Before you sell your home you have to go through a process known as getting your home in "showing condition". Showing condition means keeping the floors clean and the house in top shape for prospective home buyers so they can view the home at its best. Here are seven things you should remove from your home before putting it on the market:
Family photos – When you live in your home it becomes your private sanctuary. Putting your home on the market is much like opening those doors to the public for all to see. Remove any family / vacation photos from your home to ensure buyers do not get ensnared by their curiosity of who you are and stop paying attention to the house itself.
Jewelry and other valuables – Not every potential buyer is the real deal. Sometimes thieves will pose as a home buyer in order to see what kind of luxuries you have in your home. This is especially true in the sale by owner market where thieves will try to work their way into a home based on a seller's lack of experience dealing with showing protocols. If you have expensive items and valuables like jewelry, collectibles and rare art you should take it out of the house before sticking the for sign in the ground.
Unneeded or leftover prescription drugs – Another prime target for theft, high value prescription drugs like painkillers are thought after in properties with easy access because the homeowners are trying to sell it. Keep these in a safe place or remove them from the home entirely before showing.
Boats and other outdoor eyesores – If there's ever been a time to pull up the stilts on a novelty pink flamingo, this would be it. De-clutter the exterior of your home by storing large possessions like boats, RVs and trailers at an off-site storage facility. Any ornamental cloth pieces should also be packed ahead of time so as to not deter buyers.
Out of season items stored in the home – Spring has always been the best time to sell your home. You've got the perfect storm of school ending, summer coming and lots of houses coming on the market to draw out home buyers. Showcase every square foot of your home by removing out of season items like snowblowers and winter tires from the garage.
Desk and workstation clutter. – Every home has a pass through station where mail, car keys and other assorted goods tend to accumulate. These are exceptionally useful spaces except most of them are within lose proximate of the front door and are a huge eyesore to home Buyers walking in the front door. Clean up these areas to put your home's best foot forward.
Major signs of pets in the home. – There are different extremes everyone is willing to go when selling their home. Some will keep their pets in the garage during a showing or leave them with parents / family while their house is on the market. While I do not endorse leaving your pooch at Mom & Dad's while your house is on the market I do recommend keeping major pet signs in the house to a minimum. This includes oversized dog bowl stations and kitty litter boxes that do not get cleaned. Pets leave odors behind that you grow used to but will seem pungent to a first time visitor (very true for litter boxes!).
Selling your home can be a fun and brief experience. Use the guide above to give you a general overview on how to minimize your number of days on the market while still keeping your sanity during each showing.