First, get psychologically
prepared. Detach yourself emotionally
from your home and start viewing it
as a commodity you want to sell. This
is difficult for most sellers whose
identities are often reflected in
their homes. However, it's important
to be completely candid with yourself
about how your home should look when
it goes on the market.
Property appearance and condition
play a bigger role in the home sale
process today than they did a decade
ago. Today's home buyers are usually
savvy, choosy and short of time. They'll
pay a premium for homes they can move
The probable selling price for your
home will depend on various factors,
including: how many buyers there are
in the market looking for homes like
yours; how many other homes like yours
are currently on the market; and the
condition of your home relative to
your competition. You can't control
the supply and demand factors affecting
the market, but you can control how
your home looks when it hits the market.
There are many reasons why most sellers--about
4 out of 5--use real estate agents
to help them sell their homes. One
of the most useful functions an agent
provides is to consult with you on
what fix-up projects will need to
be completed before your home goes
on the market.
First Time Tip: Don't
underestimate the time it takes to
get a home ready. Ideally, you should
talk to an agent months before your
anticipated sale. Walk through your
home with your agent and compile a
"to-do" list. If the list
is lengthy and your fix-up budget
is limited, ask your agent to help
you prioritize the list so that you
concentrate your resources on the
most important items.
First impressions are lasting. So,
pay particular attention to how your
home looks from the street. If the
exterior paint is peeling, repaint.
If the front lawn is shot, roll in
new sod. Leaning fence posts should
be straightened and burnt-out porch
lights should be replaced.
Paint is the least expensive improvement
you can make. Stick to neutral color
schemes that will coordinate well
with a variety of furnishings. It
may not make sense to completely redo
a dated kitchen, but consider updating
it with a new floor, paint, light-fixtures
and window coverings.
One of the most cost-effective things
you can do to get ready to sell is
to remove clutter in and around your
home. We may feel comfortable in our
homes when we're surrounded with our
own belongings. But, too many personal
effects can distract a buyer from
seeing what the home has to offer.
Put away the essentials of daily existence
like tooth brushes, hair dryers and
refrigerator art. With less clutter,
most homes appear larger. This can
help to justify the price you're asking.
Consider hiring a decorator who specializes
in fixing up homes for sale to help
you show your home off to an advantage.
Sometimes a different furniture arrangement
or new accessories will give a home
a fresh, new look.
Your home should be spotless when
it hits the market. Hire professional
cleaners to give your home a thorough
cleaning inside and out, including
Word may get out that your home is
going on the market. If so, you may
receive requests from prospective
buyers to preview your home early.
If your home is in a state of disarray,
buyers are likely to walk away with
the wrong impression.
The Closing: Don't
let your home be shown to prospective
buyers until you've finished all your