Like many sellers, you are probably feeling some apprehension at putting your house on the market.  It is hard to sell something that you are so deeply invested in financially and emotionally.  In your home you see the connections of memories made and life lived.  This is hard to move past but is a necessary step to ensure that you don’t accidentally sabotage your selling efforts.

The first selling secret I share with homeowners getting ready to put their home on the market is to take the home out of the house.  That’s right; in order to market and sell the house it can no longer be your home.  You have to detach completely.  Start the process my packing away all the personal artifacts that are all around you.  Family photos, collections and personal keepsakes should all be removed from the home and put into storage.  The buyer should walk in and see themselves and envision the life they will live in this home not the remnants of the life you have had.

Another selling secret it to place a third of your belongings in storage; anything that is not important to your existence in the coming months while you sell your home should be in storage. This is important especially in closets and storage areas.  By eliminating the bulk in storage areas it gives the appearance that the homes storage is plentiful.  Make the home as neutral and spacious as possible it will help buyers envision their belongings in the home.

It is also important when selling your home to minimize distractions or nuisances.  Mainly this refers to the critters that live with you.  A dog, cat or bird may seem ideal to you but the sight conjures up feelings in others that are not always positive.  Remove evidence including food bowls, cat scratchers, kitty boxes and pet hair.  All of these things can lead home buyers to picture the home as unkempt and unclean.  The complete opposite impression that you are hoping your home makes on impressionable home buyers.

The most universal tip that a real estate agent will give is regarding your homes first impression.  The old saying is true; you never get another chance to make a first impression and neither does your home.  No matter what the inside of the home looks like the buyer has already judged the space before they have even walked through the door.  The entrance to your home should make buyers feel warm, welcome and safe.  We all know that when you live in the space it needs to be functional however when selling you need to take function out and bring inviting in.  Instead of a coat and shoe rack add a small antique table and side chair perhaps adding some fresh flowers as well.  This is the impression you want the buyer to take away with them.

You never know when your buyer will walk through your door so make sure that every open house and viewing is treated with the same care as the first.  Your home should be in shape to be shown on a moment’s notice.  The pain and suffering you experience when maintaining a pristine home will be rewarded with an asking price offer.