PREPARING YOUR HOME TO SELL
As a home seller, the goal is to sell at the best possible price and as quickly as possible. This doesn’t happen by accident; you need to prepare your home for a successful sale and have the help of an experienced agent. Check out the resources below for strategies, tips, and checklists to ensure your home is “Fit to Sell.”
When real estate agents and buyers refer to curb appeal, it means the initial impact the home makes when the buyer first views it. Visualize a buyer driving up to your curb. What would he see? Landscaping in need of work? A
fence in need of paint? If the outside of the house is in shambles, a buyer may not be motivated to get out of
the car and come inside!
So what things are important to fix-up and replace before you sell? Let's cover them as the buyer sees them, from the outside in.
Walk across the street from your home and pretend you're a buyer, viewing the home for the first time. From the parking area, glance around the front yard. Note hedges and trees that might need to be trimmed. Are they cut back away from the front door, the windows, and the porch area? This is not only for aesthetics but for safety reasons as well (a big priority with buyers today). A safe home is one that has a clear view of the parking area and walk ways, free of obstructions and overgrown foliage.
What about paint trim near the front door and on the eaves? Could it use a new coat? Make sure your front door is in good repair, too - including the screen door, if applicable. As buyers enter the home, the first impression sets the stage for the rest of the showing.
The cardinal rule before putting your home on the market is making sure it's clean. In a competitive sales market, why would an eager buyer waste time viewing a house that needed elbow grease? And a less than spic and span house could also signal that other maintenance in the house hasn't been kept up - like plumbing that leaks and furnace systems in need of cleaning or repair. Don't forget that a house that doesn't show
well will often take longer to sell, costing you more money in the long run.
20 Tips for Selling Your Home
Potential buyers get an impression of your home – either positive or negative – within 30 seconds of walking through the door. Having them see your home in tip-top selling shape is an absolute must.
There are countless ways to put the freshest face on your home, many of them costing little more than a bit of your time. Here are a few pointers for the most significant impact:
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 in 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. Prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look, "with a little work."
3. Check Faucets and Bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, and discolored sinks suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs leave prospects 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 Closets
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
8. Make Your Bathrooms 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 prospects 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
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. Prospects 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 prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home's appearance, let your experienced RE/MAX Agent handle the situation.
17. Keep a Low Profile
Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But RE/MAX Sales Agents know buyers - what they need and what they want. Your RE/MAX 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 prospects 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
When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your RE/MAX Sales Agent.
20. Help Your Agent
Your RE/MAX Agent will have an easier time selling your home if showings are scheduled through his or her office. You'll appreciate the results!