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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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