Selling a home is often bittersweet. You are, in essence, packing up all of the memories you’ve made and cherish as you move on to your next chapter. It is those memories that make a house a home, not the actual structure itself. This is something you must keep in mind when you put your house on the market.
The way you live in your home is very different from how you sell it. We decorate our homes with personal items that remind us of wonderful vacations, good times with family, and things that makes us comfortable and happy. That’s the way it should be. Selling, however, is a very different story.
In order to appeal to the “typical” home buyer, you must de-personalize your home. What I mean is that you pack away all of the mementos, personal items and collections, neutralize paint colors and fabrics, and leave it with a lovely, yet somewhat generic, feel. A home buyer wants to picture themselves living in the home and will not be able to do so if there are family photos displayed or items adorning the house that are not necessarily in their taste.
Only 10% of people can visualize the potential in a house, so you must be sure to display nothing that a buyer could use as a profile. In other words, they should not be able to determine whether the family living in the home is empty nesters, young newlyweds or fraternity boys, or whether the family loves cats, Revolutionary War memorabilia, or boating.
This is one of the first steps in staging a house for sale.
Properly preparing your home to be sold may be difficult to do, but it will serve several purposes. You will begin to pack, which is a huge job, as any of us who has moved in the past knows. The longer you have lived in your home, the more you tend to accumulate, so it also gives you a chance to edit your belongings. There may be clothing, accessories, furniture, games or other items that you can throw away, sell, or donate. You now have a chance to reach way back into those closets, basements and attic and take inventory and make a plan for each piece. And finally, this exercise gives you a chance to reminisce and gather together everything that is important to you so that you can move on to the next phase of your life. The house will soon become just the structure that held all of your most precious memories… but they will be with you forever.