I recently attended a "girls weekend" with some of my friends in Naples, Florida. My friend was selling her beautiful Floridian home. We were invited to stay knowing we may need to evacuate at any minute for a showing. As we were solving the world's problems the phone rang, and in desperation I heard "Eileen! Help! You're a Realtor, tell me what to do!! Can you go around the house and give me some tips before the showing?!?" Crutches in tow (that's another story), I walked around her immaculate home and could only suggest we stash the stuff we brought - hairbrushes, make-up, lotion . . . you know, "girl things". Everything else had already been perfectly positioned for a showcase home. Preparing Your Home To Sell.
It was refreshing to see that my friend felt her home should be in pristine condition. Too often people try to sell homes that are full of clutter, have crayon murals on the walls, or need some simple updates. Herein lies the problem. Buyers are looking at your home as a "product", and everyone wants something new. Unless you're listing your home at a clearance price, and I do mean clearance, the "product" needs to be in great shape. I know, I know. Clutter and paint are easy fixes. Can't the buyer look past this? NO! Non! Nien! The buyer sees damaged goods. Used products. Reasons for a discounted price.
Take the time to walk through your home with friends, family, and your Realtor. Write down suggestions, and implement them! De-cluttering is free! As is window washing and basic cleaning. If you can, refresh the walls with a new coat of neutral paint (think Pottery Barn). And if it really needs it, do some simple updating - change knobs, light fixtures, stash the 1970's microwave. Maybe you and the kids will have to live a simpler life for awhile. Perhaps your husbands Hawaiian shirt won't be available for the next few months. You'll be thankful when a buyer falls in love with your home and your realtor hands you that offer!