How to prepare and stage your home for a quicker and efficient sale
Category Seller Tips
Most home sellers want their home to sell fast and for top rand! There are proven ways in order to make your home stand out from the crowd, and to literally sell faster and for a better value. We have asked Antonie Goosen, the principal of Meridian Realty with offices in Stellenbosch and Betty’s Bay, to share some of his thoughts in this regard. The following are some suggestions he has given. Disassociate yourself from your home It is natural to harbour emotions with regards to your own home. Home ownership is normally a very personal matter. The first step therefore is to make the mental adjustment that your home is only a product, competing with similar products, like in an appliance store. Try to remove yourself emotionally from your home, and start to see it in the light of it being a product that you are effectively putting on the market. De-personalise your home Hand in hand with the above mentioned, start to de-personalise your home. Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers often struggle to see past personal artefacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and it can often be difficult to do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here." De-clutter!!! We tend to collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it. • If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away? • Clean off everything on kitchen counters and coffee tables; • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use; Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway. Rearrange Bedroom Closets, Kitchen Cabinets and Study areas Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if they see everything is organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means: • Neatly stack dishes. • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way. • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction. • Line up shoes. • Have your office and paper admin areas neatly organised; Rent a Storage Unit Almost every home shows better with less furniture. • Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. • Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. • Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?" Remove/Replace Favourite Items If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won't want it. Once you tell a buyer they can't have an item, they might covet it, and it could complicate your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary. Make Minor Repairs • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles. • Patch holes in walls. • Fix leaky faucets. • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam. • Consider painting your walls neutral colours, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls. (Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.") • Replace burned-out light bulbs. • If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now! Make the House Sparkle! • Wash windows inside and out. • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior. • Clean out cobwebs. • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks. • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors. • Clean out the refrigerator. • Vacuum daily. • Wax floors. • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. • Bleach dingy grout. • Replace worn rugs. • Hang up fresh towels. • Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows. • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odours are a no-no. Scrutinize • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you? • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer. • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense. • Make sure window coverings hang level. • Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz? • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished. Check Curb Appeal If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside. • Keep the sidewalks cleared. • Mow the lawn. • Paint faded window trim. • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive. • Trim your bushes. • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number. Now you are set Get yourself an exceptional agent with specialised knowledge and experience in your area, and let the viewings begin. For more tips and information, be sure to join Meridian Realty’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/meridianrealty or to follow them on twitter www.twitter.com/meridianprop.