Thinking of Selling? Here are Some Tips on Preparing the Interior.

Small house in Australia

If your goal is to sell your home quickly and for a strong price, you will need to prepare both the interior and exterior of your home, before it is listed. Here are a few tips on preparing the interior.
1. De-clutter. You are moving, so why not get started packing?

Why de-clutter? Cluttered rooms hide their true size. In other words, de-cluttering will make every room appear to be larger, which is what you want. While each room’s size is fixed, making changes that enhance their perceived size is always a smart idea. Consider de-cluttering as a potential competitive advantage versus your competition! 

a. Remove all furniture that: 1) limits easy movement within a room; 2) isn’t absolutely needed; 3) is badly worn or damaged.

b. Pack up some of the books and photos on your shelves and/or bookcases. This action will again make the home more appealing and spacious. (If bookshelves are full… it may appear there’s inadequate shelving.)

c. Pack up some of your clothing, so your closets don’t look too full. A packed closet will appear to be smaller than it is. (If a closet is full…. A buyer might wonder if there’s enough closet space.) Organize your clothing so everything is neat and trim looking. Neatness is important, just like cleanliness.

d. Remove all of the knick-knacks and small appliances from your kitchen counter that aren’t used daily. You want to show off how much kitchen counter space your home offers. Consider packing some of the appliances, china, dish towels, cups, pots and cutlery, so potential buyers can see that you have adequate cabinet space. Alternatively, remove some of these items from the counter prior to each showing.

e. If you have a basement and/or an attic that’s packed with items you haven’t used in years, start thinking about which items you intend to take to your new home. If there are some items you no longer need, consider having a garage sale and/or donate them to your favorite charity. The fewer items in a room, basement or attic the easier it will be to make it clean or at least tidy. A home never has enough storage space, so show off what your’s has.

2. Clean. Every buyer wants to buy a well maintained and clean home.

Clean, clean and clean some more. Every room and appliance (e.g., stove, microwave, refrigerator, ceiling fans, etc.) needs to be spotless. Bathrooms must sparkle. If the carpeting is worn or soiled, have it professionally cleaned or replaced. An untidy home is an indication that the home hasn’t been well cared for and deferred maintenance items are likely present, if not visible. While not everyone is a fanatic about cleanliness, every buyer hopes to start with a clean and tidy new home.  Tip: clean the outside & inside of the windows too!! As with de-cluttering, a super clean home is a potential competitive advantage.

If you’re a smoker or have pets, clean the carpeting, draperies and furniture to remove as much of any lingering odors as possible. Tip: white vinegar absorbs odors, so give it a try.)

3. Paint colors & wallpaper. Unusual and/or dark colors aren’t recommended.

a. If your interior paint colors are anything darker than a light shade of gray, consider changing the colors to something more neutral. The same is true for colors such as bright red, lime green, orange, etc. The rooms will look larger when a dark color is removed. The removal of super bright and/or unusual colors will make each buyer’s visit more memorable in a good way. A child’s room might be the only exception. Young ladies like pink, but recognize the buyer may have a boy. Don’t risk losing a buyer over an undesirable paint color. Remember our goal is a quick sale!!

b. Remove the wallpaper. Nobody likes it and certainly nobody wants to tackle the task of removing it. This will take some effort, but will be worth the trouble, since otherwise you’ll be limiting the size of your potential pool of buyers. Remember our goal is a quick sale!!

c. Valuables must be removed from the home or placed in a home safe.

d. De-personalize your home!! Most every buyer is curious about the current owner. Don’t tempt them to study your photos, instead of the features of your beautiful, sparkling home. Remember, you invested time, effort and money to prepare your home. Now make sure they see it!

e. Let in the sunlight: Open the curtains, shutters, drapes or blinds. Why? Sunshine is cheery, while darkness may be depressing and also reduces the perceived size of the room.

f. If the house is vacant: Consider staging the home with a limited amount of furniture and decor. Some furniture is better than none. An empty home with carpeting will highlight any worn areas of the carpet.

g. Basements: Even if the basement is unfinished or only a cellar with a dirt floor, make sure it’s tidy and as clean as possible!! Keep the cleanliness and tidiness theme alive in every room even in unfinished sections of the home. Buyers will venture into cellars, since that’s probably where the furnace is located.

Please feel free to add your comments. You probably have some additional ideas to share. 🙂

Call, text or email me with any questions, or if you need a Realtor to sell your home and/or find your next one! 502.807.4999

Photo: Flickr creative commons by Threthny.

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