Be realistic about the price you are likely to achieve.
Be flexible about viewing times. Make the job of preparing for viewings easy. Move some of your possessions into storage at this preparation stage.
Where there is a choice of properties, a purchaser may view and buy another property – you may never get a second chance. It is worthwhile investing this energy at this point as first impressions really do count.
Bear in mind that many prospective buyers will drive by and view a property from the road before deciding to ask the agent for an appointment to view. Make sure the appearance from the outside maximises the houses assets. Tidying up, replacing a doormat or adding potted plants at this point can make a big difference to first impressions.
Pick up any litter, cut the grass, trim the hedges, touch up paintwork, put out some planted tubs and keep them looking good.
Avoid leaving the curtains closed all day.
If the outside of your property is important, the inside is even more so. After location, space and light are the two most important aspects for home buyers.
Clear away the clutter, tidy up the toys, make the beds, wash and put away the dishes and the laundry. Keep cats and dogs out of the house for the duration.
A good tip is to pack as much as you can when you put your house on the market – you will have to do it soon anyway and you will be surprised how much stuff you can do without for a few weeks.
Try to get rid of any strong smells such as those from animals or cooking. The old clichés of putting on a pot of coffee or some bread in the oven may be past their best but some fresh flowers are a good idea, and make sure the windows are clean.
Keep work surfaces in the kitchen reasonably tidy and clear of clutter.
Make sure the house is warm but not stifling and if you have an open fireplace in the living room, light a fire.
It is probably not worthwhile redecorating unless it is badly needed or unless your colour scheme is very distinctive! Decor is unlikely to add anything to the value but you need to avoid decor which detracts from the value.
The first step in getting your home ready to sell is to “de-personalize” it
Put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box. Rent a storage area for a few months or borrow a friends garage.
Do not just put the box in the attic, basement, garage or a closet. Part of preparing a house for sale is to remove “clutter,” and that is the next step in preparing your house for sale.
Take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend help point out areas of clutter, as long as you can accept their views without getting defensive. Let your agent help you, too.
In the process of viewing, homebuyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their “stuff.” If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space. The best way to do that is to have as much “empty space” as possible.
For that reason, if you have a “junk drawer,” get rid of the junk. If you have a rarely used crock pot, put it in storage. Do this with every cabinet and drawer. Create open space.
If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them – especially canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and you don’t want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway – or paying a mover to do so. Let what you have on the shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can.
Beneath the sink is a very critical space. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub the area down as well, and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water leaks that may cause a homebuyer to hesitate in buying your home.
It sounds like hard work, but it’s pretty easy.