Words of Wisdom: A Seller’s Checklist

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.2
  • 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.