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Tips for Sellers

We have included a few tips below to help you with selling your home or property. If you would like to know more, please contact Hot Local Deals agents.


Tips before you sell

Indoor and Outdoor Cleaning
A thorough whole-house cleaning really helps your home be more attractive to a buyer. A buyer will walk through your home and make assumptions about how well you have maintained the home, often based on how clean the home is.
Don't forget some of these easy to overlook items:

• Outside the front of your home: mow, rake, weed, and trim.
• Oil squeaky door hinges and wash the door/entryway windows.
• Clean light fixtures and switch plates.
• Clean all appliances.
• Clean curtains, drapes, and blinds.

Repair Broken or Malfunctioning Items
Even minor broken items tell a buyer that this home has not been well-maintained, and buyers tend to overestimate the cost and effort necessary to fix a leaky faucet or broken door closer. More and more home buyers are not mechanically inclined and look at the easiest small fix-it project and think about how much it will cost for a professional to fix this problem.

Don't forget some of these easy to overlook items needing repair:

  • Doorknobs (interior and exterior), doorbells, locks, and cabinet knobs.

  • Toilets, leaky faucets, slow drains.

  • Window sash cords, locks, storm windows.

  • Superficial cracks on the walls or ceiling.

  • All appliances.

  • Peeling wallpaper or paint.

Remove Personal Property To Make Room Look Larger
Most homes have too many things in them, and it makes the house look small and lacking storage space. Furniture, clothes, shoes, toys, boxes, and almost anything can cause clutter. Visit a model home and notice how little furniture is displayed in the home. Reducing the furniture and other things helps the buyer see your home better and also makes it look larger. If possible, do not store all this extra furniture and other stuff in your closets, as that makes your closets look small. Same with your basement. Ideally, you will store the stuff away from your home at a storage facility or friends house. If that is not possible consider storing it in the garage.

Don't forget these items that often create a cluttered look:

  • Old or off-season coats, hats, and boots.

  • Wall hangings and posters.

  • Kitchen appliances (especially important because they obscure counter space!)

  • Old clothing, shoes, accessories.

  • Books, collectibles or collections of any kind.

  • Sports and recreation equipment.

Use Paint To Improve Home's Image
Painting is often recognized as the "improvement" project that has the best impact on the price than any other work you can do. Paint accomplishes two important goals for making your home look its best: (1) it brightens a room, making it look bigger and fresher, and (2) paint makes a home look like it was better maintained and that it needs less work by the buyer. These key goals are best accomplished by sticking to neutral colors (most agents swear by off white) because that is what appeals to the most people. One possible exception to this painting rule is with woodwork in need of stripping, sanding, and refinishing. Resist the temptation to paint it rather than the greater work required by refinishing it. Often worn, unpainted woodwork is better than freshly painted woodwork that would require stripping to recover the original look of wood.

Don't forget some of these small painting projects that can really improve the look of your home:

  • Front door, front storm door, front door frame.

  • Mailbox, exterior light fixtures (especially near the front door).

  • Shutters, downspouts, gutters, and other exterior trim.

  • Any areas with stains from old problems that have been corrected.

Projects To Avoid
Improvement projects rarely pay for themselves. Consider a home improvement only if you have time, it involves an important area of the home such as the view from the street, the front door/entryway, the kitchen, or main bathrooms. The only exception to this general rule is when you are "completing an image" that directly appeals to a buyer. For example, say your home has an updated furnace, electrical, and plumbing systems, but your roof will need to be replaced in less than a year. In this example, you should consider a new roof because your home will be fully updated and will appeal even to buyers that are afraid of doing updates themselves.


Pricing your home correctly is important and challenging.
Figuring the value As a seller, it is challenging to be realistic about your home's value because of the pride and emotional attachment you have to the home. Many sellers think that your house is better than everyone else's, and should be priced accordingly. Your asking price needs to be based upon an objective assessment of what comparable homes sold for in your neighborhood. Find out the value of your home by requesting a free market appraisal.

Making the decision You may think your home is better than your neighbor's home that sold for $200,000 a few months ago because your home has a new furnace, new roof, finished basement, and pool. But, if your neighbor's home had a first floor family room and your home does not, your home will probably sell for less.

In most neighborhoods, if your home is has been on the market for more than a month, then your home may be overpriced.

Common Mistakes to avoid
Many people have misconceptions that hurt their home's ability to sell. The most common misconception is that a seller should start out with a high price, then reduce the price if no one puts in an offer. This strategy is a mistake, because your home receives nearly all of its attention in the first two weeks after it goes for sale. After that time period, it is considered overpriced and buyers ask "why has it been on the market so long--what is wrong with it?" Reducing the price often goes unnoticed by buyers . As a result, the home sits on the market for a longer time period, and the seller receives a lower price than they could have had if they priced it appropriately in the beginning.

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