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Selling Tips


Everyone has heard stories about houses that sell within hours of being listed on the market while others take months - or even a year or more (yikes!) - to sell.

Interest rates, price, location, style, selection - even timing can make the difference. Naturally every homeowner wants to sell the home as quickly as possible. So if you are getting ready to put your house on the market, here are some pointers to help you dress house for a successful sale.

Clean, clean and clean some more. It seems like a simple suggestion, but it can not be stressed enough. Wash windows, scrub countertops, clean out corners, wash floors and check for spider webs. Every square inch should be spotless from the top floor to the basement. Prospects like to see a home that is well cared for - almost unlived in - thin, model home.

Clear out the clutter. Do not let personal possessions keep prospects from seeing the structure of your home. Clutter not only makes rooms look smaller; it keeps people from imagining how their belongings will look in the house. Have a garage sale, make a donation or pack up and store whatever you want to keep. When it comes time to move, you will be glad you did.

Organize the closets. Jammed closets leave the impression that there is limited storage - which can discourage potential buyers. Take inventory of everything in every closet. If you have not worn it or used it in the past year - maybe it is time to get rid of it.

Repair damages. Even the smallest imperfections in a home will likely prompt prospects to make a low - ball offer because of defects. Of course, you will save money if you can do the repairs yourself - but even if you have to hire someone, you may reap the rewards in the purchase price.

Complete projects. If you have started room addition or major home improvement project, be sure it is finished before your home goes on the market. No buyer wants to pick up where the seller left off.

Avoid major improvements. Although it might be tempting to replace countertops, carpeting, cabinets or more - it may be a complete waste of money. Man buyers enjoy - and often expect - to do some redecorating and would not it be better if it came out of their budget? Of course, some additions like an extra bathroom; bedroom or porch can actually add to the value and the appeal of the house and will eventually pay for itself if not more.

Stay neutral. Bold colors are popular now, but it is best to maintain a more neutral look when painting and papering walls. Some potential buyers have difficult time to seeing the decor and it may keep them from making an offer. It does not mean you have to stick to white or off-white, but darker colors tend to make rooms appear smaller and, in some cases, even dreary. So consider pale colors that brighten up a room and make your home more inviting.

Improve the curb appeal. Your landscaping can provide a great first impression and ay be just what it takes to bring potential buyers inside. Keep the grass mowed, prune shrubbery, add freshly potted flowers, mulch around plants and trees and remove any weeds or planning that have died. This may also be a good time to upgrade exterior lighting.

Show and sell. Now that your home is ready to receive buyers, keep fresh flowers in vases, turn on lights and lamps during show times and make sure your home smells pleasantly clean. Some sellers like to bake cookies just before a showing, because it leaves a wonderfully fragrant kitchen that says, there is no place like this home.

Good luck!