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Selling a Home: Helpful Tips PDF Print E-mail

First, make sure that you're prepared to transform your home back into a house. The real estate market has very little room for nostalgia; that's why the first big step for any seller is to detach yourself from the house itself. Once you can imagine handing the keys to a buyer with ease, you're ready to begin preparing your home for the market.

From this moment on, think of your home as just another house, a product to be bought and sold on the market. After taking this first step, the rest should be easy.

1. Declutter

Admittedly, all of us love our knickknack, our thingamajigs, and our doohickeys. But in the real estate market, we call such stuff clutter, and it can be potentially deadly to the home-seller. As a general rule, if you haven't used something for over a year, get rid of it! That means...

  • Removing books from bookshelves
  • Clearing off kitchen counters
  • Donating old items to charity
  • Cleaning off the tops of mantels, desks, and bureaus.

2. Depersonalize

Buyers tend to react poorly to home-owners' personal belongings. So gather up all photographs and heirlooms and pack them away. You want potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your house; you want them to forget that this space has been lived in previously.

3. Store Some Furniture

You only want to keep enough furniture to give buyers an idea of how each room is used - any more than that, and you're making the living space seem smaller. At the same time, you want to keep your garage, basement, and closet areas looking as open as possible. That's why at Wateree we suggest our clients rent some storage space. One caveat: never place all your furniture in storage. Buyers don't respond well to completely empty spaces.

4. Make Minor Repairs

Now may be the time to finally fix that leaky faucet. Some minor repairs and touch-up-jobs to consider prior top a sale:

  • fix doors/drawers that don't close properly
  • fix leaky faucets and running toilets
  • replace cracked floor or counter tiles
  • patch holes in all walls (from hangings)
  • paint rooms in neutral tones

5. Organize Closet Space

Buyers can be a pesky bunch! It's not unusual for them to peek behind closed cabinet and closet doors. That's why it's imperative for home-sellers to organize cabinet and closet spaces. To a buyer, an organized home implies that you've kept the house itself in good condition. Make sure that your dishes are stacked neatly, your glasses and mugs are organized, your shirts are buttoned and facing the same direction on the hangers, and your shoes are lined up.

6. Clean House!

One of the simplest and easiest things you can do to help a realtor sell your house is to keep it clean, always. That means a lot of regular cleaning projects: vacuuming, dusting, washing windows, hanging fresh towels, and keeping the refrigerator clean. But buyers often need to see more than that. It helps to tackle bigger projects, too, like recaulking tubs, showers, and sinks; bleaching dirty grout; waxing floors; and cleaning out any musty, odorous areas.

7. Curb Appeal

Try to keep the exterior of the house clean as well. Keep the sidewalks clean (you may want to pressure wash them), the lawn mowed, and the bushes trimmed. You may want to consider another coat of paint for the facade, especially the trim. Whatever you do, make sure that visitors can clearly read your house number.






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