For SellersLooking to sell
Selling Tips on Preparing Your Home for Sale
Preparing Your Home For Sale – Sometimes, life just hands us the inevitable: just when everything seems right with your home, something happens and you have to sell. No matter what your reasons are for selling, remember that now is no time to dawdle, the process of preparing a home for sale can take a month or more. So, here’s how to start:
1. Take a Fresh Look at Your Home
Your home looks great to you, but a buyer wants to see it since he and his family will be living in it, so take fresh look at your dwelling. Hop in your car, drive around the block, and then scrutinize your home as a prospective buyer will see it for the first time. First, consider what’s called “street appeal;” does it need washing or painting? Does the driveway need repair work? Is the landscaping in good shape? Remember, be very critical; your buyer will be.
Next, pull into the driveway and take a good, hard look. Is the yard neat and trimmed? What about the view from the front yard? Then, walk inside and size up the interior as though seeing it for the first time. Take a tour and imagine what your real estate agent might say about each room, look into cabinets, open doors, check out the bathroom.
Then, make a mental note of the things that might put off potential buyers, along with another list of the things that first attracted you to the dwelling. Remember, the home’s become a great place for you, but a new buyer will see things that you don’t.
2. Clean Out the Clutter Before You Start to Sell
Before putting your home on the market, get rid of clutter in every area: wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities, and shelves — everywhere. Remember, this is no time to be sentimental: if you don’t use it, lose it. Potential buyers are seriously put off by clutter, and most of us drag a lot more things through life than we really need.
Also, don’t forget the furniture and fixtures when getting rid of clutter; most of us put too much in too little space, which makes a buying prospect, think your home is too small.
Then, have a great moving sale with all the stuff you’ve collected and use the proceeds for paint or whatever other materials you need for repair projects. If you just can’t bear to part with some possessions, store them in the garage or some other place that’s out of sight to a potential buyer.
3. To Sell, Sell, Sell — Clean, Clean, Clean
After you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s time to really clean. Have the carpets professionally cleaned, strip and polish the floors, scour the bathrooms, go over the laundry room, polish the furniture, scour out the cabinets, wash the windows and window coverings, and spiff up the ceiling fans and kitchen appliances. In short, clean everything.
Don’t forget the exterior; paint or power-wash everything that needs the work. Remember, this is a ceiling-to-floor, roof-to-foundation clean-up project.
4. Get More for Your Home: Repairs Pay Off
After you’ve cleaned the place to within an inch of its life, the next project is making all the repairs necessary to attract a buyer.
So, patch up the roof, touch up all the paint, repair the screens, spruce up the porch framing, and make your entry area really shine. Don’t forget to water the lawn and landscape beds, and take the time to trim, mow, edge and get rid of sick or dying plants. Inside, fix the grout in the bathrooms and on tile floors, adjust any doors that need it, fix any scratches on the walls, cover any stains, and be sure to fix any plumbing problems. Remember, do what your home needs before the first buyer appears at your door.
Also, it’s a good idea to get all this done before getting the real estate broker to make the first listing — a good agent will advise you on what needs to be done. Also, if you have friends willing to be brutally honest about what your home needs to sell, invite them to assess the fix-up needs.
There is, however, an alternative to the sweat equity you get from a total fix-up; but it carries a price. An “as-is” sale keeps you from doing all this work, but a buyer will assess about twice the price you would have paid for the repairs. Then, the buyer will deduct that amount from your asking price before making an offer.
5. Putting Your Home on the Market: Show It to Sell It
After you have cleaned, shined, mowed, and generally whipped your property into shape, it’s time to attract a buyer.
Regardless of who markets your home, , there are other, small things you must do to attract buyers. For example, even if it’s bright daylight, open the blinds and turn on the lights. Also, open all the interior doors to make the home appear roomier. Be sure to remove all your kids and pets; they’re cute, but a buyer wants to see your home, not your pride and joy. In addition, make sure your pet’s litter pan is clean so the home smells clean and fresh, not like air freshener. Remember, you need to make sure your home is available to be seen by a prospective buyer with as little notice as possible. That means less than an hour, or even five minutes, if possible.
6. Get a Sense of the Market
Before you put your home on the market, take a weekend day to check out the competition: homes with similar prices and in similar neighborhoods. Remember, you don’t have to go out and buy new furniture just to look like that beautiful new model in the new development — what you want is the feel of that new model — clean, uncluttered, and fresh.
Remember, after location, the most important item to a buyer is a well maintained home. Many flaws can be overlooked if the buyer knows he can move in without a lot of trouble and expense.
Twenty Quick Tips for Showing your Home
Showing Your Home – As a homeowner, you can play an important part in the timely sale of your property. When you take the following steps, you’ll help your Agent sell your home faster, at the best possible price.
1. Make the Most of that First Impression
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted – or at least freshly scrubbed – front door. If it’s autumn, rake the leaves. If it’s winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.
2. Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends
Here’s your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your property. If you’re worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to get your house ready. Remember, buyers would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look “with a little work.”
3. Check Taps and Bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs or faulty wiring leave buyers in the dark. Don’t let little problems detract from what’s right with your home.
4. Don’t Shut Out a Sale
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect’s mind. Don’t try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.
5. Think Safety
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.
6. Make Room for Space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They’re looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.
7. Consider Your Wardrobes
The better organized a wardrobe, the larger it appears. Now’s the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
8. Make Your Bathroom Sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats, and shower curtains.
9. Create Dream Bedrooms
Wake up buyers to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.
10. Open up in the Daytime
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.
11. Lighten up at Night
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights – both inside and outside – when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.
12. Avoid Crowd Scenes
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they’re likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum.
13. Watch Your Pets
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you’re showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.
14. Think Volume
Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it’s time to show your home, it’s time to turn down the stereo or TV.
Be friendly, but don’t try to force conversation. Buyers want to view your home with a minimum of distraction.
16. Don’t Apologize
No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a buyer volunteers a derogatory comment about your home’s appearance, let your experienced Agent handle the situation.
17. Keep a Low Profile
Nobody knows your home as well as you do. Of course, you are welcome to give your home a “human face” by saying hello, but allow your agent to do their job; their experience will prove invaluable, particularly in the negotiation phase, of selling your home. Your assistance may be sought for the odd “technical” question about your home, and your assistance would be appreciated. However generally keep a low profile, as your Agent will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
18. Don’t Turn Your Home into a Second-Hand Store
When buyers come to view your home, don’t distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need. You may lose the biggest sale of all.
19. Defer to Experience – It’s the Experience®
When buyers want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert – your Agent.
20. Help Your Agent
Your Agent will have an easier time selling your home if showings are scheduled through their office. Unexpected callers should immediately be directed to your real estate agent. You’ll appreciate the results!
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