Getting Ready to Sell
Every home seller would like to sell their property easily and
quickly, while getting top dollar. While there are many factors
that you can't control, such as location, the neighborhood or
the economy, one thing you can do a lot about is the condition
of your home. Selling a fixer upper is rarely a good choice; the
house in tip-top condition gets more interested buyers as well as
the best offers. What should you consider? Here are a few pointers:
- Fix up Now!
Now is the time to take care of those things around the house that
you have been meaning to do, when they will make your sale easier
and perhaps put extra dollars in your pocket.
Inside your home, don't forget the details. That light switch that
hasn't worked for years, the hard to change light bulb in the
ceiling fixture, that noisy toilet that has to have the handle
jiggled all need to be fixed. When the buyers see some things
with problems, it causes them to wonder what else may be wrong.
It can't be said too often that a fresh coat of paint is one of
the best investments you can make. Your home should be clean,
spotless and fresh looking and this is a great place to start. You
often notice after painting how much nicer it looks, but the
former dinginess was not apparent before you painted.
Selling your home is not the time to save money on your heating
or cooling bill. Be sure that the interior of your home is kept
at a comfortable temperature. A house that is too hot or too cold
may cause your prospective buyers to wonder how much it will cost
them to heat or cool the home.
Pay attention to the outside of the house as well as the inside.
A neat and tidy yard, simple and attractive landscaping, a fresh
coat of paint on the house, missing or broken screens or storm
windows repaired or replaced are all inexpensive items that need
to be taken care of. Even vacant land looks more appealing when
neatly cleaned up, with overgrowth and brush removed.
- What is their First Impression?
Professional Real Estate agents use and understand the factor they
call "curb appeal". Simply stated, it's the feeling the buyer gets
when they first pull up to the curb (or driveway) in front of the
house. Do they feel impressed, charmed, discouraged? A cute paint
job or a new set of shutters can do wonders for the front of your
house. A nice set of plants along the walk or set in large pots
on either side of the front door is a very inexpensive dress up.
Stand out at the road or in the driveway in front of your house.
Pretend that you have never seen it before, and see what you see.
Does it look cute, clean, attractive, inviting? Look at the
neighbors houses or at those in neighborhoods like yours. Your
goal here is not to change big things, but those small things you
can do to improve your home's looks.
A fresh coat of paint is almost always a real improvement that will
be paid back by a better price for the house. Be sure that your
home looks neat, clean and attractive before they ever ring the door
bell! Studies show that 50 percent of purchase decisions are actually
made before the buyer ever sets foot inside the door, within the
first 60 seconds. Make those precious seconds count for you!
- Plenty of Space?
Do you remember how roomy that house seemed when you first moved in?
Over the years, we all seem to accumulate more and more furniture,
knick-knacks, pictures and possessions that can make that once
roomy place seem small and cramped. You'll have to clean up anyway
when you move. Do it now, giving away extra furniture and clothes,
clearing out the junk and removing or storing any unneeded items.
When your buyers visit, you want them to feel their family and
belongings will fit in the new home. Many a home sale has been lost
due to fears of not being big enough. Newly built homes may have
a large and open room plan that you are competing against. Make
sure that you show off your space to it's best advantage.
- A Project or a Delight?
Buyers are looking for something that attracts them, not
something that looks like work. All routine maintenance should
be taken care of before you put the house on the market,
including painting, gutter repairs, any broken windows or hinges,
door problems, tiles, faucets or plumbing problems or any other
neglected items. If you aren't the do-it-yourself type, then get
a handyman or a contractor to do it for you.
The buyer will not only not be excited at the prospect of doing
the work, they will also deduct the cost of the work required
from what they are willing to pay for the house. Doing it first is
both cheaper and more enticing.
- Do You Need Professional Help? The Pre-Sale Inspection
A professional Pre-Sale Inspection will usually be required by the
bank or mortgage company before the sale can close. Smart sellers
like to have their own inspection done in advance. This allows
them to find and clear up any problems before they can become an
issue as well as to protect them from any possible accusation
should a defect arise later that they were not aware of.
In most states, the laws require you to notify the buyer of any
known defects, a clean inspection shows your good faith
efforts to determine the condition of the home. It can also act
as a positive sales tool to show a buyer that may be nervous
about the home's condition. Professional home inspectors are
available in every community, with the price ranging from $250 to
$450 dollars. The cost could be money well spent, to save
unexpected delays before closing or problems down the road.
Now that your property is ready to show them, next month we'll
discuss how to advertise to attract buyers.
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