Home Prepping

Selling like a  Pro
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” it.

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.

Kitchen Clutter
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.

Closet Clutter
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.

Furniture Clutter
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 space.

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.

Odor Control
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.

House Exterior
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.
Pet Control
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.