Wipe the slate clean
Over the course of years, it’s only natural that your home has become an extension of your personality. It’s filled with your things and your memories; it’s been customized for comfort. The only problem with that? When it’s time to leave, all that stuff has got to go.
The first step in preparing your house for sale is to declutter and depersonalize it. This seems like something that will take care of itself when you finally move, but in most cases you’ll still be living in your house when you start showing it to potential buyers. You want those buyers to picture themselves living there. That means cleaning up, organizing, and making room to show off just what exactly they’ll be buying. It also means removing personal effects such as family photos, religious symbols, souvenirs, and diplomas.
It might sound trivial, but doing this can have a subtle psychological effect that makes your home all the more appealing on the open market, and it makes it easier for you to say goodbye.
Repair and renew
To be inviting, a house has to be more than just superficially attractive. It has to be in good condition. You probably wouldn’t want to buy a house only to have to dump even more money into fixing it, so why would someone else?
Take a stroll through every room in your house with a discerning eye and identify issues you think may require repair work. Go outside and check the exterior for the same. These could include anything from squeaky hinges and drippy faucets to water-damaged siding, missing shingles, and rusty fencing. Make a list of what you can and can’t afford to fix; the more the better, if possible.
This may sound like an expensive or time-consuming proposition, but all that work will likely pay off in the end, allowing you to sell your house at a much higher price. In fact, it’s not unlikely that you’ll make back everything you spent on repairs, and then some.
Get to know the buyer
The person buying your house isn’t just your customer. They’re your ally. You want to sell your house, they want to buy it; the best way to make the process easier for yourself is to make it easier for them. And the best way to do that is to get to know them.
Someone from Miami looking at Vancouver homes for sale will have different needs than someone moving from Montreal. When meeting potential buyers, it’s important to find out what those needs are. If they’re completely new to the neighborhood, consider giving them a quick tour. If, as suggested by the Miami-to-Vancouver example above, the buyer is moving from somewhere hot to somewhere cold, give them advice on what to expect.
Think about what you would want to know about a house or neighborhood before moving in. Think about what would make you more comfortable. Then do your best to provide that.