By Stephen Saint Onge
People will say to me, “I am thinking about selling my home, but I do not even know where to begin to get it ready to put on the market-- I have so much stuff that I need to do.” Getting your house ready for sale does not have to be a stressful event.
Take Another Look
Look at what you have around you and figure out how to make it better in a cost-effective, attainable, creative way. The choices and work you do in your home will pay off in a big way now and down the road.
You live in a home everyday – so it is difficult to see the good things about it anymore. You need to get rooms down to basics again to see the potential.
You may walk right past your fireplace and miss the great mantle or you don’t notice the wonderful kitchen space that lies underneath all those piles of stuff or you don’t even appreciate the great view of the back garden that is obscured by old drapes. The truth is that spaces can get tired and you can get to a point where you do not see it anymore. You need to generate some excitement.
I have seen the power of redesign transform lives. It’s been said that change is good and if you are feeling stuck then just move because motion creates change.
Focus on One Room At a Time
Getting rid of clutter is the first order of the day. Focus on one room at a time. Create four piles: Tag Sale, Good Will, Storage and Trash. Don’t spend too much time mulling over an item – just sort it and get it out. This simple process will motivate you.
Once the clutter is gone, look at the good pieces of furniture and the ones that no longer work in the room. If the sofa is great, keep it for the room, but if the side chairs are worn and very tattered, sell them. In getting your house ready for market; simpler is better.
There also may be good pieces that can be used in another room. If something has good potential than use it again to help you set the stage of your new look.
Once you have removed the extras and “get rid of” items, go back in and empty out the room because for some people, it is easier to see the room and build from scratch. Having the room empty allows you to see what needs attention. Think of yourself as a potential buyer walking through your home for the first time with a REALTOR®. You want to direct what people see when they come into a room.
Notice what they may notice, which may include: walls that need new paint or simple touch-ups; trim that needs to be added; wall-to-wall carpet that is stained or a light fixture in the dining area that needs new shades, etc. In most cases, a little soap and water goes a long way.
Now bring in the key pieces, whether it be the sofa, a bed, a desk, an armoire. You want to play around with the placement of the furniture. Your goal is to create inviting areas that your eye is drawn to as you enter into that new room.
The Final Touch
The final touches of accessories that you already own can be brought in, such as art, lamps, books, props, throw pillows, etc. You could buy a few new items to finish off the space if you wish – but you don’t have to go overboard.
Walking into the room should affect all the senses. So put the music on that sets the tone, have a fire going in the fireplace, buy some fresh cut flowers, dim the lights to make the room more inviting, brew some fresh coffee or bake some cookies to really capture the essence of home. Even in these economic times, you realize there is much you can do yourself to make change happen.
With these simple preparations, your home will be ready to sell at a good price.