• Fix or replace broken or worn-out items. Having a cracked tile or a dripping faucet will send a wrong impression to prospective buyers — that the home has been neglected. Replacing or getting these (small) items fixed before putting your house on the market is critical to your sale. • Get rid of clutter. Make use of the “50% Rule.” You get rid of clutter in your house by at least half. Since we all tend to love our stuff, this might be the most difficult rule of all. Our stuff reflects our hobbies, memories, and values. Unfortunately, clutter doesn’t sell a home; in fact, it hinders the sale. Clutter also makes a home seem disorganized and smaller. I opened the garage to a house we were considering making our own home to find a partially dismembered deer in process of the homeowner’s hunting and taxidermy hobby. We didn’t consider the home any further, although it was equal in most ways to others we liked. We just couldn’t get past that dead deer in “our” garage. • Using neutral colors. It’s well known that using neutral colors sell. Conveying an image of neutrality and quality is important. Prospective buyers walk through your home, imagining themselves as the owners. While you might have enjoyed a unique paint scheme, buyers won’t be engaged enough to envision their own lifestyle in that hue. Painting your home with odd or loud colors can turn buyers off. They might not be able to imagine living in your home with those colors if they don’t suit their personal tastes and style. • Depersonalize. Get rid of objects that your prospective buyers could be personally offended by. For instance, religious and political items may turn off groups of potential buyers, especially if they have different religious and political backgrounds. As mentioned, the process of acquiring a home is quite emotional, and you want prospective buyers to attach emotion to your home by making it possible for them to see themselves as the owners.
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