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.
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. 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, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs 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.
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: rollerskates 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.
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.
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 Bathrooms 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 cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful beadspreads 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 color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.
If you must be present during your showing, be friendly, but don't try to force conversation. Prospects want to view your home with a minimum of distraction.
Watch Your Pets
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. Do everybody a favor: keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.
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.
No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home's appearance, let your REALTOR handle the situation.
Keep a Low Profile
Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But your REALTOR knows buyers - what they need and what they want. Your REALTOR will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
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 to a minimum.
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.... more