Wednesday, July 8, 2009

10 Steps to SOLD!

Have you outgrown your home... ready for more space? Or, perhaps your kiddos have left the nest, and it's time to downsize? Regardless of the reason, if you are thinking about selling your home... follow these 10 Steps to SOLD and I guarantee a more pleasing atmosphere and quicker sale for the potential buyers that come through.

**The list is lengthy, but it should serve as a tool to get your home market ready or just clean, clutter free and updated! Keep reading for a fabulous giveaway at the end!**
    1. De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter. If you do nothing else on this list, DE-CLUTTER! A potential buyer should never see stacks of mail and papers on the countertop, laundry piles, toys stacked in corners, shelves full of odds and ends... do you have a "catch-all" room? It's time to clear it out. Better an empty room than a room full of miscellaneous junk. Pack up the loose items around your home and store them in plastic containers, organized in the attic space or in the garage, or consider renting temporary storage space. The less a buyer sees of yours, the better... remember you want someone else to move in now! Which brings me to #2...
    2. As much as you love your home, when you make the decision to put it on the market, you also need to make the choice to "de-personalize" it. A buyer should be able to walk into your home and begin to see it as their own. Without making your home look like a cold, empty vessel, remove as many family photos as you can. Remove diplomas & trophies, clear your refrigerator of graduation announcements, pictures of your family, or the latest drawing from Sunday School. Your home should be "anonymous" to the viewer. Remember, do not pack these things up and stick them in a closet, a corner, or elsewhere. Once they come down, they need to be packed away and stored.
    3. Did you turn your dining room into an office? Or the 4th bedroom into a home gym? It's time to convert back to its intended purpose. For the sake of helping your buyer invision this home as their own, you need to set the stage, just as it should be. Remember, if they are in your home, it's because they like what they know about it... it's a 4 bedroom, or it has a study... or a gameroom upstairs. They want to see these elements of the home in their purest state, so that they can begin to imagine their families living there.
    4. "They say" one investment in your home that you can always guarantee to get a return on is updating hardware and fixtures... especially in bathrooms and the kitchen. Do you have brass door knobs, cabinet & sink fixtures circa 1990? A trip to Home Depot can rid you of the dated look and give your home updated appeal for very little money.
    5. Do you have unfinished projects, home repairs, or minor issues that you've put off? Now is the time to replace the cracked window, faulty door knob, or chipped bathroom tile. These little fix-it jobs can turn away a buyer or make them think the home is in disrepair. By getting out that honey-do list you've put on the back-burner, you can avoid potential issues and present a well maintained home.
    6. Does your daughter have a pink princess bedroom? And your son a bright blue sports haven? Consider neutralizing the walls in your home. Have I said that a buyer wants to see this home as their own? A neutral palette will allow them to envision their furnishings, their decor, THEIR new home.
    7. Keep your yard tidy, plant inexpensive colorful flowers, remove weeds or other obstructions from pathways, sidewalks, and entry ways. Curb appeal is key to selling your home quickly, and it will be the first thing your potential buyer sees when they pull up to your home.
    8. Remember that remodeling is for new buyers... if you're ready to move, updating and getting your home in selling condition is your job. Flooring is very important to buyers, if you have carpet in your home... consider having it cleaned. Unless it is badly stained, an unusual color, or extremely outdated... let the new owners replace it.
    9. Organize! Your cabinets will be opened, your pantry will be assessed, every closet will be entered... so it's time to stow away the personal items, neatly stack your dishes, clean out 10 or 12 cereal boxes and make the nooks and crannies of your home look orderly, cared for, and visually pleasing.
    10. Odor control... do you have a pet? Chances are your home smells like your family... and that's not a bad thing. But to the potential buyer, you want a pleasing "homey" smell. No kitty litter boxes, no smoke, no pet dander. Consider sprinkling your carpet with freshener regularly, do not smoke in your home while it's on the market, and if possible (weather-permitting) keep pets outdoors during showings to minimize pet odor.
    Do you have another tip for potential homeowners looking to sell their home? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear your advice, insight, and personal success stories! Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win one of these adorable reusable totes by Haute Market Bags. Use it to pick up groceries, take it to the pool, or swing by Home Depot for some new doorknobs and instead of a plastic bag... take one of these! Your choice.

    Remember that when you decide to SELL your home, you must be in a BUYER'S frame of mind. The same house you once fell in love with will soon become another family's home.


    1. Those are great tips! I just bought my home a year ago and the sellers did most of what you have listed with the exception of the door knobs and bathroom faucets. We have recently changed out all the door hardware downstairs as well as all faucets. It makes a huge difference!

      Updating ceiling fans are quick, affordable and makes a big impact as well. Our upstairs had all original 1994 white/gold ceiling fans. Those were changed out day 1.

    2. Mrs. Greer,

      My soon to be husband (2 weeks!) and I Just bought our house a month ago, and the "less is more" theory definitely made a huge difference for us. Our house looked like it had so much space in it because there wasn't clutter or extra furniture everywhere! She had also taken such good care of her house that for a four year old house, it showed like a model home! I sure enjoyed reading those tips! I can't tell you how many homes we saw that had family pictures all over their walls, and while that was nice to see beautiful families, it did make it a lot harder to try to make it feel like it could be ours!

      Kristen Hillhouse

    3. Thanks for the helpful tips, but what about tips for first time homebuyers? anything we should be on the look for or steer clear from?

      Love the blog!

    4. Hey Jill!! So- this post could NOT have come at a more perfect time for Brian and me! We are about to put our house on the market. It's our first home, so we've never done this before! Looks like we've got a LOT of work to do! We are hoping to just get an agent to list it on the MLS for 1%. That was the advice we got from an agent friend in Austin. We may even have to move before it sells...Brian is job-hunting in Houston Dallas and Austin. Anyway, any advice for us?? THANK YOU!!!!