most will not mind picking these boxes up when it is time to move into your new home or if you prefer, you can move the boxes from the storage facility in at your leisure to avoid becoming overwhelmed with boxes when you first move. Personally, I would have the movers move them in to get rid of the extra bill for the storage facility and because you will know what is in each box, you should not be too overwhelmed on moving day.
Step Three – Make The Home Saleable:
Now that the excess is gone, you can focus on repairs in the home.
- Patch all holes in the walls.
- Repair things that are broken. That faucet that drips just a little. That toilet handle that needs a little jiggle. Fix these things
- A fresh coat of neutral paint will go along way in helping you sell your house. You may love that burgundy focal wall, but a prospective buyer may not. It is better to be safe than sorry and think of your bottom line.
- Anything that you are not selling with the home must be removed.
- Light fixtures you want to take with you, must be replaced before a buyer views the home. Replace them with a less expensive fixture. But please, please replace it.
- Your realtor will take care of advising whether or not appliances are included. They usually are and will also help the bottom line.
- If there are carpets in the home, now is the time to have them cleaned.
- If you have pets and have someone that will house them while your home is on the market that would be great! A lot of prospective buyers do not want to walk through your home and run into your oh so friendly but oh so big bulldog. Besides, some people have allergies to pets.
- Your home will appeal to more buyers if they do not have to encounter your litter box or pet crate.
Step Four – The Kitchen:
I saved the most difficult room for last. The kitchen in most homes is where the action happens. Therefore, I would not tackle the kitchen until almost everything else is done.
- Now it is time to purge cabinets, pantries, the fridge – yes prospective buyers WILL look inside your refrigerator and it must be clean. Otherwise, they will think you are leaving them with a dirty refrigerator and no one wants that.
- Toss all of the old pots that were purchased in 1987 and that cookie sheet that has seen better days. You can pick up a nice new one from Walmart or a dollar store and new will look nicer in the cabinets WHEN prospective buyers take a peek.
- Remove everything from cabinets and wipe out the bottoms. Clean is good. Clean increases the bottom line.
- Remove all clutter from the refrigerator door. You may think your child’s art is perfect on the fridge, but a prospective buyer will see clutter.
- Do not use the top of the refrigerator for storage. Remove everything and replace it with a pretty plant or something decorative. No clutter is allowed.
- Clean out each drawer. Toss, box up and/or take to storage, or donate all of the kitchen utensils you do not use on a daily basis. Drawers must be neat and orderly. Again, this will give the illusion of much more space.
- Make sure the stove and oven(s) are clean. Yes, a prospective buyer WILL look in your stove.
- Repair any drawers or cabinets that require it.
Step Five – Final Touches:
You have decluttered. You have repaired. You have removed fixtures that will not sell with the home. You have painted where necessary and de-personalized the home. What next?
- Now it’s time to bring out the big guns.
- Hire a cleaning service. Before they arrive, make a list in your moving journal of what you want them to do. Clean windows, blinds, and baseboards. Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures. This is not your normal cleaning. This is a deep clean. This is a make the house move-in ready clean for a new family.
- Make sure kitchen cabinets are free of grease and fingerprints. They should all be wiped down.
- Floors should be steam cleaned or at least mopped.
- Curtains that are remaining with the home should be washed or dry cleaned.
- Make sure all light fixtures have working light bulbs. Prospective buyers WILL flip your switches.
- While the cleaning service is making the inside spic and span, you or a landscape crew cam begin giving the outside of the home curb appeal. Remember, curb appeal is the first impression of your home. Make it count!
- Perhaps the mailbox needs a coat of fresh paint.
- Make sure the house numbers are visible and up-to-date.
- The steps/porch should be spruced up with a plant here and there for color and perhaps a new doormat.
- Trim bushes.
- Add new mulch.
- Sweep and even scrub the front porch and deck/patio area.
- If there is a deck, make sure all wood is in good condition and there are no missing or loose boards. If not, trust me, the inspector WILL notice during the inspection. Make sure everything is in order. Do not give prospective buyers ammunition to negotiate your price because of fixable issues. Remember your bottom line.
That is a good start for preparing to move. Make sure to keep your moving journal handy and jot down any ideas or repairs made. The journal will also serve as your checklist. Add a calendar to your journal to make scheduling all of these tasks. It will also come in handy for scheduling viewings once the house goes on the market. This will be good info for the realtor you choose as well. Give your realtor less fix-it things to do so they can focus on selling your home for the price you want.
Moving is a hassle, but we can make it easier if we plan. What do you think? When you move do you prepare or do you wait for your realtor to instruct you as to what you need to do? What do you think, should we discuss finding and trusting a realtor next? Let me know in the comments.
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