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20 Tips for Selling Your House

As a homeowner, you can play an important part in the timely sale of your property. When you take the following steps, you?ll help your RE/MAX Sales Associate, Kim Noonan, sell your home faster, at the best possible price.

The easiest and most reliable way to improve the appeal of your home is to enlist a quality home service professional. The right professional can help you get everything in order - from repainting the kitchen to providing a thorough cleaning - so you can stay focused on more important things.

  1. Make the Most of that First Impression
    A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted ? or at least freshly scrubbed ? front door. If it?s autumn, rake the leaves. If it?s winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better. If you're going to be gone weekends, evenings, or are selling a vacant home, invest in a fluorescent exterior light bulb and leave the porch lights on 24/7. This will not only add nighttime security, but will assist buyers and agents who need to find their way to your front door and lockbox during evening hours.
  2. Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends
    Here?s your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Avoid wallpaper, sponge/faux painting, or bright, trendy colors when prepping your home for sale. Now is not the time to recreate your favorite episode of "Trading Spaces." Keep in mind, neutral sellers. If you?re worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to get your house ready. Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look "with a little work."
  3. Check Faucets and Bulbs
    Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark. Don?t let little problems detract from what?s right with your home.
  4. Don?t Shut Out a Sale
    If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect?s mind. Don?t try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.
  5. Think Safety
    Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.
  6. Make Room for Space
    Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They?re looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.
  7. Consider Your Closets
    The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now?s the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
  8. Make Your Bathroom Sparkle
    Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats, and shower curtains. Take a peek inside the toilet tank: if there's discoloration from hard water, toss in a teaspoon of Iron Out and get rid of those rust stains ASAP.
  9. Create Dream Bedrooms
    Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.  We all love our children's artwork, but get rid of unframed drawings, posters and wall art & pack up most of the toys in preparation for your move.
  10. Open up in the Daytime
    Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is...but don't forget to make sure the windows sparkle, first!
  11. Lighten up at Night
    Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.
  12. Avoid Crowd Scenes
    Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they're likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum, and if at all possible, try to be away during the showing. And this is one case where children really ARE best seen and not heard. We've all heard stories about toddlers delighting in telling the potential buyers about when Daddy fell through the ceiling, or that this was how far into the hallway the bathtub overflowed!
  13. Watch Your Pets
    Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way. Somer buyers or agents may be frightened of your loving housepet, and that's a situation best avoided.
  14. Don't Make a Stink!
    Buyers are tuning into your home on all levels. You've been working hard to make it look good, but pay close attention to the unique fragrance of your home, too. Litter boxes need to be scooped CLEAN before all showings. Empty kitchen waste and diaper pails, too. If you smoke, don't do it during showings, make sure ashtrays are ALWAYS empty and clean, and consider trying to smoke outside while you're selling your home. Cigarette odors cause houses to sell for less money and with longer market time. Avoid cooking heavy or spicy foods just before showings - you might like brussels sprouts, smoked fish and curry, but there's a good chance your buyer won't.  Stuffy closets can benefit from a few hidden dryer sheets. Don't bother to bake brownies, or make cinnamon rolls; today's hard working air fresheners such as Glade Plug-ins (always in a soft neutral scent such as Clean Linen or Vanilla) keep a constant level of soft pleasing aroma in your home. Candles can add a homey touch, but make sure not to leave them unattended.
  15. Think Volume
    Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it's time to show your home, it's time to turn down the stereo or TV.
  16. Relax
    Be friendly and welcoming, but don't try to force conversation. Prospects want to view your home with a minimum of distraction. If you must be home for your showing, try sitting in the yard or on the deck if the weather permits. If too cold or wet to be outdoors, try sitting quietly and reading a book or magazine, working on the computer, or watching television QUIETLY.
  17. Don't Apologize
    No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home's appearance, let Kim handle the situation. While most buyers are courteous when viewing homes, some will really be stinkers. Ignore them and keep in mind that not everyone who looks at your home will like it...but you only have to sell it once!
  18. Keep a Low Profile
    Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But RE/MAX Sales Associates know buyers - what they need and what they want. Kim will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background. Also, if you follow prospective buyers around, it will appear as though you are anxious to sell. This can affect the buyers' perceptions of your willingness to negotiate - they may think you're desperate to move!
  19. Don't Turn Your Home into a Second-Hand Store
    When prospects come to view your home, don't distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need. You may lose the biggest sale of all.
  20. Defer to Experience
    When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your RE/MAX Sales Associate, Kim Noonan!

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