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Saturday, March 9, 2013

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell

Many homeowners are trying to sell but have trouble seeing their homes as products.

They don’t repaint the purple-walled kids’ room. They leave the tricycle in the driveway and old towels hanging in the bathroom. They don’t step back and look at their homes through the eyes of a potential buyer.

Keep your homes as uncluttered and “neutral” as you can. You want your potential buyers to imagine themselves living there.

And this year, the local housing market is showing genuine signs of a lasting recovery for the first time since its collapse in fall 2008. Home prices are continually rising, the foreclosure rate has dropped, and analysts heralded the return of demand for single-family homes for the first time in years.

Home prices are still nowhere near their peak in the mid-2000s. But for homeowners finally able to sell without taking a financial bath, this spring presents a fresh opportunity to make sure their homes are in prime condition to fetch optimal prices – which means more pre-listing preparation than many homeowners are used to.

Here are some key tips for
getting the best price possible.

Step back for first impression

Start with “curb appeal” – the first impression from the street. Homeowners need to step back, as a painter does from a large canvas, and take a critical look at what the house might look like to someone with no emotional attachment to it.

Make sure the lawn is manicured, with a fresh cut and fresh mulch, the exterior is power-washed, you have a freshly painted front door, there are no toys or garbage cans in view. It’s nice to put a new welcome mat at the front door. The windows should be clean. For showing, you should remove screens from the windows because the screens cast a kind of shadow on the windows, and they show much better with them off.

Repaint with neutrals

If you haven’t repainted within the last five years, you should. And don’t think prospective buyers will assign creativity points for the ’70s-mod orange-and-saddle brown striped pattern in the game room.

When people come in and see personal paint colors, they’ll think, ‘Oh, I’m going to need to paint before I move in.’ Stick to neutral colors such as beige.

The more neutral and less distinctive the colors and furnishings, the more buyers can see themselves living there instead of you.

Kill the clutter

Think strategically about display. In general, you want to furnish each room enough to give it a distinct identity – a bed, dresser and nightstand in the master bedroom, for instance – but not jam it full of bric-a-brac.

This is important not just for potential buyers not just when they visit but when they view photos of your listing online.

Your master bedroom is a master bedroom because you have a patchwork quilt in every room, that’s confusing for me, because people do almost all of their initial shopping online now.

You can’t have everything trying to grab your attention. You need a focal point – say a great room with a fireplace and a great piece of art on the mantel. You shouldn’t have beautiful art on every wall.

Check in bad weather

Drive by your home when it’s raining. Bad weather can bring out blemishes that don’t show when the sun shines: clogged gutters and downspouts, a low spot in the concrete driveway where water pools during downpours.

Don’t list too soon

One of the most common seller’s mistakes is to “test the waters” and list the home when it’s not in peak showing condition, just to see what kind of offers it draws.

Bad move, showing a lived-in or unstaged home can lead to rejections and long tenures on listing sheets, which raises red flags for buyers, which drives the price down.

That’s the whole goal: to have that house prepared when it first hits the market, so it sells fast for the most amount of money.”

Contact a Realtor early

Your real estate agent has the experience to help you decide what to do and what "not" to do when it comes to preparing your home for sale. Use their expertise to guide you and lay out the "plan" ahead of time so that you can be prepared for listing your home at the best time of year, timing is key and you'll be better off in the long run if you utilize the professionals to help you make sure you time it right. 

At Modern Market Realtors, we have the experience and passion for real estate that will help your home selling process be as successful as it can be.  Make the first step to ensuring your listing gets the best possible exposure, at the right time.  We're here to help 24/7! Contact us today! We'll show you all the many added features we offer all of our clients that you will not find anywhere else at not added cost to you! Getting started doesn't cost anything. So, why wait! Make the move and maximize your profit!

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