You're ready to sell your home and start a new chapter in your life! It's exciting, but it can also be stressful and emotional. Here's how to get started.
Take a step back
Try to look at your home without your normal sentimental lens. The place where you marked your children's height against the wall suddenly become something that needs to get painted and the clutter in your den goes from cozy to messy. If it's not something you think you can do, ask a friend or hire a professional home stager or real estate agent to tell you what needs to be done.
If you're like most of us, you probably have a lot of stuff in your home that's just collecting dust. Getting your house ready to sell is the perfect time to declutter and there are lots of ways to do it. If you haven't been living under a rock in 2016, you've probably heard of the KonMari Method where you touch each object to see if it sparks joy and use that emotion to dictate what stays and what goes. If that's not your style, you can do a whirlwind purge of each room, ruthlessly throwing out anything that you no longer need. Or you can make neat piles of keep, sell, donate. It doesn't matter what method you use for decluttering your house, as long as you declutter it. It's a crucial step recommended by all the home staging experts. Plus, you have the added benefit of fewer things to move once the time comes. If you truly can't get rid of anything, we still recommend decluttering. Just rent a storage unit to hold some of your off-season clothes, knick knacks, and unused holiday decorations so that your closets seem less full (and bigger) and your potential buyers aren't overwhelmed by everything you have in your home.
When you live in a home, things like crumbs on the counter or grime on the windows are your own business. But no one wants to move into a house that has someone else's mess in it. so, when you're getting ready to sell that means cleaning all the obvious places and all the places you haven't cleaned in awhile. We recommend hiring a professional cleaner at first. A professional is likely to get your home a lot cleaner than you would get it–and they'll do it a lot quicker. Be sure to ask if they'll deep clean the bathroom and kitchen because these are the areas that potential buyers will pay the most attention to.
Fix all the broken things
Over the years things break. Draw pulls fall off, the HVAC system doesn't get serviced, and the windows collect a fine layer of pollen. Now's the time to take a survey of everything that's broken or hasn't been maintained in your home and to take care of it. The person buying your house understands that it's not brand new, but they're going to expect most things to work like new. Unfortunately, this is one of those tasks that really stands out if you don't do it, but goes relatively unnoticed when you do. Not sure where to get started? Check out our first-time buyers guide to home maintenance for the tools and tips you'll need to get started.
Once your house is clean and in working order, it's time to stage it. This is another job you can hire a professional to do, or you can get some expert home staging tips and try to do it yourself. The key here is to make the home look inviting and personal, but not too funky. And you'll need to do it without breaking the bank.
Enlist the neighbors
You know the woman three doors down who always wins Yard of the Month? Her rose bushes are to die for and her landscaping is always spot on and changes with the season. Let her know that you're planning on moving and want to spruce up the front of your house. Ask her if she has any recommendations for the types of plants you should buy or other things you can do to increase your curb appeal. And if you have a question trying asking your neighbors through the HOA Facebook page or your NextDoor app. Your neighbors have a vested interested in you selling your house at or above market value to keep their own property value up. and to someone who cares about a well-kept home.
Sure, it takes a little elbow grease and a lot of planning, but if you're willing to do the work your home will be ready to sell in no time!