It’s that time of year… yes! The end of January, the beginning of February, when snowstorms may still be happening elsewhere, but in California, February is the new spring. The days get lighter, the weather is perfect. It may be the time you are getting ready to list your home on the market, and get it sold.
When homeowners have me over to see their house, their most frequent question is: What do I need to do to get the house ready for sale?
Here are my top 5 answers to this very important question:
(1) Declutter – the most important thing to do with your house when you want it to look show ready is to remove all items off of all surfaces – countertops, mantles, coffee tables, dining room tables, side tables, desktops – every horizontal surface in your house. Once you have removed all items, do a thorough cleaning, then stage the surface with (a) nothing if it is a countertop like your kitchen counters which you want to show off as they are, or (b) just 3 decorative items, for example, a plant and 2 figurines.
(2) If you have a lot of furniture, removed 25% of it – a furnished room is better than an empty room, so do not remove all your furniture. Keep most of it, but remove 25% of the furniture. This will make your room look much bigger and neater and tidier. For example, if you have a lot of chairs or end tables, consider removing some, and store them in your garage.
(3) Remove personal items, such as photos, degrees, greeting cards, fridge magnets, flags, souvenirs, decorations for holidays or anything that potential buyers can get nosy about. These detract from the purpose, which for buyers to imagine themselves living in their new home. If you have a lot of personal items and decorations, it makes them feel like they are in your home, so that emotion tends to take away the feeling of making a great offer on your house.
(4) Go for and visualize the Ikea Showroom. I always try to visualize the Ikea Showroom. What does the Ikea Showroom look like? Neat and clean, sparse, cozy but impersonal. Anyone could like Ikea furniture in an Ikea Showroom. That’s what we want, that almost anyone walking in to your home would love it and love to live there. We’re looking for broad appeal to get the most offers for your house.
(5) Light, bright, clean. For showings, buyers want to see that the house is light and bright. Have windows washed and screens clean and draperies light to showcase how much natural light comes into the house. And before we go on the market, have your cleaning person or my cleaning specialist come and do a thorough cleaning and getting it to look sharp and beautiful.
If you do all the above items, it is likely that you won’t have to spend much money, if any, to get the house show ready!
For more suggestions, or if you have questions on any of the above, or our process for getting your home sold for top dollar, send me an email or give me a call.