PREPARING A HOME FOR SALE
It is important that a seller pay attention to the details when selling a
home, in order to maximize its value. Obviously, curb appeal is critical or a
potential buyer will never make it inside your home. So, mowing
the lawn, planting some colorful flowers, clearing away any unnecessary items
from the yards or on the side of the house, and generally sprucing up the
exterior are important. A little landscaping goes a long way. . .bark chips or even gravel is better than plain dirt.
In addition, there are some simple and inexpensive things that can be done
to enhance a home.
- Stash The Personal Stuff: Make it easy for
buyers to look at the house, not personal pictures, posters, etc.
- Display Things Singly or In Groups of Three or Five: The less clutter
the better. But if you want to display a doll collection, put one out. If you
want more, put out three or five. Put the rest away, even if you have to rent
- Take Down Most Art: Art work can often be too
personal for buyers, particularly religious or abstract art. Make sure that the
house doesn't look like a museum. . .balance a few art
pieces in any room.
- Put Up Mirrors: They make rooms look bigger
plus home buyers see their own reflections in the home.
- Hang New Matching Towels In Bathrooms: They
are not too expensive and will make the bathrooms look nicer.
- Buy a New Toilet Seat and Leave It Down:
- Make the House Look Lived In: A book on the
night stand/coffee table, cannisters (one, three or
five) on the kitchen counter, a fruit basket or flowers. . things
that will personalize the home without clutter.
- Paint the Appliances, If Needed: There are
businesses that paint appliances or you can spray paint them yourself. Choose
neutral colors. Buy a new kitchen towel . . you can take it with you.
- Replace Cabinet Knobs: It will sharpen the kitchen and/or bathrooms.
Replace any hinges that are not working well and make sure doors close easily.
- Take the Leaves Out of the Dining Table: Make the room look bigger by
having only four chairs at the table. Keep stools at the kitchen counter in
place so that they do not impede the traffic pattern.
- Put Classical or Easy Listening Music on the Stereo: Avoid irritating
noise or music. Music playing softly in bedrooms and the kitchen will lure
potential buyers from one room to the next.
- Eliminate Irritating Odors: The rule is if you can smell it, you won't
sell it. Pet and cigarette odors are the most frequently noticed. Shampoo the
carpet, if needed.
- Replace the Carpet, if Needed: Providing a "carpet
allowance" so the new buyers can choose their own carpet generally doesn't
work as well as nice, new, clean carpet already installed.
(“Allowances” may not be credited to the buyer. Lenders will
require identified improvements (e.g.; carpets drapes, kitchen linoleum, etc.)
to be installed prior to Close of Escrow.)
- Make the House a Clean, Well-Lighted Place: Use 100 watt bulbs, open
the drapes, and trim the hedges blocking the windows Keep
the house tidy, beds made, etc. but don't be obsessive about it.
- Replace the Drapes, if Needed: If you can
afford to. If not, it might be best to remove them and go without.
- Paint the Rooms That Need It: Navajo white is best but almost anything is better
than dirty walls. Don't use blue or bright neon colors.
. .better advised to stay with something more neutral.
- Invest in House Plants: Well cared for "real" plants (not
fakes) add to the ambience of the home plus suggest that the home is also
- Get Garbage Cans Out of Sight: Need we say more?
- Get Rid of the RV: Park it at a friends or
store it, if you have to, but don't park it in front of the house. If you have
RV parking, be sure it does not detract.
- Get Necessary Inspections Done: Termite, roof, electrical or anything
suspected of being wrong. Acquire permits for any additions. The appraiser may
require them and buyers are most likely going to ask for them anyway, so, avoid
Many of the above are simple and will cost little or no money to accomplish.
For those items that will cost a bit, check with your Realtor to determine
which changes are most likely to "return your investment". Remember,
you want your home to stand out and be the one that is purchased.
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