Charlee’s Tips for Selling
Your home has served you and your family well. But our job, together, is to sell a “house” that will be appealing to someone willing to give you the highest dollar value. Your property is probably the largest single investment you will ever own. Together we will work to reap optimal rewards.
Before I list your house, we’re going to do one thing together…we’re going to walk across the street and see your house just as buyers do when they first approach it. First impressions are lasting and we want to create urgency for prospective purchasers to see your house quickly! After assessing the “curb appeal” we’ll go through it inside and out and “eye-ball” it just as a discriminating buyer would. So try to be as objective as possible because it will pay huge dividends at the closing table.
1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE LASTING. The front entryway greets the prospective buyer. Make sure it is clean and free of cobwebs and the front door is freshly painted (or at least very clean). The lawn should be trimmed and edged and free of debris.
2. CLEAN-UP. Go around the perimeter of the house and move all unsightly garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc. Remove all debris from the property. Check the condition of the mailbox, too.
3. TERMITE/MOISTURE DAMAGE. Check for moisture or termite-damaged wood or evidence of wood-boring insects. Have it repaired and/or treated prior to the buyer’s required termite/moisture inspection to avoid costly and unnecessary re-inspections and further damage. Clean all gutters and downspouts. Make sure water drains away from the house and there are no areas of standing water.
4. PRUNING/TRIMMING. The bushes/shrubs should be pruned and landscaped beds should be freshly mulched and free of weeds and dead plants. Any trees that are overgrown and touching the house should be trimmed.
5. PATIOS, DECKS, PORCHES. Clear these areas of unsightly items, especially children’s toys. Make these areas look inviting. Rocking chairs and potted flowers on a front porch add nice curb appeal.
6. EXTERIOR PAINT. Check exterior paint for peeling and “paint-challenged” areas. If necessary, have the house or trim (out-buildings, too) pressure-washed, scraped, & painted. Buyers always magnify the expense of doing these repairs. What may actually only cost you a little elbow grease and a few dollars will automatically become an opportunity for a huge deduction in sale price to a buyer.
7. EXTERIOR LIGHT FIXTURES. Make them sparkle! Replace them if they’re old and unsightly.
1. DECORATE FOR A QUICK SALE. Bad paint, scratched woodwork, and old carpet (especially if there are pet or smoke odors) will result in a quick exit by buyers unless they’re looking for a fixer-upper at a great price! A “decorating allowance” is sometimes offered, but a prospective buyer may not have the time or imagination to see a difference that the allowance would make. Remember those “first impressions”? A little effort on your part will result in a quicker sale at a higher price. An investment in new wallpaper (or stripping old, dated wallpaper) and professional carpet cleaning (or replacement) will pay huge dividends, and there is nothing like fresh paint to brighten up an interior.
2. LET THE SUN SHINE IN. Open draperies, curtains, and blinds to show how bright and cheerful your home can be. A bright home reflects a “happy” home! Windows and light fixtures should sparkle!
3. IF IT’S BROKE, FIX IT! Repairs can make a big difference. Dripping faucets and running toilets suggest plumbing problems. Loose knobs, sticking and squeaking doors and windows that don’t open properly, loose hand rails, water leak stains, bad or missing caulk, and other minor flaws detract from home appeal. Have them fixed. There are numerous handymen who are available to take care of these little chores at a minimal cost. Many will even defer payment until closing. Surface problems that have not been attended to become red flags to buyers that will suspect worse problems that they can’t see!
4. MAKE CLOSETS LOOK BIGGER. Neat, well-ordered closets show the space is ample. Install double-hanging rods or remove your out-of-season clothes. Start packing! It’s inevitable! Why wait?
5. BATHROOMS AND KITCHENS SELL HOMES. Make these rooms sparkle. Check and repair caulking in bathrooms and kitchens. Remove clutter from countertops and add fragrant candles. Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, clutter. Those little things declare ownership and you’re trying to give that up!
6. THE FAMILY PHOTO GALLERY. Family pictures are treasures, but wall galleries of family photos or artwork only alert buyers to all the spackling and painting they’ll have to do once they move in. Limit groupings to small numbers and go ahead and repair and paint those walls.
7. LIGHTS & SOFT MUSIC. Lights and soft music left on create warmth and friendliness. Furniture grouping should make rooms look as large as possible. Remember, remove clutter!
1. THREE’S A CROWD. Take a walk, drive, or go to the movies, but DON’T be present for showings! The potential buyer will feel rushed and like an intruder. Let the Agent do her/his job in showing the house. Remember that the agent has worked many hours with these folks and probably knows what they are looking for and how to work with them. You may feel that an agent isn’t showing the important features of your home, but that agent will know what is and isn’t important to the buyers. Until a buyer shows interest, it’s not always necessary to point out little details.
2. PETS. Keep pets out of the way, preferably out of the house, maybe in a pet pen or in the garage. Some people are acutely uncomfortable around some animals, especially large or overly territorial dogs.
3. SILENCE IS GOLDEN. If you happen to be home when the property is shown, be courteous but don’t force conversation with the potential buyer. They are there to inspect the house, not pay a social call. Things said in jest or light conversation can be misinterpreted as commitments! NEVER discuss the purchase of furnishings with a potential buyer before he has purchased your home!
I THANK YOU AND YOUR BUYERS WILL, TOO!