Preparing Your Home For Sale

With a little effort on your part, your home can be sold more quickly and at a better price. The following tips have proved invaluable to owners and are worth your special attention:

Preparation For Showing:

  • First impressions are lasting! The front door greets the prospect. Make sure it is fresh, clean, and paint the trim.
  • Keep lawn trimmed and edged, and the yard free of refuse. Reseed the lawn and fertilize if necessary, weed the gardens, and add mulch. Deep green grass makes a lasting impression. In winter, be sure snow and ice is removed from walks and steps.
  • Decorate for a quick sale. Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal. Why try to tell the prospect how your home could look, when you can show him by redecorating? A quicker sale at a higher price will result. An investment in neutral new kitchen wallpaper will pay dividends.
  • Let the sun shine in. Open draperies and curtains and let the prospect see how cheerful your home can be. (Dark rooms do not appeal)
  • Do the windows and window screens work well and look good? Have the windows spotless.
  • Are the appliances operating properly and sparkling?
  • Fix the faucet! Dripping water discolors sinks and suggests faulty plumbing.
  • Repairs can make a big difference. Loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers and other minor flaws detract from home value. Have them fixed.
  • From top to bottom. Display the full value of your attic, basement and other utility space by removing all unnecessary articles. Brighten dark, dull basements by painting walls and adding brighter light bulbs.
  • Safety first. Keep stairways clear. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.
  • Pack excess linens and clothing to make closets look bigger. Neat, well-ordered closets show the space is ample.
  • Bathrooms help sell homes. Check and repair grout in bathtubs and showers. Make this room sparkle. Don’t let the Handy Man add gobs of caulking when grout is what you need.
  • Arrange bedrooms neatly. Remove excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and fresh looking window coverings.
  • Have I removed or mentioned to my realtor any attached items that are not included, such as special chandeliers, shelving or garden plants?
  • Am I familiar with similar homes on the market that I may be competing against?
  • Have I asked my realtor for a list of ways I can improve the “marketability” of my home without wasting time and money?
  • Can you see the light? Illumination is like a welcome sign. The potential buyer will feel a glowing evening when you turn on all your lights for an evening inspection.
  • Am I ready to disclose any structural defects such as roof, foundation or wiring problems?
  • Have I started looking for my new home? Do I know what I want in another home?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for my upcoming move?

Showing The House:

  • Whenever possible leave your house for showings, if not, follow the tips below.
  • Three's a crowd. Avoid having too many people present during showings. The potential buyer will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house.
  • Music is mellow, it is ok to play soft music in the background as long as you can have a conversation. Let the agent and buyer talk, free of distracting disturbances.
  • Pets underfoot? Keep them out of the way--preferably out of the house.
  • Silence is golden. Be courteous but don't force conversation with the potential buyer. He wants to inspect your house--not to pay a social call.
  • Be it ever so humble. Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it has been lived in. Let the trained agent answer any objections. This is his/her job.
  • Remain in the background. The agent knows the buyer's requirements and can better emphasize the features of your home when you don't tag along. You will be called if needed. Allow the buyers to take "psychological possession."
  • Why put the cart before the horse? Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to the potential buyer before he has purchased the house often loses a sale.
  • A word to the wise. Let your Realtor discuss price, terms, possession and other factors with the customer. They are eminently qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion.

Use HomeLife Benchmark Realty. We ask that you show your home to prospective customers only by appointment through this office. Your cooperation will be appreciated and will help us close the sale more quickly.