Seattle Seller: Prepare the Interior of Your Home for Sale Part III
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A look at the cosmetics.
We've addressed the exterior, some functional parts of the interior, the systems, and now it is time to take care of the cosmetics. even though the kitchen and baths have not been updated recently, it is entirely possible to have them fully functioning and beautiful with out a "remodel to the studs" project. That said, kitchens and baths do sell homes.
It's time to take a look at your lists. Decide what you can do yourself and what repairs will require professional help. Get some referrals from friends or your broker and make some phone calls. If you are going to have a handyman or carpenter come take care of door and window issues, get them started on the bedrooms first, and then let them move on to the systems. Same with the plumber. Rooms first and systems later. Once they are out of the rooms you can start on the cleaning.
Your kitchen should be decluttered. How long has it been, after all, since you've used the crock pot and bread machine? They can be boxed. Give the kitchen a deep, deep cleaning. Clean the cupboards. People will look in them. Pack up that third set of dishes you only use when Aunt Ethel is in town. Get rid of the thing that seems to be growing in the back of the snack cupboard. Clean in high places you can't reach with out a step ladder. Clean out the drawer below the range. Vacuum with the "wand" under the lazy-susan cabinet and under the refrigerator. Make the kitchen shine and sparkle.
Do the same type of cleaning in the bathrooms. Once done assess these two rooms. Do they need paint or not. Often the type of paint used in the kitchen and bath can be easily scrubbed.
Granted: That was a full day's work, but with very little expense. Let's move on to the bedrooms. Do them one at a time. Don't start another room until you finish the first one completely. First, take everything out of the closet. Clean the closet. Replace only the items and clothing that you will need during the next three to four months. Assess the room for painting needs and if you plan to paint. Write that down. Address buying the paint when you decided on what to do with all of the rooms.
By now you should have filled the first 50 boxes and you should have decided on a place to store them. If you are storing them off site, pack a bunch of them in your car now and go buy some more boxes. Whatever you think you will need. Then proceed through all of the secondary rooms of the house.
The last rooms to address are the living and dining rooms. This is usually where buyers will first get a look inside your home. Declutter and clean. You want to wow them the minute they walk in. Clean high and clean low. Don't miss anything.
We're almost done. This is a good time to get some design or staging advice. Homes that sell quickly for the most money, are staged to sell, not decorated for your personal taste. Let a professional help you pick colors for the painting of the rooms and make decisions on furniture placement. If things are moved and not the way you like it, pretend your living in a swanky hotel for a few days. You will be smiling at the signing table before you know it.
Thanks for doing the preparation. You've made your broker very happy. Now you get a break and he gets to fly into action.