Prep Tips

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Home Preparation Tips for Sellers
To start with, you need to begin separating yourself emotionally from any personal feelings you have about the house. It is no longer your home, it is a commodity that you want to sell. Evaluate your home. Try to see it as if you were seeing it for the first time. If you were considering buying a home, consider what you might think of when seeing this house.

What are the home's best features?
How can you make these features stand out?
What improvements or changes would be needed immediately?

This brainstorming session will help you know where to start in order to prepare your home for sale.

Make it SpaciousConsider what you can do to make the house seem more spacious. You can start by finding a temporary storage unit or an out of the way location to store any items. Then begin moving excess furniture to make the rooms seem bigger. Clean and organize your closets, getting rid of anything possible to help make the closet size appear large. Do your best to get rid of clutter in every part of the house. Study the house and brainstorm with friends or family members to come up with ideas.

Pack It UpPack up as much as you can of large, personal items or collections... otherwise the buyer will become more interested in looking at those and forget to look at the house. Also, pack away family photos or anything not on the walls. The buyers should be able to imagine their own possessions in your home. If the buyers start discussing how their furniture might fit into your home, then you may be on your way to a contract!

Find and Emphasize FeaturesEvery home has specific features that make it special. Find the features in your home and emphasize them. Try moving heavy drapes if they block your great view. Those hardwood floors are excellent, but you may want to remove the rugs to give a better view. Clear off the tops of your kitchen cabinets so the vaulted ceilings appear higher, and remember to dust as well.

Add Some LifeLiving plants, not artificial, make any home come to life. Consider staging plants throughout the house.

UpdatingHow about fresh paint. Are walls in the house dingy? Are the colors dated? Should you clean curtains or other window ornaments? Look around and see if everything is up to date, especially if your home is older. Try washing walls, or even painting them. Pick new, neutral colors. If anything else needs to be cleaned, like curtains or blinds, do that as well.

Create a MoodIt's possible to create a mood, even if you're not going to be there for the showing. Bake some bread and place a fresh loaf in a basket on the table. It will not only look inviting, the house will smell like freshly baked bread! Depending on where you live, you might want a little music playing softly in the background. If you live near the beach, play something calming. If you live in the mountains, consider some folk music. Whatever you pick, be sure it's something many people might enjoy as your taste in music might be very different than the buyers.

Curb Appeal is EssentialWe mentioned keeping the lawn nicely trimmed, but how about adding other elements to grab a buyer's attention before they walk in the door? Try to think of any other elements that might grab a buyers attention as they approach your home. Sweep your driveway, especially after mowing the lawn. Wash the outside of the home or sidewalks if needed. Enhance landscaping if it might help the appeal. Find an attractive set of fixtures for the outside lighting, or line the driveway with solar lights. This makes the home especially attractive for buyers doing evening drive-bys. For more information on curb appeal, Click Here.

Although every house is different, if you take the time to prepare your house to look it's best, you may be setting your house apart from others. You might sell faster and for a better price then you'd even hoped.

Overall, if buyers have a great impression of the home, they may be more willing to let minor repairs slip by without concern. They'll feel better about the overall maintenance of the home, and may even fall in love with the house as soon as they see it. Although every house is different, if you take the time to prepare the house to its best look, potential buyers will be pleased with the results!

Worried about a low appraisal? Click Here for tips!
Click Here to contact your agent.
If you're also going to be buying a new home, consider reading Tips for New Buyers or Steps for Home Buying Success.

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