Preparing Your Home for Sale

With a little effort on your part, your home can be sold more quickly, and at a better price, if it shows well.  Here are some tips on Preparing your Home for Sale, a Showing, or Open House.

front door Preparation for Showing:

1. First impressions are lasting!  The front door greets the prospect.  Make sure it is fresh, clean, and the trim painted.

2. Keep lawn trimmed and edged, and the yard free of refuse.  Re seed the lawn and fertilize if necessary, weed the gardens, and add mulch.  Deep green grass makes a lasting impression.

3. Decorate for a quick sale.  Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal.  Make an investment in neutral paint.

4. Let the sun shine in.  Open draperies and curtains and let the prospect see how cheerful your home can be.

5. Do the windows and window screens work well and look good?  Make sure windows are spotless.

kitchen 6. Are appliances operating properly and sparkling?

7. Fix the faucet! Dripping water discolors sinks and suggests faulty plumbing.

8. Repairs can make a big difference.  Loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers and other minor flaws detract from homes value.  Have them fixed.

9. Display the full value of your attic, basement, and other utility spaces by removing all unnecessary articles.  Brighten dark, dull basements by painting walls and adding brighter light bulbs.

10. Safety first.  Keep stairways clear.  Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.

11. Pack excess linens and clothing to make closets look bigger.  Neat, well-ordered closets show that space is ample.

12. Bathrooms help sell homes.  Check and repair grout in bathtubs and showers.  Make this room sparkle.  Don’t let the handyman add gobs of caulking when grout is what you need.

13. Arrange bedrooms neatly.  Remove excess furniture.  Use attractive bedspreads and fresh looking window coverings.

Before Showing Ask Yourself:

1. Have I removed or mentioned to my Realtor any attached items that are not included, such as special chandeliers, shelving or garden plants?

2. Am I familiar with similar homes on the market that I may be competing against?

3. Have I asked my Realtor for a list of ways I can improve the “marketability” of my home without wasting time or money?

4. Am I ready to disclose any structural defects such as roof, foundation or wiring problems?

5. Have I started looking for my new home?  Do I know what I want in another home?

6. What do I need to do to prepare for my upcoming move?

  living room Showing the House:

Whenever possible leave your house for showings, if not, follow the tips below.

1. Three’s a crowd.  Avoid having too many people present during showings.  The potential buyer will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house.

2. Music is mellow, but not when showing a house.  Turn off the blaring radio or television.  Let the agent and buyer talk, free from disturbances.

3. Pets underfoot?  Keep them out of the way — preferably out of the house.

4. Silence is golden.  Be courteous but don’t force conversation with the potential buyer.

5. Be it ever so humble.  Never apologize for the appearance of your home.  After all, it has been lived in.  Let the trained agent answer any objections.  This is their job.

6. Remain in the background.  The agent knows the buyer’s requirements and can better emphasize the features of your home when you don’t tag along.

7. Why put the cart before the horse?  Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to the potential buyer before he has purchased the house often results in a lost sale.

8. A word to the wise.  Let your Realtor discuss price, terms, possession and other factors with the customer.  They are eminently qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion.

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