Tuesday, February 17, 2009

GETTING YOUR HOME MARKET READY

Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Sound good? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to spruce up your home that will send the home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here's a few tips on how to make your home more appealing:

1. De-Clutter! People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it. If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away? Pack up those knickknacks. Clean off everything on kitchen counters. Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use. Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
2. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home. Say to yourself "This is not my home; it is a house - a product to be sold." Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours. Don't look backwards - look toward the future!
3. De-Personalize. Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers have trouble seeing past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, not asking "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?"
4. Rearrange Bedroom Closets & Kitchen Cabinets. Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if they see everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well.
5. Rent a Storage Unit. Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around.
6. Remove/Replace Favorite Items. If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won't want it. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
7. Make Minor Repairs. Replace cracked floor or counter tiles. Patch holes in walls. Fix leaky faucets. Fix doors that don't close properly and drawers that jam. Replace any damaged wood on the exterior. Replace burned-out light bulbs. Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you've customized your colors. Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "The Orange House."
8. Make the House Sparkle! Wash windows. Clean the cobwebs. Re-caulk tubs and showers. Clean out the refrigerator. Vacuum daily. Replace worn rugs. Hang fresh towels. Replace air filters and clean returns. Clean light switch plates and door knobs. Clean carpets. Odors are a no-no.
9. Check Curb Appeal. Keep the sidewalks cleared. Mow the lawn. Paint faded trim. Plant flowers for color. Trim bushes. Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
10. Scrutinize. Go outside and look at your home from the street. Will it appeal to a buyer? Stand at the front door. Do you want to go inside? Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your home will look to a buyer.

As always, we're here to help and can meet with you to do a walk through of your home with helpful suggestions. Our market is competitive and the more you can do to make your home stand out, the quicker you'll be moving into your new home!

Tina & Mike Butler
(918) 740-1000

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