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So You Want To Sell Your Home

The Asking Price - Selling your home starts with being prepared and ends with realistic expectations. The first step is to decide on an asking price. To do this, you need good advice. How much you paid for the home, how much your neighbor sold their home for and how much you want for your home are factors that have little to do with the reality of determining a fair market value for your home. You need expert advice before deciding on a final price. There are two professionals that can help you determine the right price. An Appraiser or a Realtor are your'e two best choices. An appraiser will charge you a fee and for that fee provide you with an appraisal that demonstrates the fair market value for your home. If you choose a Realtor, they will provide you with what is called a CMA (comparative Market Analysis). Either of these options will get the job done. Most Realtors do not charge for the CMA because they want to list your home for sale and know that you are more likely to do that if they provide you with the CMA at no cost.

Preparing Your Home - There are many things you can do to prepare your home to sell. Here is a list of the most important things you can do:

De-Clutter is priority - We are society that collects large quantities of junk ( I mean treasures) that pile up on our shelves and on our floors. Our best advice is the 365 day rule. If you have not used it in 365 day, you probably don't need it. Consider the following:

  • If you don't need it, donate it to a charity or throw it away

  • Declutter your and pack away your collections & personal items

  • Remove most items from your kitchen counters

  • Store items used regularly in a box that can be stored in a closet or pantry

Secure valuables & medications

Consider locking up jewelry, medications and anything else you can't live without. This is not to suggest your personal belongings are at risk, but it just makes sense not to advertise. Play it safe and put them in the safe, a locked cabinet or take them with you.

Reorganize bedroom closets & storage cabinets Perspective buyers will open closets, cabinets and storage areas. The last thing you want is your bowling ball falling on your buyers foot. On the other hand, imagine what a prospective buyer will think if they see everything well organized. They will be thinking "If this seller takes that much pride in keeping their storage areas clean and neatly organized, they probably took care of the rest of the house as well. It send a good message. Consider the following:

  • Line shoes up neatly and in a straight line

  • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way

  • Alphabetize spice jars

  • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction

  • Neatly stack dishes, can goods and boxed items

  • Clean exposed surfaces

Rent a temporary storage unit Every home shows better with less clutter and that includes less furniture. Make sure pathways & walkways are clear and clean. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room look larger. Remove any personal items like family photos or trophies.

Remove things that don't go with the house

If you plan to take window coverings, appliances, fixtures, antique lighting or anything else with you, remove it from the house now. This eliminates any personal items from becoming part of the negotiations.

Repair anything that looks bad

If it is broke, fix it. You will probably have to fix it anyway after inspection, so go ahead and do it now. This sends a good signal to the prospective buyer that you have maintained the home well and that they are getting a good buy. Consider repairing or replacing the following:

  • Old or worn out carpet

  • Doors that don't open or close properly

  • Cracked floor tiles

  • Holes or large scratches on walls

  • Leaky faucets or spikets

  • Replace burned-out light bulbs

  • Kitchen drawers that don't close easily

  • Warn or smudged walls (consider repainting them a neutral color

  • Ugly or worn bedspread, duvet covers and lampshades

Make it look new again

Give your home a deep cleaning (under & behind the furniture). This kind of deep cleaning is going to take a while. Plan ahead and consider hiring a professional. Ask your Real Estate Agent who they recommend as they do this on a regular basis. Consider the following:

  • Clean decks and porches

  • Wash windows inside and out

  • Use a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior. Us a teaspoon of dish detergent and a cup of bleach and spray the mixture on any exterior surface that needs cleaning with a bug sprayer. Pressure wash gently after letting this sit on the surface for a while.

  • Get rid of bugs, any animal droppings & spider webs

  • Clean showers and sinks

  • Polish faucets and clean mirrors

  • Clean out the refrigerator

  • Vacuum before each showing

  • Clean and polish hard flooring surfaces

  • Dust everything (including furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures)

  • Put one of those bleach tablets in each tolit

  • Replace or remove warn rugs

  • Hang up fresh towels and add something that smells good to each bathroom

  • Remove anything that smells

Exterior Considerations

Consider asking a neighbor to assist you with this one. Ask them to stand outside your home looking toward the front door and point out anything to you that looks out of place. You may not see the same things they do because you have seen it every day and have grown to expect it as normal. It may not be normal. Ask a friend. Consider the following:

  • Mow the lawn

  • Trim the hedges

  • Paint where needed

  • Consider adding color to the foliage (buy some flowers)


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