Joy Doherty, Assoc. Broker

How to Prepare Your Home

Get Ready For Showings, Tours and Open Houses

1.     Remove all clutter from home. Organization and simplicity are the best way to ensure people see your home and not your stuff. You want buyers to see their furnishings and their décor in the house. If your property is priced right, and it meets the buyer’s requirements, the next step is to get them emotionally involved. When they see their own things in the house, they begin to see holidays and birthdays and this is how people buy houses. So remove as many nick knacks and decorations as possible, basically start packing now.  It will greatly improve the look of your home and give you a head start when it comes time for you to move out.

2.     Pack away excess clothing, toys and projects from all closets. You always want closets to look their biggest, so the least amount of clutter, the better. (I know, to you it is your precious belongings, but to buyers, it is clutter, so please put it away for now.)

3.     Clean the home thoroughly. Remember the odd places like back splashes in the kitchen behind the sink and stove, and the handle of the refrigerator door. These are the things that people will not notice unless they are dirty and it will give some people a very negative feeling about the house.

4.     Smells in a home are also important, so make sure that all of the trash is removed from the house. Check your refrigerator for older leftovers and throw them out with the trash. Try to do any dirty laundry in advance to reduce clutter and odors.

5.     A small arrangement of flowers (no more than 6 inches high) in the bathrooms are a nice touch. The kitchen or dinning room table is also a good place for a small arrangement of fresh flowers.

6.     It is true that baking cookies is a great way for people to relate your house to their home. One very easy way to consistently have your home smelling of freshly baked cookies is to buy several tubes of pre- made dough and slice a few off and put them in the oven before people arrive to look at your house. You may also offer them to the people or if you will not be there during the showing, put them on a plate with a little sign saying “Please help yourself.” Do not burn the cookies, as this will create an unpleasant odor and we don’t want that. You may also be able to find a spray that smells like cookies, but be very careful here. Harsh or strong, fragrances can be an instant turn off for many people, so just a little dab. A sweet smelling candle in the kitchen can do the trick as well.

7.     Keep decks and patios swept and all furniture clean. If you have potted flowers, remove any dead blooms or leaves or replace any that are completely dead with a healthy plant. This is also important for indoor house plants as well. If you choose to add a water feature to your outdoor living space, be sure that the flow of the water is moving toward the closest door leading into the house.

8.     Don’t forget about the rest of the yards. Cut the grass, pull the weeds, trim bushes and trees, and clean up pet messes. Buyers will want to walk the whole of your property and you really want them to be able to move about freely and with out stepping in…anything unpleasant.

This will take some work, however it is well worth the effort. The two most important things you can do to sell your home is price it appropriately for the neighborhood and present it as the valuable asset that it is, ready for someone else to purchase and enjoy. If you know that the job is too big for you, or you don’t know where to begin, let us know. We may have some further suggestions or we can refer you to a professional who can handle everything for you.