Preparing Your Home to Sell

Nice kitchen settingMaking a first good impression is vital to your success.

There are five factors to selling your home. Location, financing, marketing, price and condition. You can't influence location or financing, marketing is your agent’s responsibility, and price is determined by the market. But condition is in your control.

There are three areas on which to focus when preparing your home to sell. Major repairs, maintenance and enhancing your home. Start by going from living conditions to showing conditions. A properly prepared home might not be worth more than market value, but will be preferred over the competition and probably sell faster. People typically buy on emotion and decide on logic. So, presenting your home in the best possible condition at the front door is paramount.

To prepare your home properly, you should minimize any negative conditions and maximize the positive. A list of major repair items on which to concentrate include uneven floors, siding, roof conditions, missing shingles, cracks in the foundation, water stains, plumbing and appliances. Maintenance items might include cracked window panes, missing grout, cracked tiles, leaky faucets, burned out bulbs, peeling wallpaper, a missing wall plate, and carpet stains. All of these can be corrected fairly easily. You may even consider repainting walls for a fresh new look to brighten the rooms. Remember, you must disclose anything you know about your property.

Inside the home make sure furniture is arranged for easy flow from one room to the next. Rooms that are overcrowded with furniture will turn off buyers. As the saying goes…if in doubt, clear it out! Start to pack up your books, knickknacks and pictures. Remove any items that are not staying with the home, and arrange toys in plastic containers. Try to imagine what a new home looks like.

Next is clean-up. Fluff the pillows, vacuum the rugs, (shampoo if necessary), dust the blinds, and open shades for more natural light. Clear rooms of posters, magnets on the refrigerator, and make sure the kitchen counter is neat and tidy. Dishes should be cleaned and put away. Table setting are a nice touch and bathrooms should be spotless.

Next we come to the five senses. Sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. A buyer will discover your home though these experiences, resulting in an emotional response. Tap into this power by enhancing your home to appeal to each sense. Most people are visual. The first thing they see is the exterior, so curb appeal is a key factor for a buyer when considering a home. Your entrance area and front door make a dramatic impact on how buyers will feel about the rest of your house.

Make sure all radios and/or TVs are turned off. Close any windows that face a busy street. A bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter is a nice touch. If it’s dreary outside, turn on a few lamps to create a welcoming, cozy ambiance.

Striving to present your home for optimum effect will likely result in a shorter market time and a faster sale. With a little effort you can be sure your home will show in the best possible light to potential buyers.

Good luck!

Jack Kilkenny

Jack Kilkenny
Brownstone Real Estate Co.