White Realty Co’s got some good advice when it comes to making real estate decisions.
Selling a House
Increasing The Value of Your House
When you’re preparing your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions. The market isn’t the only factor that influences whether you get your asking price. Appearance and overall condition play a major role. Here are some easy things you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers.
More than half of all houses are sold before the buyers even get out of their cars. So stand across the street from your house and review its curb appeal.
- Tidy your yard. Cut the grass more frequently, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks.
- Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway and/or plant flowers in the ground.
- Trim back the shrubs.
- Clean out the garage.
- Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
- Clean your gutters.
- Polish the front doorknobs and house numbers.
- Test all exterior door knobs for easy opening.
- Remove newspapers, bikes and toys.
- Park extra cars away from the property.
- Make sure roof and gutters are in good condition; no repairs needed.
- Keep pet areas clean.
- Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.
- Declutter! Get rid of as much excess stuff and extra furniture as possible. Depersonalize the space by removing family photographs and things on the refrigerator. Take away most of the things on the kitchen counter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack away most of your small decorative items – you’re moving anyway, right? Store out-of-season clothing to show off closet space.
- Keep everything extra clean. A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. Kitchen and bathroom should shine.
- Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows.
- Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems, such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet, may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained. Maintain all sealants (window, tub, shower, sink, etc.) in good condition.
- Clean, fresh paint works wonders in attracting buyers.
- Test all interior door knobs for easy opening.
- Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
- Keep plumbing and all appliances in working order.
Just Before Every Showing:
- Quick once-over with the vacuum; carpets should be clean.
- Sweep front walkway.
- Place fresh flowers in the main rooms.
- Put dishes away, unless setting a formal display for decoration.
- Make beds and put all clothes away.
- Open drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel.
- Straighten closets.
- Put toys away.
- Turn off television.
- Play soft music on the radio/stereo.
- Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free.
- Potential buyers usually feel more comfortable if the owners are not present.
- If people unaccompanied by an agent request to see your property, please refer them to your real estate professional for an appointment.
- Leave a number where you can be reached if you are leaving town, even for a weekend.
Hold a yard sale to reduce the clutter in your home and get rid of items you don’t want to move.
- Check with your city government to see if you need a permit or license.
- See if neighbors want to participate and have a “block” sale to attract more visitors.
- Advertise. Put an ad in free classified papers, and put up signs and balloons at major intersections and in stores near your home.
- Price items ahead and attach prices with removable stickers. Remember, yard sales are supposed to be bargains, so don’t try to sell anything of significant value this way.
- Check items before the sale to be sure you haven’t including something you want by mistake.
- Keep pets away from the sale.
- Display everything neatly and individually so customers don’t have to dig through boxes.
- Have an electrical outlet so buyers can test appliances.
- Have plenty of bags and newspaper for wrapping fragile items.
- Get enough change, and keep a close eye on your cash