Preparing to sell

Now what should you do?  Prior to listing your home, you’ll want to ensure everything is in good showing condition to maximize the sale potential of your house.  Before buyers start to tour the home, here are some important things to consider:

    Now is the time to put things in storage, clean out the basement and garage and start preparing to show your home. Remember, you want buyers to see themselves in your home so less is more.
    Curb appeal is your first chance to entice buyers.  Focusing your efforts on the front of your house will assist in grabbing buyers’ attention.  It’s true that first impressions are lasting, so be sure that your house creates a strong first impression. 

  Here are some suggestions experts recommend to increase the curb appeal of your house:

Mow, weed, trim and water your lawn regularly
Paint or thoroughly wash the house exterior
Place a new welcome mat at the door
Make sure you can read your house address numbers
Wash the windows so they are transparent
Remove extra vehicles from the driveway
Repair damaged screens and windows
Sweep the walkway and driveway as needed
Remove distracting lawn ornaments
Clean up after your pets on a daily basis
Repair any fence or gate
Make sure your roof and gutters are in good shape

    Your house may fulfill all the criteria potential buyers want for location, price, style and amenities, but it still needs to make an emotional connection.  Inspire buyers by creating scenarios where they can picture themselves.  To do so, create a neutral slate by using subtle colors in your entryway, living room, family room and dining room; eliminate excess personal memorabilia; and engage all of the senses with soft music, a warm fire and fresh flowers. 

  Here are a few ideas to make your place say, “Welcome You’re Home” to potential buyers:

          Ensure a clean, organized entryway for appeal
          Paint walls a neutral color scheme.  
          Repair wall and ceiling cracks
          Scrub and wax or seal floors
          Make sure carpet is spotless and fresh smelling
          Wipe down all light fixtures so each room sparkles
          Clean draperies and blinds
          Scale back family photos to a few tastefully framed pictures
          Plan soft music on the stereo to create a comfortable atmosphere
          Rearrange furniture in the family room & living room for openness
          Place a bench in your entryway for your guests’ convenience.

    Two key areas that buyers tend to focus on are the kitchen and the bathrooms.  A clean kitchen sends a positive message.  And a beautiful bathroom is compelling.  Many buyers prefer to purchase a house classified as “move-in condition,” so make sure you repair leaky faucets, remove rust stains and fix sticky drawers.  Simple repairs now can mean the difference between potential buyers moving on or making an offer.

  Here’s what you can do to impress potential buyers:

          Place seldom used small appliances in drawers
          Wipe down insides of drawers and install dividers
          Make sure your mirrors and appliances shine
          Inspect the cabinets and clear the countertops
          Check for leaky faucets and caulk sinks and tubs
          In the bathroom, create a mini-spa with guest soaps, bath oils and thick towels
          Scrub and polish all sinks and tubs
          Purchase a new shower curtain and liner as well as rugs
          Repair missing grout and tiles  
          Roll several new towels and place in a basket on counter
          Deodorize garbage disposal, dishwasher and trash can

    Turn your attention to the rest of the house.  Take a close look at each remaining area-including the bedrooms, the basement and the backyard.  And remember to inspect the garage, shop and laundry room.  These often overlooked areas can impress potential buyers, setting your house apart from the competition!

A clean house sends a positive message that you also took care of major items such as the roof and the furnace.  If you can’t get something clean, paint it, remove it or replace it.

  Here are a few items to pay special attention to:

          Vacuum under beds
          Organize closets
          Place scented candle on the nightstand
          Fold a quilt at the end of the bed
          Put scented paper or sachets in closets
          Drape a textured throw over the corner of a sofa or chair
          Hang a picture in the laundry room
          Wipe down the washer, dryer, furnace & all appliances
          Put tools in binds in the garage or shop
          Refresh patios by power-washing & give wood decks a boost with fresh coat of stain  
          Place lawn furniture and small tables in conversational groupings outside

  • Find Potential Problems Early
    Once you’ve completed these steps you may want to hire someone to perform a pre-listing inspection. Buyers will be hiring professional inspectors too; this is your chance to find and address problems before it’s time to sell.
  • Professional Staging
    Consider hiring a professional stager to help give buyers the appeal they’re looking for.
  • During the Listing Period
    You’ll need to plan to have something to do during the times potential buyers visit your home. If initial offers don’t meet your expectations, don’t dismiss them immediately. You may need to consider lowering your asking price if months go by with few or no offers. However, by working with your agent you will be able to arrive a price that works for all parties.

    By making potential buyers feel welcome and comfortable you can subtly influence their attitude toward your house…turning it from a house for sale into a HOUSE SOLD!

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