One job hazard for this real estate agent is seeing beautifully cleaned and well-ordered homes staged for selling, and then coming home to the kid-torn-up-finger-paint-infested home where I live. (Sorry hubby!) The credit for my angst should go to the sellers who really live like that (probably not) or prepare their home for sale by tapping into their “Bree Van De Camp” … you know… the Desperate Housewives’ character with extreme affection for cleanliness. For those of you who have not yet reached inside themselves to utilize their beyond-meticulous side, here are some tips that I try to have my sellers use to get their “Bree” on!!
*** NOTE *** Some of these sound over-the-top but some buyers make leaps. I.E.–Blemish on the doors and cabinets mean they don’t take care of their home, etc.
1. Take everything out of each closet or cabinet one at a time. Pitch and donate what you do not need and put back everything else in a very crazy orderly fashion. Color coat stacks of linens; put small items in baskets or labeled bins; pantry items should all face the same direction and be arranged by size.
Special note about the master closet… here is where you can really scare them! Make sure all of your hangers match. Keep empty hangers in a separate area. Organize your clothes by type (sleeve-less, t-shirts, long sleeves) … really crazy? Then organize those on a ROY G. BIV color scale. You know… red, orange, yellow….
2. Clean like you have never cleaned before. Look at it through a buyer’s eyes! Wipe down light switches and outlet covers. Wipe down all woodwork and touch up with those wood markers. If you want to go “hard core,” sweep and mop your garage floor and unfinished basement floor. Clean houses sell!
3. Make Magic Eraser your friend and get the smudges off the walls and/or us touch up paint. Labeled paint will also be helpful for the next buyer.
4. Try to empty all garbage cans and laundry baskets – even if you have to take your laundry with you!
5. Make sure the pathway up to and main entry are clean and free from weeds, leaves, trimmed bushes, etc.
6. Create fresh vacuum lines in the carpets. It gives the impression that you went out of the way to prepare the house just for that buyer.
7. Don’t do windows??? Well, that one is worth hiring out! If you are selling a beautiful view, buyers need to see it.
8. Sorry to the “green” movement… make sure all light fixtures have working bulbs and preferably the higher watt the better. Further, wash dust and bugs off of the globes.
Good luck and think like a buyer!!!
Thanks for visiting the First Weber Wisconsin real estate blog for information on cleaning your house so it shines in a buyer’s eye.