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,
• Oil squeaky door hinges and wash the door/entryway
• 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
Don't forget some of these easy to overlook items
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.
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
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
Front door, front storm door, front door frame.
Mailbox, exterior light fixtures (especially
near the front door).
Shutters, downspouts, gutters, and other
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
Pricing your home correctly is important and
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
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
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