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Preparing Your House For Sale

Presentation Tips to Help You Achieve a Higher Price Quicker

Presentation of your property is a critical factor in achieving the highest possible price. The preparation you put into getting your property ready for sale can be the difference between getting a standard price and getting a great price. And, the best part is, it's not hard, time consuming or expensive. A neglected building sends out warning signals to prospective buyers. By removing all the negatives, buyers will be very positive and will be more likely to pay more. The following should be taken care of before placing your home on the market.

External Factors

Work at enhancing your home's exterior appeal before attending to its interior. This should be your first priority as the exterior of your property provides a buyer's introduction to your home. If the exterior repels a buyer, they are unlikely to investigate the inside of the house. First impressions count!

Imagine you are a potential buyer. Stand across the street from your property and study it. If you drove past this house and saw a "For Sale" sign, would you be attracted to the external features of the house and want to see more?

Important things to consider

  • Lawns and yards - remove clutter, cut grass, trim edge paths, weed gardens, trim shrubs & eliminate dead trees or branches. Keep lawns free of toys or lawn equipment.
  • Front of house - paint, fix or wash railings, steps, screens and or front door.
  • Repair any fences and gates and give them a fresh coat of paint or stain if necessary.
  • Have the roof in good repair and gutters and downspouts in good condition.
  • Replace any cracked windows and torn screens.
  • Be sure the doorbell works.
  • Wash down the mailbox and deck light. Sweep decks and keep free of clutter. 
  • Garage - straighten up & fix or wash doors.
  • Plumbing - repair dripping taps, leaky toilet cistern.
  • If you have a pool, ensure the water is free of debris and clear and inviting.

Internal Factors

  • Lights - replace any burned out bulbs or faulty switches.
  • Fix leaky taps and eliminate stains on sinks and bench tops
  • Halls and stairs - Tighten any loose stair banisters and remove any clutter to give a wider appearance.
  • Repair grouting in tubs and showers
  • Replace discoloured or cracked power points
  • Walls should be clean and free of smudges, fingerprints and dents.
  • Consider a fresh coat of paint, if a good washing doesn't work
  • Wash windows & sills until sparkling clean
  • Oil hinges on squeak doors, tighten door knobs, taps, etc.
  • General condition - dust, wash, paint, fix defects, as required.
  • Curtains and drapes should be freshly laundered
  • Shampoo rugs and carpets.
  • Remove clutter from kid's bedrooms (including posters on the walls)
  • Consider feeling of spaciousness - store unneeded items to enlarge room size or arrange furniture to make each room appear more spacious and attractive.

It is important to do whatever is possible to have your property looking its absolute best on inspection day. Also, tell us the thing you like best about your house, yard & location so we can promote these to prospective buyers.

Major Things That Are Off Putting To Buyers Include:

  • Animal odours in the house.
  • Stained carpets.
  • Cracked glass.
  • Cigarette or strong food odours.
  • Too much furniture or personal belongings cluttering the space.
  • Evidence of damp or moisture in the walls.

Hints For Open Days & Showings

  • Kitchen - stove, refrigerator and sink should be spotless, all work spaces clean.
  • Bathrooms - neat, spotless and fresh and free of mildew or stains
  • Wardrobes and cupboards - untidy or overcrowded closets suggest inadequate storage space.
  • Children & pets can keep buyers from thinking positively. Keep them secluded or out of the house, if possible.
  • Open drapes to let in as much natural light as possible.
  • Turn on sufficient lighting.
  • Spray with scented disinfectant, especially if someone smokes.
  • Turn on soft background music.
  • Make sure the garbage is taken out
  • If winter - if you have a fireplace - use it.
  • If summer - if you have air-conditioning - use it.
  • Whilst your home is open for inspection, we recommend that you leave the property so that a prospective buyer feels comfortable viewing your home.

Helpful Hint: Something baked fresh always makes your house more attractive during showings

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. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.

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. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your property. 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."

Check Faucets and Bulbs

Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolours 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.

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.

Think Safety

Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for potential buyers.

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 closets and garage are clean and free of unnecessary items.

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.

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.

Create Dream Bedrooms

Wake up prospects to the cosy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colourful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.

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.

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 colour and warmth and make prospects feel welcome.

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.

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 favour: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.

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.

Relax

Be friendly, but don't try to initiate conversation. Prospects want to view your home with a minimum of distraction and will most likely ask questions that are better answered by us.

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 us, your experienced RE/MAX Associate handle the situation.

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. Your RE/MAX Associate will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.

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.

Defer to Experience - It's the Experience

When prospects want to talk price, terms or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your RE/MAX Sales Associate.

Help Your Agent

We will have an easier time selling your home if showings are scheduled through the office. You'll appreciate the results!

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