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6 Things To Do To Prepare Your Home For Sale

6 Things To Do To Prepare Your Home For Sale

Preparing to sell your home is no easy feat. Obviously, you want it to be in the best shape possible when potential buyers visit, but if you’re still living in it at the time you’ll have your work cut out for you (especially if you have kids!). Not only that, but it might also be difficult to begin the emotional process of “letting go” of the place you’ve called home for so long, knowing that, in the near future, it’ll belong to a whole new family. However, it’s important to be prepared in every way when putting your house on the market in order to get the best price possible, so your family is able to find a new place to live and start making new memories right away.

Get your house ready for sale by:

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1. Cleaning up

While preparing your house for the market, you’re going to redefine the phrase “spring cleaning.” First of all, focus on getting rid of all the clutter throughout the house. Consider holding a garage sale to get rid of everything you don’t absolutely need, while finding an out-of-the-way spot for everything you end up keeping.

De-cluttering is only the beginning. After you’ve made it possible to walk through your house without tripping over shoes or toys, you need to dust, scrub, and polish every visible surface as best you can. Take a walkthrough of your home as if you’re seeing it for the first time. You’ll realize there are a bunch of areas that need touching up that you hadn’t really worried about for some time. However, potential buyers will notice them right away if you leave them untouched.

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2. Airing it out

It’s pretty easy to get used to certain smells, especially if you live with them in your home. If you’re a smoker, you absolutely need to take the time to air your home out as best you can. You might not notice the smell, but potential buyers who don’t smoke will take one step in and immediately turn around and walk out. Even the smell of food can be a turn-off (think of the ever-present smell of burnt leftovers in your office break room). No matter what the commercials will lead you to believe, scented sprays don’t eliminate odors – they just mask them. Go with an odor neutralizer instead. It will actually remove any smells throughout your home, but doesn’t overpower potential buyers’ noses with lemony freshness.

3. Repainting

I mentioned before that you’ll want to take a look at your house as if you’re seeing it for the first time. While doing so, you’ll almost certainly come across some dings and scratches in the walls that you either never noticed before or didn’t care much about at the time. However, the people you show the house to will chalk these imperfections up in the “con” side when weighing their options. Knowing this, you should invest some time and money into repainting every wall in the house. Choose a neutral color that’s not too loud or outlandish, such as white, off white, or tan. You want potential buyers to focus on the actual rooms, not the color of the walls.

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4. Setting up outdoor area

It should go without saying that, in addition to keeping your house clean, you need to maintain your lawn as well when trying to sell your house. Make sure your lawn is nicely trimmed, leaves are raked, and gardens are freshly watered. Stash away your lawn equipment in your tool shed or basement, and make sure your children’s toys are neatly put away rather than strewn about across your backyard. Although you want your yard to be clear of clutter, you should make its usefulness obvious to potential buyers. Arrange your outdoor furniture in such a way to showcase the livability of your yard in different seasons. Even though your clients will be free to do what they want with it, it’ll help them see the purpose of the outdoor area of the property.

5. Stashing away personal items

Like I mentioned before, some parts of the process will be emotionally difficult, but they need to be done. Even though you’re still living in the house, you need to accept that it will soon no longer be your home. Fancy statues, paintings, personal pictures, and other decor should be put into storage for the time being. However, feel free to keep any “neutral” decor, such as landscape pictures, where they were. You want to show potential buyers that there is room for such decor, but ultimately allow their imagination to run free with what they could do with the space they’re given.

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6. Showcasing each room’s purpose

Going along with the last point, you don’t want to completely empty out the house while showing it to your clients, but you still don’t want it to appear as if you still “own” it. You want them to see how specific furniture will fit in each room to give them a good estimate of space, and you also want to suggest how each room could be used (as a study, office, bedroom, etc.). Again, since the decision will ultimately be up to them, you want to keep this furniture as generic as possible. Picture the setup of a furniture store: you know nobody lives there, but you can definitely picture yourself making yourself right at home.

Featured photo credit: Pool table 1 / The Keller Home Selling Team via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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