Sellers--CLEANING HOUSE BEFORE LISTING YOUR HOME

By
Real Estate Agent with LAKEVIEW REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. 909-273-4542 BRE 01235311

We all want buyers to stroll into our home and go all goo-goo over it. "Oh my, your house is beautiful. I LOVE everything you've done with it."    But when they do come in and spout out these words, you also want them to MEAN it, regardless if it's a  potential buyer, Realtor coming to do a market analysis or Mrs. Snoopedoddle down the street dropping by to see what's going on. BE prepared for either when you're getting ready to sell.

When I have a listing appointment, I AM prepared! Really prepared! I bring the listing agreement and  MY LIST to hand over to the client once we've sat down and discussed my market analysis and have decided on a price. Here's what I give them before I leave:

Dear Seller/S: Please try the following steps in preparing your home to get it in tip-top listing condition. Please don't be offended, as that is not my intention. My JOB is to help you sell your home for the highest possible price, and in the shortest amount of time. In order for this to occur, we must have a reasonable asking price, and have the home property prepared. Of course, all situations are different and the market also plays a big role. BUT to do my best, you must do your best.  Please consider the following:   

                                                                                                                                         

  1. PUT on your BUYER'S SHOES (you are going to pretend you are a buyer and have NEVER seen this home before)
  2. Walk around the front, starting at the curb. Look to your left, to your right, down the street, up the street and down. Now, look good and hard at the front of your home. DO YOU LOVE IT? Is it welcoming? Just so-so? Desperate looking?  Does it beckon you out of your car? Or do feel like squealing away?   What ever needs to be done to spiff it up, DO IT: mow, weed, rake, plant new flowers/plant, and PAINT the outside if it's been 10 plus yrs. (If you can).   The OUTSIDE of your home can do one or two things: get potential buyers OUT of the car and into the home. Or NOT.
  3. Inside:  How fresh does your home smell? Musty? Old? Pet odors going on? Or, is it WONDERFUL? If other than the latter question, you may need to PAINT--use a "safe" earth-tone color.
  4. CARPETING: Old? New? Smelly? Either get it cleaned by a professional or have it replaced with a neutral tone that fits most buyers needs.
  5. Clean and straighten cupboards, drawers and closets. BECAUSE people will be snooping. After all, they need to know if their STUFF will fit.
  6. Update old kitchen appliances and bathroom facets, if at all possible. WOMEN love this. If you can't, then shine then up like a new dime.
  7. Clear counters, leaving only a coffee pot and toaster. Women LOVE counterspace.
  8. Removed MOST magnets from the frig and photos from the walls. You do NOT want people stopping to get to know YOUR family. You want them looking at the home they WANT to buy and make it their own.
  9. De-clutter ALL rooms! Less is more when selling
  10. Scrubb sinks, tubs, facets, floors, and keep carpet vacuumed. Make it SHINE!
  11. Keep pets safely "away" or locked up at showing.
  12. Be very flwxible when people want to see the house. They may only have a certain time frame--bend over backward to let them come by.
  13. GET out of the house during showings. Do not be a Chatty-Cathy. Let the Realtors handle things. Walk around the block, anything. 

                                                                  

 NOW...keep up on all these items during the listing period---you never know which buyer is THE buyer!   Good luck.

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Rainer
151,681
Cynthia Sloop
Community Association Manager - Indianapolis, IN
Looks like a GREAT letter to give your sellers! Thanks for sharing it with the community. Are your sellers taking it to heart? I purchased an ebook that I can give away over and over that tells a story to help sellers understand what a buyer sees. Can't say that it has gotten my sellers to do anymore.
Jul 21, 2007 01:36 AM #1
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Jo-Anne Smith
Your Choice Realty Corporation, Brokerage - Oakville, ON

Wonderful post, Kat. It should be in every pre-listing package and everyone EVEN considering selling their home, should read it.

I hope you are having a peaceful and productive weekend,

Jo 

Jul 21, 2007 01:40 AM #2
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Kat DeLong
LAKEVIEW REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. 909-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

I think they are less likely to read a book, and find it easier to scan over a list.   THEY actually listen to me most of the time.   it's pretty easy stuff, really. Things they KNOW, but reading just confirms it.

Thanks for stopping by

Jul 21, 2007 01:40 AM #3
Rainer
96,751
New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor
RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate - Morristown, NJ
Yes it is critical to do that.  I hate it when sellers promis to do it but never really get it done though.  I just want to hire a cleaning serive and then send the home owner the bill.
Jul 21, 2007 01:40 AM #4
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Kat DeLong
LAKEVIEW REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. 909-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

Thank JO.  I'm off today--but as you can see--I'm working. LOL     Yes, this little list has  been very useful.  Quick and to the point.

 

Thanks!

Jul 21, 2007 01:42 AM #5
Rainmaker
163,366
Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
Somerset MA Real Estate

Kat,

Great job preparing your sellers! I'm sure this list gets the job done! :)

Jul 21, 2007 01:47 AM #6
Rainer
51,935
Christina Ethridge
The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group - Coeur d'Alene, ID
This is excellent.  We do something similar but I've been meaning to revamp it, especially in todays market.
Jul 21, 2007 02:28 AM #7
Rainer
54,734
Peggy Edwards
Future Home Realty - Westchase, FL
REALTOR - Green Designation, e-PRO, Tampa Bay, FL
Hi Kat, ain't it the truth??  Your list is terrific - do you mind if I incorporate some of it into my own?
Jul 21, 2007 02:36 AM #8
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Kat DeLong
LAKEVIEW REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. 909-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

James: I don't blame you!!!  Thanks for stopping in.

Suzanne: Thanks...now to get the sellers to do a great job. LOL

Christina:  We have to keep changing our lists with the changing times--good point.

Peggy: Absolutely,  maybe you could give me a few tips to add to mine. Thanks!

Jul 21, 2007 02:59 AM #9
Rainmaker
415,703
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ
AzLadyInRed

Kat, great post. Hopefully you posted this to your Localism as well 'cause buyers really need to review this list. No matter how many times we tell them, they don't always "get" it.

 Pepper http://www.GlitterMaker.com/ - Glitter Graphics

Jul 21, 2007 05:12 AM #10
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Kat DeLong
LAKEVIEW REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. 909-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
Teri: I did...I did... right this time LOL  (I think).
Jul 21, 2007 05:36 AM #11
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"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Oh. Kat...

I like that expression "Put on your Buyer shoes"...

That is exactly what we do with our listings. The Seller's need to look at things from a buying perspective.

You just helped me to come up with a term for that.  

Thank you :)

TLW...ROAR!

Jul 22, 2007 07:50 AM #12
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Kat DeLong
LAKEVIEW REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. 909-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

TLW!!!!  OMG, I am just seeing your comment on an OLD post of mine.. Right AFTER this post,  my life was turned upside down, I MOVED back to SO CA. So, I am sorry for not seeing this until now (OVER a  year later)....   THANK YOU for commenting!!!

Aug 02, 2008 10:23 PM #13
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"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Good thing ...

I wasn't sitting on pins and needles waiting for you to reply :)

You know I'm just messing with you now. Addressing me more than a year later is almost like asking me to mess with you :)

Glad it's all good for you. It's always nice to hear that.

TLW...ROAR!

Aug 03, 2008 08:51 AM #14
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Kat DeLong
LAKEVIEW REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. 909-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

yeah... I knew you were messing with me.  We OLD Ar'ers know your sense of humor.  lol

Aug 03, 2008 10:05 AM #15
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