When you are planning to sell your home, figuring out what to do to prepare can be overwhelming. As I have been both a buyer and a seller, I have some tips that I hope will help:
- Straighten up
I mean this one. Seriously. Look at each and every room with a critical eye. Throw away or donate anything that is not being used but is taking up space — that random plastic container sitting on the top of the fridge that has loose change and a pencil, and a paperclip in it. And make all of the beds every day so that you are in that habit by the time the showings begin. No one likes to see an unmade bed.
- Start packing
Pictures on the walls, especially family photos and framed degrees, should be packed up and ready for the move. Jewelry should be put in a safe deposit box. Passports and other important documents and paperwork should be packed. Do not identify them as such when you label the box. Mary’s cosmetics, for example, might be a smart label for valuables when everyone in the household is aware that Mary is 2 years old. Weapons should also be moved out of the home and stored somewhere safe. Pack anything you wouldn’t want potential buyers to see if they open your drawers or closets (I know, they aren’t supposed to open your drawers, but they might anyway).
Not to be confused with #1, above. This part may require a professional. Sign up for an Angie’s List and Groupon account. They have coupons/deals for inexpensive house cleaning all the time. Potential buyers will be turned off by a dirty home. Have carpets cleaned, driveway, roof and pool area power washed. This should not be a major expense. Angie’s List and Groupon can help with this as well.
This one is really important. Neither you nor your realtor should be in the house when potential buyers are looking. That means you should not be sitting in the garage talking on your cell phone, or out by the pool. You shouldn’t even be taking the opportunity to take a brisk walk around the block. You should get in your car in plenty of time (at least a half hour before an appointment) and leave the neighborhood. You also should not insist that your realtor be present for showings. Potential buyers should have the freedom to look at their leisure and to talk to their own realtor. With you or your realtor present, it will be rushed and possibly silent. With you present, someone might ask you a question that catches you off guard, or even say something negative about the house that could hurt your feelings or make you angry. With either of you present, the showing will likely be uncomfortable, and you don’t want a potential buyer to be uncomfortable in your home. The chances of them buying in that situation are slim.
Appliances must be turned off/not in use when you vacate for showings. That means nothing baking in the oven, nothing cooking on the stove. This is not only a safety hazard but those appliances are staying in the house and potential buyers have the right to look at them. Don’t run the dishwasher for the same reason. It will also make the kitchen uncomfortably warm. Even if you’re not leaving your washer and dryer, don’t start a washer or dryer cycle before you leave. Wait to do that until some other time.
You can avoid all of the above by selling your property to McCoy Wyman Inc. We buy as is, pay cash and can close quickly. Give us a call at 813-489-9600 to receive an offer within 48 hours.