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Preparing Your Home for Sale

Let your home welcome potential buyers. With a little effort on your part, you home can be sold more quickly and at a better price. The following tips have proved invaluable to owners and are worth your special attention.

Preparation for Showing

  • First impressions are lasting. The front door greets the prospect. Make sure it is fresh and clean. Consider purchasing a fresh welcome mat. Keep the lawn trimmed and edged, and the yard free of refuse. In winter, be sure snow and ice are removed from walkways and steps.
  • Decorate for a quick sale. Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal. Why try to tell a prospect how your home COULD look, when you can show by redecorating? Neutral colors fit with any buyer's color scheme, and a new touch of paint will often result in a quick, profitable sale.
  • Let the daylight shine in! Clean the windows, open draperies and curtains and let the prospect see how cheerful your home can be (dark rooms do not appeal).
  • Fix that faucet! Dripping water discolors sinks and suggests faulty plumbing.
  • Repairs can make a big difference. Loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers and other minor flaws detract from home value. Have them fixed. When prospects see things that need attention, they begin to worry about things they can't see.
  • From top to bottom. Display the full value of your attic, basement, and other utility space by removing all unnecessary articles.
  • Safety first. Keep stairways clear. Avoid a cluttered appearance and possible injuries.
  • Make closets look bigger. Neat, well-ordered closets show that the space is ample.
  • Bathrooms help sell homes. Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers. Make this room sparkle.
  • Arrange bedrooms neatly. Remove excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and freshly laundered curtains.
  • Can you see the light? Illumination is like a welcome sign. The potential buyer will feel a flowing warmth when you turn on lights for an evening presentation.
  • Clean, Fresh Floor Coverings. It isn't uncommon to either clean or replace all carpeting and other floor covering to maximize interior appeal.

Showing Your Property

  • Three's a crowd. Avoid having too many people present during showing and inspections. The potential buyer will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house.
  • Music is mellow. But not when showing a house. Turn off the blaring radio or television. Let the salesperson and buyer talk, free of disturbances.
  • Pets underfoot? Keep them out of the way—preferably out of the house in consideration of those afraid of or allergic to cats and dogs.
  • Silence is golden. Be courteous but don't force conversation with the potential buyer. He wants to inspect your house, not pay a social call.
  • Be it ever so humble. Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it has been lived in. Let the trained salesperson answer any objections.
  • Stay in the background. The salesperson who knows the buyer's requirements can better emphasize the features of your home when you don't tag along. You will be called if needed.
  • Why put the cart before the horse? Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishing to the potential buyer before he has purchased the house often loses a sale.
  • A word to the wise. Let your agent discuss price, terms, possession and other factors with the buyer. Our trained agents are best qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion.
  • Our REALTORS® sell better. Show your home to prospective buyers only by appointment (or scheduled open house event) via your agent. Your cooperation will be appreciated and will help close the sale more quickly.

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