Selling Your Home?
Where to Begin...
what first attracted you to your house when you bought it? What excited
you about it most? When deciding how best to present your home for
sale, it is helpful to try to get back into that buyer’s
frame of mind.
spruced-up house makes a great first impression on potential buyers. An
attractive property grabs their attention and makes them excited about
finding a house that looks and feels well cared for. Because buyers
believe they’ll encounter fewer problems if they buy it, your
house becomes more appealing and stands out from the competition. So if
you prepare your home correctly, you’ll save time selling it
when it’s on the market.
good first impression makes an impact on a number of levels.
It’s not just the way your house looks to potential buyers,
but how it feels and smells to them, how their friends and family will
react, how they imagine it would be to live there.
simple improvements throughout your house, you can grab the attention
of potential buyers and help them see why your house is right for them.
a plan to enhance your property. Keep a notebook, and as you stroll
through your home and yard, make a list of what needs to be done.
Consider what your property looks like to people driving by or walking
through your door. What will they like or dislike? What needs fixing,
painting, cleaning? What can you improve? Whether you paint your house
or fix up the yard, your efforts don’t need to be costly;
even inexpensive improvements and minor repairs go far towards
attracting serious buyers. But remember, those seemingly insignificant
problems you’ve learned to live with can actually discourage
are some ideas for increasing your home’s appeal in order to
sell it quickly at the best price:
expect a spotless house, inside and out, so clean everything,
especially your windows and window sills. Scrub walls and floors, tile
and ceilings, cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash scuff
marks from doors and entryways, clean light fixtures and the fireplace.
Don’t forget the laundry room. And put away your clothes.
are turned off by rooms that look and feel cluttered. Remember,
potential buyers are buying your house, not your furniture, so help
them picture themselves and their possessions in your home by making
your rooms feel large, light, neutral, and airy. As you clean, pack
away your personal items, such as pictures, valuables, and
collectibles, and store or get rid of surplus books, magazines,
videotapes, extra furniture, rugs, blankets, etc. Consider renting a
storage unit to eliminate clutter in your garage and attic.
hard to get rid of possessions, but cleaning and clearing out the
clutter can really pay off in the end. Packing away your clutter also
gets you started packing for your next move. Make your garage and
basement as tidy as the rest of your house. Simple little tasks such as
storing your tools and neatly rolling up your garden hose suggest that
you take good care of your house. Don’t let anything detract
from making your best first impression.
an important consideration to many buyers. By storing clothing you
won’t use soon, you’ll make closets look more
new coat of paint cleans up your living space and makes it look bright
and new. To make rooms look larger, choose light, neutral colors that
will appeal to the most people possible, such as beige or white.
its condition. If it’s worn, consider replacing it.
It’s an easy and affordable way to help sell your home
faster. Again, light, neutral colors, such as beige, are best. If you
don’t replace it, you can suggest to potential buyers that
they could select new carpet and you’ll reduce your price;
buyers like to hear they’re getting a deal. At the very
least, have your carpet cleaned.
best to avoid making major renovations just to sell the house since
you’re unlikely to recoup those costs in your selling price.
Make minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow drains, torn
screens, damaged gutters, loose doorknobs, and broken windows. Make
sure repairs are well done; buyers won’t take you seriously
if your home improvement efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish.
stains on ceilings or in the basement alert buyers to potential
problems. Don’t try to cosmetically cover up stains caused by
leaks. If you’ve fixed the water problem, repair the damage
and disclose in writing to the buyer what repairs were made.
"Wow" factor — that first visual, high-impact impression your
home makes on potential buyers — can turn a looker into a
buyer. To determine your property’s curb appeal, drive
through your neighborhood and note other properties; then approach your
own house as if you were a potential buyer. How does it look? Does it
"wow" you? Will its curb appeal attract buyers? Note what needs
improving, such as trimming trees, planting shrubs, or painting
gutters. Little things convey that you’ve cared for your
home, and this is your opportunity to sell that important message to
buyers who are shopping from the street, simply cruising neighborhoods
looking for houses for sale. To get them through your door, do what you
can to make your property look like someone’s dream home.
it’s peeling or blistering and you can’t remember
the last time you painted it, your house needs some attention. That
also goes for stain that is significantly faded. A newly painted or
stained exterior will help sell your house faster, and whether you do
it yourself or hire someone, you’ll also increase your
people’s attention by enhancing your yard and landscaping. If
your house looks inviting and well-maintained from the street, people
will imagine that it’s attractive on the inside, too.
Prune bushes and hedges; trim trees.
Keep your lawn looking healthy and green by mowing it often,
fertilizing it, and keeping it edged and trimmed.
Clean up and dispose of pet mess.
Weed your gardens; add fertilizer and mulch and plant
In winter, keep your driveway and sidewalks shoveled,
de-iced, and well-lit.
Stack firewood, clean out birdbaths, repair and paint fences.
attractive entry catches a buyer’s eye and says, "Welcome,"
so highlight this area of your house with decorative touches, such as a
wreath on the door or new shrubs and flowers around the steps. For an
even grander entry, clean and paint your front door, or replace it with
a new one for a few hundred dollars. Don’t forget to fix and
polish doorknobs, repair torn screens, and then put out that new
and Maintenance Checklist:
Windows, sills, and screens
Walls and floor
Cupboards and drawers
Carpet and rugs
Replace furnace filter
Dust furniture, TV and computer screens
Pack personal items
Leaky faucets and plumbing
Water stain damage
Damaged walls and ceilings
Worn carpet and rugs
Damaged sidewalks and steps
Stain or paint deck
Roll up garden hose
Paint or stain exterior
Prune bushes and hedges
Mow lawn, fertilize, edge, and trim
Weed gardens, plant flowers
Shovel driveways, de-ice
Clean out birdbaths
Caulk windows and doors
Repair and paint fences
Seal asphalt driveway
Make sure doors close properly
Replace welcome mat
elements are no secret – selling anything is about presenting
it as favorably as possible, and a home is no exception. With
the right Realtor® and the right presentation, you may find
that selling your home is a painless, quick, profitable process!