When preparing to sell your home, I find that there are some really simple rules to follow to prepare the house to sell. The basic principal to follow all comes down to presentation. Imagine what someone thinks walking into your home for the first time. You want the home to not feel cluttered or dirty and for people to be able to imagine their furnishings in the home. If it’s so full of stuff that you can’t move around or see the walls, there’s trouble!
Today, I viewed a competitor’s listing with a client. I sincerely believe this house is what my client is looking for, but there was no way that she could tell! There were newspapers and magazines stacked on the front porch in multiple piles. Inside, there was laundry all over the place! The living room was small, yet it was FILLED with furniture (imagine a normal sized living room with four sofas, five end tables, a coffee table, two television, and two or three dilapidated book shelves). The kitchen counters were filled with equipment–all presentable, but you couldn’t even see much of the counter. Finally, if you looked up, there were lots of cobwebs and the ceiling was a dismal brown from cigarette and wood smoke.
If you’re preparing your house to sell, PLEASE think about first impressions. If you need to, rent a storage unit to remove excess furniture. Ceiling paint is inexpensive and relatively easy to apply and, if it’s needed, makes the home look so much better. Spend some time cleaning–take your moving time as a time to organize and get rid of things that you never use. If you have mounds of clothes, put the out of season clothes away. Consider donating unused items to charities that could use them. For example, the battered woman’s shelter in Ithaca can always use items and it’s a terrific cause.
I watch clients walk around houses and imagine where their possessions are going. People think about how their living room will be laid out, who will have what bedroom and how the furniture will fit. I also see people who will walk away from what could be a good house for them if the colors of the rooms aren’t pleasing to the eye. People are strange when it comes to imagining something other than Aunt Edna’s avocado green living room. Over powering colors, particularly that aren’t of mainstream taste, make a house difficult to sell. Consider investing in a can of paint and a few hours of your time. Alternatively, there are many good local handymen that can do the job for you and aren’t that expensive–you’ll easily recoup the cost in the faster sale of the home!
I sincerely believe this listing would have sold today if someone had just taken the time to properly prepare it for viewing…a lesson that can be learned for all of us!