Getting your home ready to sell

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Over the years I have been in several homes owned or rented by folks from all walks of life. It’s safe to say we all keep our homes in a way that makes sense to us. What’s acceptable to me may not be acceptable to you. Some of us eat at the table. Some eat in front of the TV. Some have pets in the house while others would never dream of animals inside the home. The hunters among us have deer heads on the wall, while the animal lovers are repulsed by dead animals hanging anywhere.

Thinking back, I remember my grandfather being very frustrated with those covers that go on the armrests of what he called the “davenport.” They just would not stay in place. His remedy was to put roofing nails on both ends of them. My grandmother had a fit, but to him that was a very acceptable solution.

One of the biggest hurdles a real estate agent can face is to assist sellers in getting their home in condition to sell. When we see the same thing each day it’s very easy to grow accustomed to the 1,000 magnets and pictures on the fridge or the items that didn’t sell at the last garage sale still in the utility room. There’s also the inevitable list of “haven’t got to it yet” items we all have on a note pad somewhere.

Buyers looking at your home will notice all those things you don’t see anymore. It’s like a flashing arrow sign pointing to all the items we know are there, but have long since noticed. You may have seen the shows on TV with the hidden camera filming during an open house. It can be humorous, but it’s also reality. The potential buyers all ask the “why” did they do this or that? Why didn’t they fix that if they really want to sell their home?

One of the easiest ways to see what needs to be done was shown to me a few years ago at a seminar I attended. You must try to look at your home as it were your first time seeing it. Slowly walk through each room and take lots of pictures. Invite family and friends to sit down and look over those pictures. Things will almost jump off the screen at you. Your “haven’t got to it” list will be right before your eyes. It sounds too easy, I know, but it will work.

If you’re not selling your home, it doesn’t mean much. Keep all as is. But, if you are selling, all this will apply. Potential buyers today are well-informed and expect near perfection from the sellers. Your home must almost look like no one lives there. Try taking down all the photos of the kids, stuff off the fridge, and get rid of the piles we all seem to accumulate. Your home will look larger and potential buyers will also be able to place all their “stuff” where your “stuff” now resides. Any agent will tell you, once buyers start trying to decide where to place their TV, couch and so on, you potentially can have a sold sign going up very soon.

It’s true my grandfather could have cared less how bad the roofing nails looked in his davenport, but he wasn’t trying to sell his home either. Come to think of it, I think he would still have done that regardless. That’s just how he rolled.

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist