Selling like the Pro's
Buying real estate is often an emotional decision, but when selling real
estate you need to remove emotion from the equation.
Think of your house as a marketable commodity. Your goal is to get
others to see it as their potential home, not yours. If you do not
consciously make this decision, you can inadvertently create a situation
where it takes longer to sell your property.
The first step in getting your home ready to sell is to "de-personalize"
The reason you want to "de-personalize" your home is you want buyers to
view it as their potential home. When a potential homebuyer sees your
family photos hanging, it puts your own brand on the home and
momentarily shatters their illusions about owning the house. Put away
family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and
souvenirs. Pack them away so they'll be ready for your move.
Remove the Clutter
This is the hardest thing for people to do because they are emotionally
attached to everything in the house. After years of living in the same
home, clutter collects in such a way that you may not even be able to
notice it. Clutter severely effects the way buyers see the home. Clutter
on shelves, counter tops, furniture and closets is your main concern.
Let a friend or neighbor point out areas of clutter, or your realtor
should be able to help, as long as you can accept their views without
getting defensive your on your way to selling like the pro's.
Get everything off the counters - everything - even the toaster. I put
the toaster in a cabinet and take it out when you use it. Your find that
properly displaying your home for buyers may involve all new routines in
the way you live. Find a place where you can store everything in
cabinets and drawers. Home buyers will open your cabinets and
drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough
room for their items so make them look empty. If your kitchen cabinets,
pantries, and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to
the buyer. Empty the pantry, only buy what you need for the week instead
of storing months of can goods and other items in the pantry.
Pack up and/or sell off extra clothes, shoes. If you cannot part with
them but rarely use them pack them away and do without these items for a
couple of months. For example if it's summer, then pack up all your
winter cloths and put them in storage.
Too much furniture in rooms make the room look small. You want to give
the illusion of space that a homebuyer would like to see. Tour some
local new home models to get the idea of how to arrange your furniture.
Storage Area Clutter
Garages and sheds accumulate lots of clutter. Although it better
than having it in your home, if possible these areas should be as empty
as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the
Fixing Up Inside
Plumbing and Fixtures
All your sink fixtures should look clean, new and be in working order,
if not buy new ones. Nothings worse than someone else's dirty sink, all
sinks need to be spotless.
Ceilings, Walls and Painting
Check all the ceilings for water stains, water stains are a huge problem
for buyers, you must remove the stains, assuming the leak has been
fixed. Do the same for walls, not only stains, but also where dirt
has accumulated like to corners and light switches. Painting can be your
best investment when selling your home. It is not a very expensive
operation and you can do it yourself. Do not choose colors based on
your own preferences, but based on what would appeal to the widest
possible number of buyers. Light colors, whites, beiges, ask the paint
specialist at your home store.
Carpet and Flooring
Clean it and leave it alon , unless it appears old, worn, stained, or
outdated , in that case replace it with a neutral color.
If you smoke, you might want to have a order removal treatment and then
minimize smoking indoors while trying to sell your home.
Eliminate pet orders, you may not even notice but others will. Try to
removed pets or keep them elsewhere while your home is on the market.
Costs of Repairs
No major remodeling should be needed, the most profitable projects are
de-clutter, painting and cleaning.
The exterior and front entry
can be the most important areas. You need to get the buyers in your home
with a good first impression. Take a look at your home from across the
street. Look at nearby houses and see how yours compares.
Is your landscaping at least as good as other, is your grass green, if
not green it up fast with some $15 fertilizer from your local home
store. Your lawn should be evenly cut, freshly edged, well watered, and
free of brown spots.
Paint or not to paint? When you look at your house from across the
street, does it look faded or fresh? Can you see the block edges through
the stucco, do you have large brown water satins from your sprinklers?
If so, a paint job may be in order; It is often a very good investment.
Once again choose a light neutral color, dark blues, pinks, reds,
purples and greens are no no's.
The Front Door & Entryway
The front door should be especially sharp, since it is the entryway into
the house. Polish the door fixture so it gleams. If the door needs
refinishing or repainting, make sure to get that done.
If you have a cute little plaque or shingle with your family name on it,
remove it. Even if it is just on the mailbox. You can always put it up
again once you move. Get a new plush door mat, too. This is something
else you can take with you once you move.
Make sure the lock works easily and the key fits properly. When a
homebuyer comes to visit your home, the agent uses the key from the lock
box to unlock the door. If there is trouble working the lock while
everyone else stands around twiddling their thumbs, this sends a
negative first impression to prospective homebuyers.
If the price is right.
If you and your agent have overpriced, fewer agents will preview your
home. After all, they are Realtors, and it is their job to know local
market conditions and home values. If your house is dramatically above
market, why waste time? Their time is better spent previewing homes that
are priced realistically.
Why You Should Not Be Home
Homebuyers will feel like intruders if you are home when they visit, and
they might not be as receptive toward viewing your home. Visit the local
coffee house, yogurt shop, or take the kids to the local park. If you
absolutely cannot leave, try to remain in an out of the way area of the
house and do not move from room to room. Do not volunteer any
information, but answer any questions the agent may ask.
Lighting, Fragrances, Pet Control and More
When you know someone is coming by to tour your home, turn on all the
indoor and outdoor lights – even during the day. At night, a lit house
gives a "homey" impression when viewed from the street. During the
daytime, turning on the lights prevents harsh shadows from sunlight and
it brightens up any dim areas. Your house looks more homey and cheerful
with the lights on.
Do not use scented sprays to prepare for visitors. It is too obvious and
many people find the smells of those sprays offensive, not to mention
that some may be allergic. If you want to have a pleasant aroma in your
house, have a potpourri pot or something natural. Or turn on a stove
burner for a moment and put a drop of vanilla extract on it. It will
smell like you have been cooking.
If you have pets, make sure your listing agent puts a notice with your
listing in the multiple listing service. The last thing you want is to
have your pet running out the front door and getting lost. If you know
someone is coming, it would be best to try to take the pets with you
while the homebuyers tour your home. If you cannot do that, It is best
to keep dogs in a penned area in the back yard. Try to keep indoor cats
in a specific room when you expect visitors, and put a sign on the door.
Most of the time, an indoor cat will hide when buyers come to view your
property, but they may panic and try to escape.
The Kitchen Trash
Especially if your kitchen trash can does not have a lid, make sure you
empty it every time someone comes to look at your home – even if your
trash can is kept under the kitchen sink. Remember that you want to send
a positive image about every aspect of your home. Kitchen trash does not
send a positive message. You may go through more plastic bags than
usual, but it will be worth it.
Keeping the House Tidy and Neat
Not everyone makes his or her bed every day, but
when selling a home it is recommended that you
develop the habit. Pick up papers, do not leave empty
glasses in the family room, keep everything freshly
dusted and vacuumed.