If you are thinking about selling in this amazing seller's market you have likely started wondering about what you need to do to get ready to sell. Your first step should be to contact your Realtor, even if you don't plan to sell right away. A free consultation could be just what you need to create a game plan to get started... getting mentally ready is often the biggest step.
How you prepare will partly depend on your motivation and reasons for selling in the first place, but if you want to get the most money for your house in the least amount of time it boils down to 4 basic steps.
1. Decluttering and getting rid of your excess 'stuff'
Especially if you have lived in your current home for a long time, this can be the most difficult step in the process of getting ready to sell... so difficult, that even the thought of it sometimes stops people before they even get started. Read more about it here... The first, and often most difficult step in preparing your home for sale
2. Fixups, updates and painting
Once you have cleared out all your excess stuff you may be surprised at how different your home looks. You may notice 'dings' in the walls you never noticed before, cupboard and closet doors that you didn't remember don't close properly, dingy carpet that didn't seem so bad before, and the list goes on different for everyone. This is also the time to get your truth-in-housing inspection completed if one is required in your city. For some people this is also the time to meet with your Realtor, if you didn't already get together before or during your de-cluttering stage. I provide a consultation with a stager at this point, which can help you decide on painting, flooring and other updates that will give you the best return. This consultation can also be invaluable in deciding what furnishings and accessories to keep and how to arrange them for staging your home to look its best. More info at The second step in preparing your home for sale
3. Clean, clean clean!
After you have cleared the clutter and done your fix-ups you are ready for cleaning. This goes beyond just normal neat and tidy. It is deep cleaning including things like light fixtures, doors and door handles, drawers, cabinets, closets, under the beds and on top of cabinets, windows, carpets, tile... in other words, cleaning every nook and cranny so it is 'q-tip clean'. Why is this so important? Because it sets the tone for buyer expectations. You have likely heard the phrase 'you find what you are looking for'. This is a prime example. If buyers come into a home that is sparkling clean and in good condition everywhere they look, they expect the home has been well cared for so they tend to focus on what they love about the home rather than looking for things wrong with it. If the home isn't clean just the opposite happens... potential buyers expect it hasn't been well taken care of and look for things that are wrong. More, including a detailed cleaning list, at Cleaning... it's more important than you may think
4. Staging... giving your home the WOW factor!
Staging is the final step in preparing your home for sale and not to be taken lightly. Buyers have been well trained by HGTV and other sources to expect homes for sale to look like model homes. This is an important distinction... not just neat and tidy and decorated for daily living, but showcased to be a 'pretend' home that potential buyers can picture themselves living in. This is also an important part of the 'letting go' process... at this point it ceases to be 'your home' and becomes a product for sale. The point of staging is to make a buyer fall in love with your home and say... WOW, I want to live here!
This can happen through staging with your own furnishings... the home below was 'staged' by the seller after consulting with my stager, a service I provide to my sellers.
Sometimes it works better to first empty the home of all belongings and have my stager bring in her furnishings and accessories... as in the example below.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Listing Agent