Friday, January 15, 2010

10 Tips on Selling Your Home

After hiring a real estate agent and deciding to put your home on the market, here is how to turn your house into an irresistible and marketable home. With so many properties on the market today, you want yours to stand out! Preparation is the key to selling your home fast and for top dollar.

1. Disassociate yourself with your home.
  • Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
  • Don't look backwards -- look toward the future!
2. Depersonalize
  • Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. You don't want buyers to be distracted. You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here.
3. Get Rid of the Clutter!
  • People collect an amazing quantity of junk. General Rule: if you haven't used it in over a year, you most likely do not need it. If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
  • Pack up knickknacks.
  • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
  • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
  • Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
4. Organize Closets and Cabinets
  • Buyers will open closet and cabinet doors. Imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well.
5. Rent a Storage Unit
  • Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around.
6. Remove and/or Replace Favorite Items that you Intend to Keep
  • If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
7. Make Minor Repairs
  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls. Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to bright colored walls.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
8. Clean!
  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Wax floors.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Replace worn rugs.
  • Hang up fresh towels. Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows!
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
9. Scrutinize your Home as if you were a Buyer
  • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
  • Make sure window coverings hang level.
  • Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact?
  • If it looks like nobody lives in the house, you are almost finished.
10. Look at your Curb Appeal
  • Keep the sidewalks clear.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Paint faded window trim.
  • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.
  • Trim your bushes.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
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