Thinking about selling your home? Before you place it “on the market” take a look around. Once your listed, you now have a “paper trail” of information on your home. Place your home on the market when it is ready to be placed there.
The following is a guideline. Read it over thoroughly to help you prepare yourself and your home for the next step. Take a notepad a and good look around your home. Pretend YOU were the buyer. Be critical, and take notice on what you would want to changed or remedied. Statistically buyers prefer “move in condition”; “fixer-uppers” tend to go for a lower price.
So, take a walk and look around. Maybe your home is ready to “sell” or maybe just a few small alterations could increase your value and.or decrease the amount of time actually spent “on the market” before its sold.
So let’s begin with this question. “What is the first thing you notice when approaching a house?” The answer is….. your actual property-AND even your neighbors’ property. Keep your grounds well maintained: if there is snow, make sure it is shoveled and kept safe. You may need to mow the grass a bit more often, or trim those hedges. If you feature flower beds, keep them weeded and groomed as well. Regarding your neighbors’ property, (unless your good friends who have a good sense of humor) DON’T tell your neighbor to clean their yard. This is not polite.
Let them know that you are going to be selling your house and let them know that the higher the price you get for your home, will actually help increase the price of their home. Ask, if they would mind if you could clean up the leaves in front of their house, so they don’t blow over into your yard….because you want everything to be perfect. Make a joke that your neurotic. Be as diplomatic as possible. This way, you will have their help, permission and support during this time. If they say no-fine, at least you tried. Yet, if you disclose your situation like this, I’m sure they would want their own value to increase off of your work.
Next would be the face of your home. Is it in need of some “cosmetic updating”? A fresh coat of paint will give an automatic face-lift without any down time! Window frames, screens, doors and walkways around the entire exterior, especially the front. If they are in need of repair, this could be a wise investment. Is your walkway lit? Light in the entrance of your exterior gives an inviting appeal. Once a prospective buyer is interested in your home, they WILL BE driving by-at any time.
Now for the interior. The feeling you want to send is: Clean, Bright & Spacious. Even if you do not normally “live” a certain way, now is the time for the “show” to begin. Clean magazines, newspapers and toys away and out of sight. A few magazines or a newspaper on your coffee table may look attractive, but no more than that. Spring clean from top to bottom. Wax floors, polish furniture and display items you may have. If you have glass items on display, make sure they are cleaned to let the light sparkle. Use a professional grade carpet vacuum and shampoo all carpeted areas.
If you have tiled flooring, purchase a “grout cleaner”. Spray, let stand for 5 minutes and then scrub aways. I like to clean my tiles in sections because it is hard work, but it will pay off in the end. Clean your windows, inside and out if possible. If your walls are dull or dark, paint with a light, neutral color to emphasize the size. If your walls are “your favorite color” repaint to the bright, neutral toned color. Some times it is hard for someone to imagine “their stuff” in “your house” if the house decor is too overwhelming.
Believe it or not, the kitchen and bathroom(s) are some of the main selling areas. PAY EXTRA ATTENTION TO THESE TWO ROOMS! Your tub, sink and tile should sparkle. Possible use the grout cleaner on this as well. Your cabinets and counter-tops should be cleaned and cleared.
Since you’re moving anyway, go through every room, closet and drawer to get rid of clutter. Start with the major areas of storage like the attic and basement first. Prospective buyers will and should open every door. This may possibly be “their new home” and will want to see everything there is to see. Have a garage sale, try to turn a profit from what you don’t want. This will also help in the packing up for when you move. It also helps with the cleaning, the less stuff you have the more detailed of a cleaning job you can do.
If your home needs any small repairs such as a leaky faucet or a squeaky floor board, make these corrections before they see it. Let them complain about next to nothing.
Make your home as bright and light as possible. Open curtains, lights and doors. Make the buyer feel comfortable with your closet doors already being opened. Not wide open, but ajar. This way if they are not “seasoned buyers” and don’t know that they can open the door, they will be influenced to take a look. It says, “Look Inside”.
Last but not least…….you (and your family). Give the potential buyers of your home their space and privacy. If you are using an agency, (which I strongly recommend) and you are home while your open house is being held, or during a showing; cheerfully greet the prospects and then disappear. your presence may feel overwhelming or annoying. You could inhibit them from asking questions they fell might insult you. T
his of this as an example: You’re dining out, and you ask the waiter to give you a few moments to decide-and they just stand in front of your table waiting rather than walking away for 5 minutes. Do you not feel pressure, or a discomfort while trying to make your decision. You feel rushed and may make a choice based on this feeling just to rid yourself of their presence. So basically, let your prospects “feel at home“.
Once you have gone over these areas, you are ready to SHOW & SELL! Best of Luck to you in your endeavors!