Preparing your home for sale not only increases your chances of a quick sale, but also increases the possibility of getting top dollar as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are ready to place your home onto the market:
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE LASTING. The front door greats the prospective buyer. Make sure it is fresh, clean and scrubbed looking. Keep lawn trimmed and edged, and the yard free of refuse.
DECORATE. Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal. A great investment for a higher rate of return would be to do something as simple as applying a fresh coat of paint to help brighten up the interior.
LET THE SUN SHINE IN. Open draperies, curtains, blinds and let buyers see how cheerful your home can be.
FIX THAT FAUCET! Dripping water can cause discoloration in sinks and could suggest faulty plumbing.
REPAIRS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. Loose knobs, sticking and squeaking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, and other minor flaws can detract from a homes value – have them fixed. Some buyer’s believe there could be another ten problems for every one they have seen.
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. Display the full value of any and all utilities spaces you may have by removing all unnecessary articles.
SAFETY FIRST. Keep stairways clear. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.
MAKE CLOSETS LOOK BIGGER. Neat and well organized closets assist in showing of ample space within a closet.
BATHROOMS CAN HELP SELL HOMES. Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers. Make the bathroom sparkle!
NEATLY ARRANGE BEDROOMS. Remove and excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and freshly laundered curtains if they are installed.
HARMONIZE ELEMENTS. Radio and stereo on softly and the TV off. All lights on, drapes open. If it’s hot out, cool the house and if it’s cold outside, warm it up.
YOU CAN SELL PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP FASTER AND FOR MORE MONEY. Cleanliness appeals to buyers. Put sparkle into your home, with a lot of focus on the bathrooms and kitchen.
WHEN ANY AGENT SHOWS YOUR HOME, REMEBER “THREE’S A CROWD”. Avoid having too many people present during showings, preferably let them and their agent have the house to themselves. Buyers could feel like an intruder and could hurry through the house.
MUSIC IS MELLOW. Turn down the blaring radio and off the television. Let the salesperson and buyers be able to talk, free of any disturbances. Soft, background music is good.
PETS UNDERFOOT? Keep pets out of the way – preferably out of the house. There are some people who are uncomfortable around animals.
SILENCE IS GOLDEN. If you do remain at the house, be courteous – but don’t force conversation with the buyer. They are there to view the house.
BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE. Never apologize for the appearance of your home – it has been lived in. Let the trained sales associate answer any objections, this is their job.
PLEASE DON’T STAY IN YOUR HOUSE WITH HOUSE HUNTERS. Let the agent handle it, and remove yourself if you are able to. Remember, that agent has worked many hours with these people, and knows what they are looking for, and how to work with them. Let them do their job without interference. You may feel that an agent isn’t showing the important features o your home to their clients, but the agent knows people aren’t sold by details until they’ve become emotionally involved with the big picture. The presence of any member of the seller’s family cannot help, could unnerve possible buyers, and could even prevent a sale.
WHY PLACE THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE? Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to a potential buyer before they have purchased the house could possibly end up in a lost sale.
A WORD TO THE WISE. Let your agent discuss price, terms, possession, and other factors with buyers.
Buying a new home can be a daunting experience – especially if you are new to the game. With the market making the transition into a seller’s market due to the low inventory and the abundance of buyer’s out there, the home shopping venture can become frustrating. In this type of market, it is even more important for buyer’s to have that ever so important pre-approval letter in hand from their lender, and to be ready to pull the trigger when they
do find a house worth writing an offer on. Outside of that, there are others tips for buyer’s that are important to remember before and during the home buying process:
SAVE MONEY. In order to be a successful homebuyer, you will need to begin saving money in order to hep cover your down payment and closing costs. Savings also demonstrate to a lender that you have the capacity to be a successful borrower
DO NOT ENTER INTO NEW DEBT. The more debt you have, the less you can borrow to buy a home.
STAY CURRENT WITH EXISTING PAYMENTS. Make sure you pay all your bills on time. Any late payments will show up on your credit report and may disqualify you as a borrower. If you can, pay extra on credit card payments to reduce your debt and interest expense
GET A FREE COPY OF YOUR CREDIT REPORT AND CLEAR UP ANY ISSUES. The credit report shows your debt payment history and tells the lender if you are a good borrower. Review your credit report to see if it is accurate.
ADJUST YOUR BUDGET TO REFLECT THE ADDITIONAL COSTS OF HOMEOWERNSHIP. Even though you may qualify for a high loan amount, take time to consider the additional expenses that come along with becoming a homeowner – things like water, sewer, garbage, and maintenance costs
*Ratio of New Listings to New Sales: The current ratio of new listings to new sales in the market (found by dividing the smaller number by the larger Number). Average List Price: The average list price of all active listings in the market. DOM of Recent Sales: Day on market (DOM) of all the recent sales in the market. Average Sales Price: The average sales price in the market. Average List Price to Average Sales Price: The percentage difference between the average list price of active listings and the average sales price of all recent sale in the market (found by dividing the smaller number by the larger number). New Listings: The total number of new listings on the market. New Sales: The total number of recent sales (closings) on the market. Listings in Escrow: The total number of listings that have an accepted contract and are in the transition of transferring title – between the listing actively being sold and the final sale (closing). Average Listing Price of Listings in Escrow: The price the listings were on the market for when these properties went into escrow.
Your home is now officially on the market and you actively have buyers coming through your home – be it with agents or through open houses. This market time is still an extremely important time to keep your home looking fresh and clean. Following is the last checklist you will need before your home “official” sales and you are able to move to your new one.
Time to Show
Make sure your property profile folder, utility bills, Multipe Listing Service (MLS) profile, house location survey, etc. are available
Open all draperies and shades, turn on all lights
Pick up toys and other clutter, check to make sure beds are made and clothes are put away
Give the carpets a quick vacuuming
Add some strategically placed fresh flowers
Open bathroom windows for fresh air
Pop a spicy dessert or just a pan of cinnamon in the oven for aroma
Turn off the television and turn on the radio music at a low volume
Make a fire in the fireplace if appropriate
Put pets in the backyard or arrange for a friend or family member to keep them
Make sure pet areas are clean and odor-free
Make sure all trash is disposed of in nearly covered bins
Head out ten or more minutes before the show time, so buyers can arrive and focus on the home
Today’s checklist are about those areas you really hate to have to clean-up, or you like to forget about. These same areas can be important to a buyer and help them in their decision making process – be it for a work area, for storage, etc.
Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
clean oily cement floor
Provide strong overhead light
Tidy storage or work areas
Clean water heater and drain sediment
Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
Organize and crate more floor space by hanging or placing items on shelves
Make inspection access easy
Provide strong overhead light, if able
Tidy up by discarding or pre-packing
Make sure energy-saving insulation is apparent
Make sure air best is in working order
Provide strong overhead light, if able
Leave flashlight close by in case buyers want to look at the attic or crawlspace
It is surprising how much the appearance of a home – either upon walk-up or entering into the home – can influence a buyer. Most times, a buyers mind is made up upon the first initial contact of a home; but there are times that a buyers mind can be swayed either one way or another upon entering into the home.
Over the next five days, I will post various checklist. These lists are of features, tips, and things that can be considered when sprucing up the home. By accomplishing a little bit at a time, your home will become ready to make, hopefully, a good lasting impression. Today’s checklist will cover your homes curb appeal – are view upon initial walk up.
Home Curb Appeal
Edge gardens and walkways
Weed and mulch
Sweep walkways and driveway, remove branches, litter, or toys
Add color and fill in bare spots with plantings
Remove mildew or moss from walls or walkways
Take stains off driveway
Stack woodpiles neatly
Clean and repair patio and/or deck
Remove any outdoor furniture which is not in good repair
Make sure pool and/or spa are clean
Repair broken windows and/or shutters, replace torn screens, make sure frames and seams have solid caulking
Hose off exterior wood and trim, replace damaged bricks or wood
Touch up exterior paint, repair gutters and eaves
Clean and remove rust from any window air conditioning units
Paint the front door and/or mailbox
Add a new front door mat and consider a seasonal door decoration
Shine brass hardware on front door, outside lighting fixtures, etc.
There are many siding materials that require little to no upkeep, but there are some that still need a little help in their upkeep. Following are three ways to help reduce the deterioration and damage that can be caused to your siding:
Keep foliage away. Ensure there are no plants growing against or on the siding – trapping moisture and bringing in insects.
Be aware of where water may be getting in. Such areas as doors and windows need to be inspected to ensure there is no water getting through them – causing rot and fungus.
Keep gutters clean. Backed up water in gutters can cause water damage to your homes siding. A good way to reduce clogging is to check them at least twice a year, if not cleaning them out up to four times a year.