There is certainly no lack of information on what to do to prepare your home for sale. In fact, there’s so much information out there, what’s really difficult to know is who do you believe? There are television shows giving you lots of information on the things you need to do. There are websites and articles about what’s most important………how in the world can you process all of it?
The first thing to understand is who is giving you the information. If you’re watching a television show, remember it is designed to get people to watch it. To do that, the producers may go for shock value. As an example (and a pretty mild example at that), I saw a television show a while ago where a wall in the seller’s living room was painted orange. While it may have looked nice in the house, that’s definitely not a recommendation I would make to my clients. For one thing, orange is a very strong color that people have very strong feelings about. The either love it or they hate it. So why would you choose to paint a wall in the first room the potential buyers see in a color they may find offensive? There are plenty of other colors that would make a statement without the emotions so you are better off choosing one of them. Oh yes, and be sure the statement is one you should be making. If it doesn’t do anything to enhance the house it’s better not to do it at all. Remember, you’re not trying to sell to the advertisers, but to real people you want to encourage to buy your house.
Many of these television shows also have lots of construction happening in the house for sale – all for less than $500! While it may sound like a great idea to take down that wall between the kitchen and the dining room, chances are it will cost you a lot more than $500 – unless you own a construction company. Again, this is for entertainment and not necessarily reality. If you are considering anything like this prior to putting your house on the market, make certain you understand the cost versus the return. If you do this, will you make more of a profit on the sale of the house? That’s the bottom line for most of us, so spend your time and money doing those things that will make the house sell more quickly and for money.
And finally, it’s a good idea to make certain the information you are receiving from whatever source (television, websites, blogs, newsletters) is something you didn’t know. Most of us know that houses on the market must be clutter-free. But we don’t always know what is clutter and what isn’t. Paring down a room to the barest of essentials isn’t usually a good idea as the room feels cold and uninviting. But removing the clutter from the floor of the closet is a great idea because ‘stuff’ on floors visually breaks up the space and makes it feel smaller than it is. And most of us are looking for spacious closets, so pick up all the things you have on the floor and move them to the shelf. Or better yet, throw or give them away or pack them for the move. An article or a newsletter that provides information like that is much more valuable than one that simply says to clear the clutter.
Ann Anderson, http://www.roomsreborn.com
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I know because I’m doing it……..getting rid of ‘stuff’ as you prepare to move is difficult. Not only are you faced with deciding what goes and what stays, but what do you do with the stuff that goes?
That’s really going to depend on just what the ‘stuff’ is. And be honest! Is it truly something someone else could use and/or love? If not, it goes in the trash. But for everything else, you have lots of choices. You could certainly donate those things that are no longer useful or beautiful – or that simply take up too much room. Good places for that are Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Boys and Girls Clubs, as well as many others. Or you could post it on Freecycle, a nonprofit local network (check to see if they are in your area) committed to giving things away rather than putting them in landfills.
If the items are more valuable or you would like to make a little money for the upcoming move, you can certainly have a yard (or tag or garage – whatever they are called in your area) sale. While this can be a lot of work, it can also be fun – if you make it so. Invite your neighbors to participate and have a day-long block party. Let the kids host a lemonade stand. Let your creative side show when you make your displays. Just don’t expect to sell your real valuables for what they may be worth. At a yard sale, everyone is looking for a bargain!
For those most expensive items, try a local consignment shop. Most will not only appraise the item for you, but they will pick it up and bring it to their shop. Some consignment stores also hold regularly scheduled auctions, which might be another way to sell your items. And some also have an e-bay presence, so your items may be seen by an even larger audience!
Whatever you do, don’t be overwhelmed. The cleaning-out process may take some time, so plan accordingly. Have a space to store those things you will be selling – and for the others, frequent trips to the dump and the donation center will make your job easier!
Ann Anderson, www.roomsreborn.com
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