While logical factors such as price and location narrow the pool of houses a potential buyer will look at the ultimate decision to buy a particular house is fuelled by a mixture of logic and emotion. Emotion often wins out. The same might be said for the process of selling a home. When REALTORS® talk to you about buying real estate, they will refer to your purchase as a “home.” When discussing the sale of your current home, however, most REALTORS® will refer to it as the “house.” This is a conscious choice. We know that buying a house is often an emotional decision, while, when selling a house, emotion should be separated from the process.
Buyers are searching for a “home” - a place in which they will feel comfortable, secure, happy and a place in which they can imagine settling down.
As a seller, your goal is to cultivate these feelings through the property you are selling.
- Look at your house as a marketable commodity.
- A buyer’s emotional response is triggered early. Curb appeal and first impressions formulate opinions.
- You want to ensure you have done everything you can to encourage a positive response to your house from the outset.
- Within minutes - even seconds - of pulling into your driveway, buyers have formed an impression that they will carry with them through the rest of the showing, and beyond.
- This impression will influence whether or not they make an offer.
- This impression will also determine what they consider to be the value of the property.
If you’ve ever visited model homes, you’re familiar with effective presentation styles.
- Have you ever walked into one of these homes and immediately begun taking stock, planning how to get your home to look that good?
- Now is the time to take some of these steps.
- There are ways to achieve the same effect in your own home without incurring model home costs.
- When homes create an immediate type of emotional appeal, they tend to sell quickly - and for more money.
Use the following step-by-step guide to get your house into selling shape before you put the property on the market and you’ll be well on your way to a successful sale!
The first step when you begin preparing your house to sell. You want buyers to recognize it as a property they could make into their unique home. When a homebuyer walks into a room and sees personalizing touches - such as photos on the walls or trophy collections - their ability to picture their own lives in this room is jarred, impairing a positive emotional response.
Remove all the family photos, the trophies, collectible items, and souvenirs. Pack them all together for when it comes time to personalize your new home. Pack these items up ready for your move or even rent a storage space and keep these items there. Do not simply transfer these items to another place in your house. Do not hoard them away in a closet, basement, attic or garage, as the next step in preparing your home is to minimize clutter.
Remove all clutter
Purge your house of the excess items that have accumulated over the years. This is the hardest part for many people as they have an emotional investment in many of these things. You may not recognize that your house is cluttered so if you need to, bring in an objective friend or ask our TEAM to help point out areas that could stand to be cleared.
Stand back yourself and see your house as a buyer might. Survey shelves, countertops, drawers, closets and the basement to determine what needs to go.
Use a system to help you decide:
- Get rid of items you haven’t used in the past five years.
- Sort through and pack up everything that you haven’t used in the past year.
- With each box you eliminate, your storage space - and the room in general - begins to look larger.
We’ve broken down the process into specific areas of your house to help you concentrate your efforts:
The kitchen is an ideal place to begin, as it’s easy to spot and eliminate the type of clutter that tends to accumulate here. Homebuyers will open your drawers and cabinets as they will want to check to see how well they open and close and if there will be enough room for their own belongings. If the drawers appear cluttered and crowded, this will give them the impression there is not enough space.
- Remove everything from the counters, even the toaster (it can be stored in a cabinet and brought out when needed)
- Clean out all the cabinets and drawers.
- Put aside all of the dishes, pots and pans that you rarely use, then box them and put them in the storage unit you have rented (again, not in the basement or a closet).
- Begin to use up existing food - let what you have on your shelves dictate your menus from now on.
- Get rid of the food items in the pantry that you don’t use. Excess items can be dontated to your local food bank.
- Even clean out the "junk drawer”.
- Remove all extra cleaning supplies from the shelves beneath the sink. Make sure this area is as empty as possible. You should thoroughly clean this spot as well and check for any water stains that might indicate leaking pipes. Buyers will look in most cabinets and will notice any telltale signs of damage.
- Go through all clothes and shoes. If you don’t wear something anymore, get rid of it.
- Again, if you have not worn it in the past 5 years, if it no longer fits, if it has been sitting waiting for repairs for more than 1 year, pack it up and donate it to your local thrift type store.
- Go through all other personal items in the closet. Be ruthless. Weed out everything you do not absolutely need.
- Remove any unsightly boxes from the back of the closet. Put them in storage if need be.
- Get everything off the floor.
- Closets should look as though they have enough room to hold additional items.
- Pack away your seasonal articles to make more room.
- Storage space and roomy closets are always a added feature. Do everything you can to make yours look as roomy and orderly as possible.
- Buyers are not there to see what you own they are interested in how much room there is for their belongings.
Tour a few model homes in order to see how design teams create a spacious yet comfortable atmosphere. Note how furniture can be arranged to cultivate a certain feeling.
- Armed with some ideas, stand back and look at each of your rooms.
- What will you need to remove? Remember, most homes contain too much furniture for showings.
- Furniture that is in need or repair and those items that you’ve grown comfortable with may not show your home to its best advantage.
- Each room should offer a sense of spaciousness. That may mean that some furniture needs to be placed in storage. While it may not be quite as comfortable to you in the short term, less clutter and more spaciosness helps to ensure a quicker sale.
Storage Areas, Basements, garages, attics and sheds are the “junkyard” areas of any given home
- Determine which of these items and boxes you actually need.
- Arrange simple clutter into a certain order.
- Dispose of the junk and send to the dump once and for all
- Be sure that your belongings are serving a purpose and not just taking up space.
- Decisions to get rid of things made before your move, make moving and settling into your new home easier and much more enjoyable.
- Hold a Garage Sale. You’ve heard the saying, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” Let these items go to a better home.
- Transfer some items to the rental storage unit. You’ll want to clear the storage areas in your house as much as possible, in order for them to appear spacious to potential home-buyers.
- Buyers want the reassurance that their own excess belongings will find places for storage in their new home. The more storage, the more spacious and the least amount of clutter equals the best impression.