45 Money Making Tips on
Preparing Your Home For Sale.
“The Way You Live In Your Home And The Way You Sell Your Home Are Very Different From One Another!”
Exterior Of Your Home
Overall, buyers are looking for a home that looks clean, neat, and well maintained. By addressing exterior issues, you immediately give your buyers a positive “first impression.”
Here are 13 first impression items to examine:
Tip #1: Get into your car and drive away from your home. Drive towards your home the way a potential buyer would. Notice your first impressions of your home. Is the landscaping well groomed? How about the driveway and curb? Can you easily see the architecture of the home, or is it blocked by trees and bushes. Notice your roof? Is it in good condition? Make a list of items that need attention.
Tip #2: If needed paint your front door. The front door is your buyer’s first contact with your home. Just like when you meet somebody for the first time, the first 3 seconds can set a precedent. Does the mailbox need fixing or painting? Polish your door and entry hardware.
Tip #3: Make sure your doorbell is functional and clean.
Tip #4: Wash the exterior thoroughly, clean the cobwebs out from under the eaves. You can hire a contractor to pressure wash an entire house for about $200. Pressure washing can remove dirt, grime, peeling paint, and mildew.
Tip #5: Rake leaves, trim shrubbery and trees, cut the lawn and plant a few new fresh flowers. Put down fresh mulch or peat moss around shrubs and flower beds.
Tip #6: Sweep and hose down the walkways and driveways. Pressure wash if necessary.
Tip #7: Clean the gutters and extend downspouts to prevent flooding water seepage. (May as well do it now, it will come up on a home inspection.)
Tip #8: Organize the garage. Get rid of clutter by either putting it in boxes, or pack ahead of time and rent a storage locker for your garage belongings. Make sure you wash your car, seriously.
Tip #9: Check the locks of your home – the front entry, back entry and garage. A small dab of graphite will make them work like new.
Tip #10: Clean oil stains from your driveway and garage.
Tip #11: Clean up any litter in the yard or walkways. Remove any leaves in the yard or walkways.
Tip #12: Touch-up the paint on the exterior of the home if necessary. In some cases it pays to repaint the entire exterior if it hasn’t received a coat of paint in years. Hardwood trim on the exterior of the home can make or break its appearance. Make sure it looks clean.
Tip #13: Look for any cracks in exterior plaster, and make sure they’re fixed and repainted to match exterior paint.
Interior Of Your Home
There’s a little-known secret about home buyers that you need to know. People buy homes based on the emotional FEELINGS they get from the home. They fall in love, for example, with the kitchen or the master bedroom. Or perhaps the roaring fire in the family room’s fireplace really touched off an old memory.
And while they’re viewing your home, they’re visualizing in their mind’s eye what it would be like to live there. The backyard barbecues they’ll host…Sunday dinners with family…college graduation celebrations for their children. Or simply relaxing in the backyard hammock. It’s all about emotions. And if your home doesn’t FEEL right, they will quickly lose interest.
So remember this: Purchase decisions are EMOTIONAL. Once a decision to buy is made, we usually justify our purchase with logical reasons.
By dressing the interior of your home right, you’ll encourage your buyers to stay. People Buy With Their Eyes, Ears And Noses, And The Longer They Stay In your home, the greater the likelihood of an offer.
Here are 18 interior tips to help you “dress” the interior of your home so it FEELS like a home the buyer can visualize their family in for many years.
Tip #14: The entry way sets first impressions. So make sure it’s in great condition with fresh paint and clean floors. If the entry tile floor has build-up, consider hiring a company that cleans grout.
Tip #15: Clean out about 1/3rd to 1/2 of your furniture. You want your home to look uncluttered and the rooms to feel open and bright. The average home has too much furniture for showing. You are going to have to pack up your furniture anyways. So you might as well pack away any furniture that clutters any rooms in the home.
Tip #16: Put away knick-knacks and items that make the home look overly personal to YOU. You don’t want your buyer feeling that they would never fit in the home because it’s got so many of your personal items in it. Put away cluttered photos and other objects that will detract away from the home.
Tip #17: Do a thorough interior maintenance review: Oil squeaky doors, tighten doorknobs, replace burned-out lights, clean and repair ALL windows, and repair leaking taps and toilets. Look for chipped paint and cracked plaster or drywall that needs repairing.
Tip #18: It’s a good idea to have all windows professionally washed. And clean all window shades and blinds.
Tip #19: Clean lighting fixtures.
Tip #20: GIVE YOUR HOME A SPACIOUS LOOK. If you’ve ever toured a model home, you’ve probally noticed that the home is spacious and bright. Make your home look the same by: 1) clear out stairs and halls of clutter and excess furniture, 2) clear counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, and 3) Make closets and storage areas neat and tidy.
Tip #21: Make sure your home is clean by doing the following: 1) Shampoo carpets, 2) Clean the furnace and water heater tank (this sets a precedent of years of caring) , 4) Clean the refrigerator and stove, 5) Clean and freshen the bathrooms. Hire a professional cleaning service if needed. The money you spend on these areas will come back to you in the selling price.
Tip #22: Wax or polish floors, and glue down any seams, if you have vinyl flooring.
Tip #23: Make sure windows and doors operate properly and lubricate bi-fold closet door tracks with a silicon spray.
Tip #24: Glue loose wallpaper seams and remove soiled wallpaper.
Tip #25: Clean around fireplaces and remove ashes (we paint the inside of ours).
Tip #26: Organize all closets, pack up unnecessary items for storage and put all toys away.
Tip #27: Make sure all beds are made, bedrooms are neat and clean, and laundry is clean and folded.
Tip #28: Consider holding a yard sale BEFORE you place your home on the market to get rid of excess items that can make your home look cluttered or small.
Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the most influential areas of a home. Spending a small amount of money in these areas frequently nets owners many times their investment. Here are a few suggestions for each.
Tip #29: Your Bathrooms – Repair loose tiles. Remove loose grout using a grout file, and apply new grout (you can get grout caulking at HomeDepot or Lowes.) Faded tile colors can be improved using Rust -Oleum epoxy spray (We use our painters for this, it has a very strong odor and can be a little tricky). Remove old tub and tile caulking with a hooked scraper and install new silicone tub and tile caulk. Concentrate on areas such as counter corners, shower corners, and base of toilet. Clean mildewed caulk by spraying Tilex, or use diluted chlorine bleach and let stand for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. Old tubs can often be sprayed with an epoxy coating. Remove all soap scum and dirt build-ups. Again, diluted chlorine bleach will help. Clean glass doors with vinegar, and replace badly soiled shower curtains. Don’t forget to vacuum exhaust fans.
Tip #30: Your Kitchen – Clean ovens thoroughly. Clean cook tops and exhaust fans. Remember to clean behind your appliances. Double check all burners to make sure they’re working. Defrost freezers, and thoroughly clean the interior of your refrigerator. Remove mold from refrigerator gaskets. Empty the water collection tray under the refrigerator. Neatly arrange soaps and cleaning accessories. Thoroughly wash fronts of cabinets using Murphy’s Oil Soap or Pine Sol. Cover counter burns with ceramic tile or heat resistant glass. Make sure all handles are securely in place. Install new shelf and drawer liners.
Tip # 31: Save your receipts. If you need to make substantial repairs to your home, save the receipts in a manila envelope. This will show what has been updated in the home.
How To Show Your Home For Maximum Profit
There’s a right way to show a home…and a wrong way. Sometimes homeowners lose money or turn-off buyers because they simply didn’t know how to handle a home showing.
Here are 13 tips that will help you show your home for maximum profit:
Tip #32: Save those receipts. If you completed any substantial work on your home, save the receipts and ONLY take them out if someone questions the value of the work performed (in the negotiating process). Many times extra work will increase the value of your home beyond your costs. So only use the receipts if you need support to justify the work.
Tip #33: Save those utility bills. Buyers frequently have questions about utility costs of owning a home. If you have past utility bills, you will greatly increase your credibility and help provide precise answers to important questions. Save electric, gas, water, oil, sewage, and waste management bills.
Tip #34: Go away during organized Realtor showings. Three’s a crowd when your home is being shown. The only exception to this rule is if you have specific knowledge about features of the home and a Realtor asked you to stay. But in most cases, don’t stay. I’ve been selling homes for over 20 years, when I’m selling a flip and a Realtor is showing the home…I turn into Hudini and disappear.
Tip #35: Turn on ALL lights. Illumination is like a welcome sign.
Tip #36: Open all drapery and bring in as much natural light as possible. Buyers hate dark homes. Anything you can do to brighten your home will help.
Tip #37: Turn off any radios and TV’s. Turn off the football game. Tell the kids that the loud music will need a reprieve while the home is being shown. Occasionally, very soft, background music can enhance a showing. But generally no music at all is your best bet.
Tip #38: Plan a pleasant aroma. Cinnamon sticks or vanilla boiled in a pot of water on the stove emit pleasant aromas and make a home smell inviting. Apple and cherry wood smoldering on a fireplace do the same. And who can resist the smell of apple pie or fresh bread baking in the kitchen. Often, these pleasant smells can override other odors your home may have.
Tip #39: Keep pets out of the home during showings (For those dog lovers…We are too). It’s best to keep them out of the home for an entire day before an open house.
Tip #40: Do NOT volunteer conversation. Be courteous but don’t force conversation with a potential buyer. They want to inspect your home, not make a social call.
Tip #41: Stay positive: Never apologize for the appearance of your home. Let the buyer’s Realtor answer any objections – they’re trained to know how.
Tip #42: DO NOT Tag Along. It makes buyers fearful and uncomfortable. The showing Realtor knows the buyer’s requirements and can better emphasize the features of your home. They will call you if needed.
Tip #43: Never negotiate during a showing. If any negotiations arise prior to an offer, politely request the buyer / Realtor to submit an offer and you can consider it.
Tip #44: During a negotiation I always pictured myself as John Wayne during one of his famous shoot outs, except I pictured my bullets as my words, the more I talk the faster I run out of ammo. Trust Me…You will always want a bullet or two latter in the transaction.
Tip #45: I always put together a binder of all my disclosures, reports, city, school etc. information. I slip a flyer in the plastic in the front of the binder. On the first page I print a bullet point check list titled “Hello”. The check list contains all benefits of living in your home and leave the binder on the kitchen counter. That is always where an interested buyer and their agent will congregate. Remember-“Features” tell and “Benefits” sell.
I hope this list has helped you. Happy Home Selling!
Ghassan Shalabi, Broker
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