The mere thought of having to move can cause the bravest of us to panic.What is even more frightening is realizing that there will be endless parades of home buyers as well as realtors invading our personal space and passing judgment on our aesthetic tastes, maintenance, organization, upkeep etc.
Keep in mind that prospective home buyers and realtors are able to tell how well a home has been maintained throughout the years. If you feel your home may be in need of some maintenance, makes sure to seek the advice of a professional to guarantee that all is done properly. That being said, here are a few simple tips and pointers to help prepare your home to go on the market.
A month prior to listing your home go on a tour of your home and take note of all the areas that need to be freshened up or repaired. Make sure that you do not focus only on the main areas of your home, storage areas and closets are also part of the public viewing so take the time to look through them as well. All the bedrooms should be checked and special focus should be placed on the closets.
This is the ideal time to go through all the contents in your closets and if needed, do a major purge. The less that you have unnecessarily stored in your closet will not only mean less packing but will also make your closet appear to be more spacious to a potential buyer. You can arrange a pick up date with your local charity. This will provide some motivation to get those closets organized. If you have clothing which is out of season, pack it up and find a friend or relative who would kindly store it for you.
Look over all your plumbing fixtures and check for any cracks, leaks or discoloration. Take the time to thoroughly clean any lights and mirrors. If you are in the habit of storing your beauty and hygiene products on the bathroom vanity, purchase an inexpensive caddie in which to store them. This makes it easy to move and put away during a showing.
Anything that makes your living room look outdated and/or crowded should be taken out. You can either make or break a space with window coverings. Curtains which are dated and heavy should be taken down. This will allow natural light to enter. It is also a good idea to purchase an odor eliminating product, something which can be used on drapes, upholstery and carpets. If you own a dog make sure that they are groomed and bathed. If you own cats makes sure the litter box is cleaned and changed regularly.
Not only should you make sure that all your kitchen cabinets are in good working conditions, you should also make sure they are clean both on the inside and out. All cabinet contents should be arranged in an organized manner. This is the ideal moment in which any dishes, small appliances, glassware, etc that you have not used in years should be donated. If you have to move a long distance and require the assistance of a professional mover, keep in mind that they do charge by weight. In my opinion, having to pay for the extra weight would be motivation enough to get rid of anything you are not completely sure you will use again.
This tip can be difficult for those who live on the go and are used to having the counters available for anything to be placed on. But counter should be kept clear. You can provide a bin or basket for each family member to place their personal objects in. At the drop of a dime, the objects can be placed in a bin and momentarily stored in a closet or personal room.
Garages and Basements
Generally a disorganized basement is not the fault of one person. Although there may be exceptions. That being said, begin in the basement and involve the entire family. To save on time, do not go through every album cover and skim through old textbooks. Save that for later and get straight to organizing.
A designated area in the basement should contain labeled boxes for throw away, pack and giveaway. If you have old toys, empty boxes, outdated clothing which have not been even taken out in years, then take them straight out to the curve. Check with your local waste disposal company on how to properly dispose of electronics and paint or what the options for recycling would be. If there are things is your pack pile that can be packed ahead of time, do so and place them neatly in a storage area. This will really put you ahead when it comes to future packing.
Once done in the basement, head straight to the garage. If you are not able to park your car then you know that you have your work cut out. The whole reason for a garage is to safely store your vehicle as well as any equipment which is outdoor related. It is not meant to store any little thing that you may not know where to put.
Organize everything by category and get rid of anything that is not meant to be in a garage. Any items which are unrecognizable and broken should be tossed along with any unfinished projects that you have been promising to finish for the last seven years. Anything that the kids have outgrown should be donated or recycled. Begin boxing up and packing things you will not need until you arrive at your new home.
Last but not least – the yard. All dead foliage, fallen branches and weeds should be cleared away. Hoses and sprinklers must be neatly stored and shrubs and hedges nicely trimmed. Any leaves should be raked up and disposed of and if needed, give the yard a fresh cut.
Once you have finished, have your realtor over to examine the house and give you a second opinion. Many times living with something every day makes us not aware of what it actually looks like. Although prepping your house may not be fun, there is no need for it to be overwhelming. If you clean up and organize a bit you have a better chance of having potential buyers and realtors return. Keep in mind that people do not want to see you living in the home. They want to visualize themselves there, so make it a welcoming and inviting area.