Liz Bacorn

Sales Associate

Selling Your Home



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Once you have decided that you are going to be selling your home, there are a some relatively easy things you can do that will help your house to sell more quickly and at a higher price.

Get rid of clutter

Your house will look much more spacious and elegant if clutter is removed.

  • Start packing up things you don't need every day so that your shelves and surface areas don't look crowded.
  • Renting a storage locker can really help to make garages and basements look clean and usable.
  • Throw away things that you are not going to take with you when you move.
  • Have that garage sale now rather than waiting until after you have sold your house.


Remember, the more you get rid of now, the easier your move will be.

Kitchen

Your kitchen is a great place to focus on in getting your house ready.

  • Remove all items from your counter tops and from all other flat surfaces
  • Clean out your junk drawer if you have one
  • Pack away or throw away old pots and plastic containers that you don't use every day.
  • Clear out cabinets and pantries by using up food supplies and keep your stocks low until after you move.


Making your kitchen look spacious will really help to sell your house.

Closets

Clearing out some of the clothes and other items stored in your closets can help to make them look like they have plenty of room for the new occupants. This might be a good time to give away some of your old cloths or box them up if you have enough storage room.

Furniture

Consider moving some of your furniture into storage if you can live without it. Rooms will look larger if there is open space and the furniture doesn't look crammed in. A rented storage space can really come in handy in this regard.

Repairs Pay Off

After you've cleaned the place to within an inch of its life, the next project is making all the repairs necessary to attract a buyer.

So, patch up the roof, touch up all the paint, repair the screens, spruce up the porch framing, and make your entry area really shine. Don't forget to water the lawn and landscape beds, and take the time to trim, mow, edge and get rid of sick or dying plants. Inside, fix the grout in the bathrooms and on tile floors, adjust any doors that need it, fix any scratches on the walls, cover any stains, and be sure to fix any plumbing problems. Remember, do what your home needs before the first buyer appears at your door.

Also, it's a good idea to get all this done before getting the real estate broker to make the first listing -- a good Realtor will advise you on what needs to be done. Also, if you have friends willing to be brutally honest about what your home needs to sell, invite them to assess the fix-up needs.

There is, however, an alternative to the sweat equity you get from a total fix-up --but it carries a price. An "as-is" sale keeps you from doing all this work, but a buyer will assess about twice the price you would have paid for the repairs. Then, the buyer will deduct that amount from your asking price before making an offer.

 

Putting Your Home on the Market: Show It to Sell It

After you have cleaned, shined, mowed, and generally whipped your property into shape, it's time to attract a buyer.

Regardless of who markets your home, you or a broker, there are other, small things you must do to attract buyers. For example, even if it's bright daylight, open the blinds and turn on the lights. Also, open all the interior doors to make the home appear roomier. Be sure to remove all your kids and pets -- they're cute, but a prospect wants to see your home, not your pride and joy. In addition, make sure your pet's litter pan is clean so the home smells clean and fresh, not like air freshener. Remember, you need to make sure your home is available to be seen by a prospective buyer with as little notice as possible. That means less than an hour, or even five minutes, if possible.

 

Get a Sense of the Market

Before you put your home on the market, take a weekend day to check out the competition: homes with similar prices and in similar neighborhoods. Remember, you don't have to go out and buy new furniture just to look like that beautiful new model in the new development -- what you want is the feel of that new model -- clean, uncluttered, and fresh.

Remember, after location, the most important item to a buyer is a well maintained home. Many flaws can be overlooked if the buyer knows he can move in without a lot of trouble and expense.