So, you have a house for sale, and you want to get it sold relatively quickly, and also get your asking price. Your realtor can do his or her part but making the house “sale ready,” is your job, and can make the difference between selling in 2 weeks or 2 months.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on staging your house, but you will need plenty of elbow grease.
Step 1. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before
Imagine that you just arrived at a top-dollar hotel full of the best house-keeping staff or a fancy restaurant where celebrities go to eat. Clean everything, From the grout in your bathroom, making your oven so clean it looks brand new, and there is not a single cobweb to be seen. Imagine your potential buyers all wear white gloves and have a checklist longer than the health department inspects a restaurant.
Step 2. Declutter
Divide your house into four, and either throw out or put in storage, 3/4’s of your “stuff,” When the potential buyers come, they want to see your house with fresh eyes. So put away the charming knickknacks, have only about 1/3 of your closets filled, and have fresh towels, and totally unused soaps in the bathroom.
Step 3. Prepare the kids room
If you have kids, prepare them for the sale by explaining how critical is that no dirty clothes or papers on the wall be a distraction, and explain that temporarily, Only about 10 percent of their toys will be available, but the rest will go into storage.
Step 4. Prepare the front yard
Plant a few flowers, mow and edge the lawn, and be sure to clean every drop of oil on the driveway. And buy a fresh, inviting doormat for the entrance. You might also want to consider painting the front door.
Step 5. Paint the foyer
As one realtor put it, you have exactly six seconds to sell your house. Three seconds for the curb appeal, and another three seconds into the foyer.
Step 6. Severely declutter the master bedroom
One painting on the wall, a brand-new, neutral-colored comforter, perhaps a folded blanket, on the bed, and a closet that’s one third filled is the norm. And leave the closets open, your buyers want to see the closet space.
Step 7. Prepare the living room
Make sure all carpets are steam cleaned and pull furniture away from the walls. Put extra-large pieces in storage, try to make the space as inviting as possible, and leave the big screen TV on, but with no sound.
Step 8. Prepare the cats and dogs
If possible, put all the food and water dishes outside, and consider temporarily housing the pets outside for a couple of hours. Be sure to steam clean and spot clean everything. Some buyers are not pet lovers and don’t want to even see a hint of kitty litter or dog food.
There is so much more you can do, but these just scratch the surface if you really want to sell a house fast.