Time Estimated: One to Two weeks

April 23rd, 2013 by Robert Hightower

Here’s How:
Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house — a product to be sold much like a car on a car lot..
Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours, and you are moving on.
Picture yourself handing over the keys  to the new owners!
Don’t look backwards — look toward the future, and your new beginings.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there!  You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a six months, you probably don’t need it, put it in storage if you need too.
Remove all books from bookcases.
Pack up those knickknacks, and collectables.
Clean off everything on kitchen counters, makes them look bigger and the kitchen look bigger and more inviting.
Put essential items used often in a small box that can be stored in a an area that is not seen like a closet when not in use.
Think of this process as a pre-packing on the packing you will eventually need to do.
Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets. 
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors.  Again another opportunity to show off your house, get rid of the clutter, do you really need last seasons clothes crammed into the closet, or would it look better and larger if it were 1/2 empty and organized?  Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the house as well. This means:
Alphabetize spice jars.
Neatly stack dishes, and glasses.
Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
Line up shoes.
Anything you can do to show more space and a organized area the better
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. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. 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?”  You want them walking into a room and imagining their furniture going into the room.
Remove/Replace Favorite 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, she won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.  I have seen a buyer and seller fight over a wall clock, and a not pretty one at that, so pack it up and move it out if you don’t want to leave it behind.
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 colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.   Do not forget the baseboards!
(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!
Air filters should be replaced
Consider having the carpets professionally cleaned
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. Odors can be a deal killer and if they are bad will turn off a buyer very quickly
Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you? How does the door look?  The entry way is it clean and free of needed repairs.  Remember the front door is where your buyer and their realtor will gather and come in together, they will pause there while the realtor opens the door so they will spend a bit of time looking it over.
Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer, what do you think the room is saying to your buyer?
Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.   If its not your thing ask a friend for help.
Make sure window coverings hang level,  an blinds are adjusted properly.
Tune in to the room’s statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz, are the colors right?
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, broomed or blown off.
Mow the lawn, and edged.
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.

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