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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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