Posted in: Louisville Homes Information, Louisville Real Estate, Author: Younger Group (June 28, 2011)
If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know that I have had a busy Spring selling houses and tending to my newborn. Though it is not always easy to sell a house in a buyer’s market like we have now, housing prices are so reasonable in Louisville that if you are willing to price it right, I can help you sell it. I have many systems in place to make that happen, but getting it ready to sell largely falls on you. Though it is officially summer now, it is not too late to take advantage of the buyer’s interest in Louisville housing inventory. So, maybe it’s time for a heart-to-heart talk about decluttering your home for sale.
With other homes competing for buyer’s attention, you need to make yours stand out. One thing that is a given is that your home must be spotless. You know the drill – make sure that floors, walls, cupboards, windows, kitchens, and bathrooms are white-glove clean and free of stains and odors. (Even if you have pets, you don’ t want to “let the cat of the bag” that you do too with offensive odors.) Impose order on basements and garages. True or not, buyers regard dirt as a sign that you have not kept up the house. Not everyone who looks at your home is a great housekeeper, but few people want to buy anyone else’s dirt. If housekeeping is not your strong suit, Maid in Louisville or Maid for You, to name a couple options, can get you ready to go.
Once your walls, doors, and woodwork are clean, you may need to spruce them up with a coat of paint – starting at the front door. If you have painted your home in bright decorator colors, tone it down when you repaint so that more buyers like the color scheme. More color works in some high-end developments or artsy districts ; if in doubt, ask me for suggestions. I know what sells where. Even if your home is “cutting edge” in its décor, you risk “cutting out buyers” if it is out of step with comparable homes in your neighborhood.
As for floors, take a good look at the carpets. If they’re shabby or worn, consider replacing them. You may want to give an allowance to the buyers so they can choose their own carpet or reduce the selling price. Unfortunately, buyers tend to want even more off, so it is better to have the floors in ready-to sell condition rather than let them negotiate. Depending on the age of your home, you may find wood floors under old carpet that need a minimal amount of refurbishing to be saleable – a great alternative, give the popularity of wood floors.
Thought exhausting, cleaning is less traumatic to many sellers than decluttering when selling your home, because it means putting a lot of your personal style out of site. It also forces you to come to terms with whether you really need all you have. From the buyer’s standpoint, if your home has wall-to-wall furniture and packed closets, your home might seem too small. You want prospective buyers to see the lines of your home, as well as the amount of storage space you have. They want to see their options for placing their own furniture; your overstuffed three pieces set and assorted tables, ottomans, and lamps might “block the view.” Some buyers can see past dirt, clutter, and non-conventional decorating, but not all.
If you are planning to take that living room set to your next home, consider putting a piece or two in storage – then assess whether you really need the extra before you pay to have the furniture moved. The same approach applies to clothes and other things you have accumulate. Reduce the volume so buyers see spacious closets, then sell or donate the rest.
Once you have decluttered, depersonalize by removing your photo, trophies, collections, etc ., that can engage buyers in your memories, not move them forward to how they could create their own there. If you have shelves full of figurines or collectables, you can reduce clutter and give yourself a head start in packing by putting some away. A buyer might not be turned off by a picture of Momma on the piano, but dozens of pictures of your family are distracting.
When you think about decluttering, the logistics of storing furniture, art, and collectibles can be overwhelming. Fortunately, in Louisville, there are several good storage options you can secure on a month-to-month basis. For example, Cityspace on Main, right downtown in the Nulu district, offers easily accessible storage units from 5′ x 5′ to 10′ x 30′ that can be a temporary home for your overflow possessions. If you are downsizing and unsure of what will fit in your new home, you can leave what you are unsure about in the climate controlled storage facility until you have decided. Even once you are settled, storage units can be handy place to keep seasonal decorations, unused exercise equipment, and yard furniture.
If you do the heavy lifting of preparing your home for sale, I can do the heavy lifting of selling it. My team and I at Younger Group Real Estate can sell your home and show you affordable homes within your budget in Butchertown, St. Matthews, The Highlands, and other great Louisville neighborhoods near the Derby. We know Louisville!