Get Ready To Sell your house!
The simple truth of the matter is you have lived in your home for so long that it is very hard to have an unbiased eye. You are attached. You have raised your babies in a house you are getting ready to leave.
In order to put your property in the best possible light throughout the selling process you are going to be thinking solely about a person called "the elusive buyer". This is the person that is looking at your house and hopefully will be putting a few coins in your wallet at the closing table.
Lesson #1: Buyers are Selfish and Inconsiderate
Mr. and Mrs. Buyer do not care if the tattered throw on your sofa was knitted by dear old Granny. They don't care if you painfully stenciled pink pigs in your kitchen. They don't care if the tile in your bathroom was made by artisans in the middle east.
Buyers are not interested in seeing your family photos, so take them out of the room. They want to see their photos, sofas and knickknacks not yours. They want to know that the toilet works not wonder who sat on the fuzzy pink toilet cover.
Buyers are not interested in playing with your pets, so get them out of the house. In fact if they see a pet - or a dog dish - or a litter box - they will immediately start sniffing the air and eyeing the carpet. Take your pets out of the house when it is to be shown and remove any trace of their existence.
A FULL BOTTLE OF FEBREEZE WILL NOT GET RID OF PET PEE!
Buyers will look through your closets, open your drawers, peek into your refrigerator, look at the dishes in your sink and talk about how dirty your bathroom is.
Your house will forever become 'the house with the ugly curtains' or 'the house with the running toilet' or 'the house with the pink pigs'. Even worse, it could become 'the house where I stepped in Dog Poo!'
When an agent returns from to the office after showing your home you have to know that he will mention the dog poo to every agent that is in the office.
Buyers are the most selfish and picky people you have yet to meet in your life.
Lesson #2: Less is More
Pack it up and get it out. If something is not absolutely necessary pack it up. Are you really going to use the fondue pot in the next few months? Do you need your flannel shirts in your closet in the middle of summer? The less you have out the bigger the area seems. The fewer clothes in a closet the bigger it looks. The less food in a pantry the bigger it looks.
Lesson #3: Do not Leave your Personal Info Lying around.
Put away your mail. Buyer's look for things that will give them an edge. I've heard buyers say "Look at this stack of bills, I bet we can get this house for a song!" That is not to say that all buyers are this nosy, just be careful.
One of my fondest remembrances is when one home office was decorated with Americana. The potential buyer informed me that the seller was obviously a military man and was being deployed.
Lesson #4: Remove all traces of your kids!
If you are a parent, or have children in your household, this is the MOST IMPORTANT advice that I can give you. Remove all photos of your children from the house. Especially anything that has their names on it. No wooden cutouts with their name above their bed. We all love children, some people just don't have good intentions. Let me be blunt... You don't want a pedophile to knows your children's names, where they live, and what they look like.
Lesson #5: Neutral is Better
Red kitchens and accent walls do NOT sell houses. Neutral colors are always in style. Just like avocado appliances can date houses so can wallpaper and bright colors. Take a weekend and remove wallpaper and repaint with a neutral color.
Here is a page of quick fixes that are easy enough for anyone to accomplish in a short while.