Real Estate Brokers will tell you that if you want to sell your house there are some things that you should definitely do. It helps the broker, which does two things. First, it encourages the broker because he/she has an easier time. It’s only human nature. You don’t want a broker to dread showing your house. A well-prepared house sells itself. Second, it helps you maximize the return and speeds up the sale, both of which are in your interest.
OK, so how do you prepare? First, you have to get rid of extraneous items. Most houses get cluttered after years of living in them. In fact, you get so used to having things around, you don’t see them any longer. Unconsciously, a buyer does not want to feel your presence. A buyer must be made to picture him/herself belonging to the house. Your stuff, which you love and are proud of, is a negative. Many houses are over-furnished. Get rid of excess furniture. Less furniture makes the rooms look bigger. If you can afford it, get a professional stage. They can do wonders for a house. After living in a house for years, you may lose the ability to think outside the furnishing box. Staging a house will get it sold faster and get you a higher price. It’s a good investment. Also, stagers usually have a stock of classy items to fill in what you’re missing. Vases, pillows, conversation pieces are available with you having to buy them.
The house should look as new as you can make it. If the house outside is landscaped see that everything is up to date, mowing, trimming etc. If it’s winter time. Make sure the walkways and driveway are plowed. This goes for the backyard and deck, too. It should look like it’s not a big deal. Inside, you want each room to look like a furniture showroom. IF the walls look mangy, freshen them up with a paint job where it needs it. Make sure everything functions. All appliances should work and be clean. Doors and windows should open and close without a problem. Light switches should all work and there should never, never be a missing bulb. The basement and attic should be clean and well organized. The garage should look like it could be a room inside the house. There is a tendency to clutter the basement and garage in order to make the house neat. That doesn’t work. The garage and basement indicate to a buyer, whether true or not, that the house it properly cared for. If you have to, get a storage place to keep the stuff until you move.
When your house is ready, get a broker in to tell you what else you should do. They are usually very helpful. They know what buyers look at. And never be home when the house is being shown. And you certainly don’t want to be available to answer stupid questions if your broker sets up an open-house, don’t be there.