The time has come. The decisions have been made. You're selling your house. Before you go, there are a few things for you, the homeowner, to take into consideration. Here are steps one through five of things to do to sell your home as quickly as possible and for top dollar.
1. Detach emotionally. It's the first, sometimes trickiest, and most important step. It is difficult to remove the rooms from the memories, the times together from the space where they occurred. Take your time. Say goodbye, reminisce with your loved ones, and shed those tears. This house will belong to someone else, and rooms should be seen from an outsider's point of view.
2. The way you live in your house is not the way you should sell your house. The next step, after emotionally uncoupling from your home, is to realize that not everyone will appreciate your sense of style or taste in decor. Take down personal hangings, sports memorabilia, family photos, and souvenirs from trips. If you have a pet, remove all signs of it. Your potential buyer may not appreciate the idea of animals in the home. If it's the beginning of the year, don't leave your Christmas decorations up in January. Do you have a collection you're proud of? Put it in a box for its next destination. You are invoking a clean, open palette to those who view your house.
3. Paint your rooms neutral colors. Bright colors should be toned down. An off-white or light grey will do. But be careful of lighting some grey/whites just don't work. (We can help you pick the right colors!) Accent walls must go. Match your accent wall to the other walls in the room, if they fit the bill. Not everyone loves the idea of taking on a painting project. If you can't hire out, do consider making the effort. A neutral palette is universally appealing.
4. Declutter. Along with removing personal items and emptying junk drawers, closets shouldn't be full. Your buyer will want to see all the nooks and crannies of the house. Leave closet floors empty and empty the closet so it can more easily be viewed. If some items must stay, half full is the recommended maximum.
5. Curb appeal. Before your buyer comes inside the home, he or she will view it from the street. Mow the lawn. Trim the hedges. Sweep the stoop and lay out a new welcome mat. If there are jarring repairs to be made to any external aspects of the house, now is the time to complete those projects. The buyer should have a positive impression before stepping inside.
Stay tune for part 2 next week!