Make no mistake about it: when you’re selling your house, potential buyers want to see everything. That means no area of your home (not even your utility closet) is safe from the gaze of a serious house hunter. That’s why it’s crucial to maximize every square inch of your place—backyard shed included—by minimizing your overall clutter.
Your goal: to help buyers see the house you are selling. Any furniture or decorating that prevents them from seeing the best features of your house should be your first staging priority. For example, the master bathroom might have gorgeous fixtures and top of the line cabinetry …that buyers look right past because they fixate on the tropical-fish shower curtain you purchased as a vacation souvenir. Consider replacing it with something neutral. Those death metal posters plastered all over your teenager’s walls? You may want to take those down too.
Unless you are a rigid minimalist, you probably have quite an accumulation of things if you’ve lived in your house for any period of time. Pictures, books, accessories, knickknacks, small appliances, toys, pet gear, hobby materials…the piles can seem endless.
Once you tackle the task of decluttering, take it a step further. Don’t forget to declutter inside of cupboards, closets and drawers. Buyers look behind doors, too. And if they see cupboards and closets overflowing with stuff, they’ll conclude that your home doesn’t have enough storage. Not a good impression. Whether it’s a hallway coat closet or a master suite walk-in, your home’s closets will have a major big impact on prospective buyers. Box up off-season apparel—or better yet, donate it—and remove extra hangers so yours looks spacious and streamlined. Take this opportunity to make any repairs and to give the baseboards and walls a fresh coat of paint. Make every surface perfect as possible. You want to create that “Move in Ready” feeling.
When you’re all finished, get a friend whose decorating taste you admire to tour your house with you and give you constructive criticism about where you need to pare back. If you prefer a professional touch, call Kevin McPheeters, at Chapel Road Design http://www.chapelroaddesign.com .
So, here are some tips to getting your home in tip top picture-perfect shape. It’s also a great checklist to prepare for professional photography and for showings! A lot of work but it will pay off!
TIPS FOR ALL AREAS OF THE HOME
Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows). Clean like Queen Elizabeth’s Housekeeper will be giving a white glove inspection.
Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
Replace all burned out light bulbs
Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
Turn all ceiling fans OFF
Turn all TVs OFF
Turn off computer screens
Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
Make all beds
Place all shoes/jackets in closets
A FOCAL POINT THAT DESERVES EXTRA ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.
Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)
Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher
Corral sponges and cleansers in a shallow bowl under the sink.
THE SPACE TO ENJOY CONVERSATION AND SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY
Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)
Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
Remove kid's toys
Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
De-clutter and clean off Desk and organize bookshelves
CREATE A PLACE OF TRANQUILITY AND REST FOR YOU AND GUESTS
Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
Clear nightstands of all personal items
Store away phone/tablet charging cables
Remove all clutter from top of dressers
Remove family photos from walls
Clean under bed, removing anything that is stored there. Again, it shouts there isn’t enough storage.
Remove personalized names from wall
Remove wall stickers/posters
Organize toys or put them away.
Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos
CREATE A SPA-LIKE, BATHROOM. MUST BE CLEAR OF ALL PERSONAL ITEMS
Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc. Place them neatly in bins under the sink.
Put toilet seats down
Close closet doors
Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs (For the photographs only)
Remove dirty towels - leave out only new, unused folded towels
Remove floor mats (For photo’s only)
YOU LOVE FLUFFY BUT NOT EVERYONE MAY SHARE YOUR LOVE OF PETS. THEIR PRESCENSE SHOULD BE MINIMIZED
Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
Contain pets in hidden crate or outside (For showings and photographs)
Clear back yard of pet waste/toys
“CURB APPEAL” THE FRONT EXTERIOR IS THE FIRST PHOTO BUYERS SEE
Close garage doors
Remove cars from driveway and front of home
Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
Remove empty planters
Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
Remove visible water hoses
Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.
THE BACK YARD SHOULD BE AN OASIS TO RELAX
Clean porch/patio and tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
Clear out kid's toys, balls, frisbees, sports equipment
Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
Hide pool cleaning supplies
Turn on pool fountains/water features (for photo’s and showings only)
Remove visible water hoses (for photos)
Remove trash cans
Now, sit back, relax and let Jay sell your home!