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Tips - Getting the Best Price for Your Home

Is My Home Ready to Sell?

Your relationship with your Realtor is a partnership. While he or she markets your property and screens potential buyers, it's up to you to give your home a simple, inexpensive sprucing up that can go a long way toward a speedy sale.

Here are some hints to help you get top market value:

Before Showings
  1. First Impressions

  2. The exterior of your home often determines how buyers will view the interior, so:
    • Make sure your front entrance is clean and inviting
    • Paint or replace your front door if it's faded or worn

    • Cut lawns
    • Trim shrubs and lawns
    • Pick up any litter
    • Clear walk and driveway of leaves
    • Repair gutters and eaves
    • Touch up exterior paint

  3. Beauty is More than Skin Deep
    Buyers often see the surface condition of your home as a sign of what's underneath, so:
    • Keep windows and floors clean
    • Replace faded wallpaper and glue any areas that have come away from the wall
    • Repair worn woodwork
    • Repaint scarred or dirty walls in a neutral color
    • Steam clean carpeting or replace it if necessary
    • Repair loose knobs, sticking doors and windows,warped cabinet drawers, broken light switches and other minor flaws
    • Check and repair caulking in bathrooms and showers
    • Oil squeaky doors
    • Replace burned out lights
    • Repair leaking taps and toilets
    • Clean washer, dryer, and tubs
    • Clean furnace
    • Clean fridge and stove
    • Clean and freshen bathroom

  4. Accentuate the Positive
    Try to see your home with a fresh perspective and arrange each room to bring out its best attributes, including:
    • Open draperies and curtains to let the light in during the showing
    • Remove all unnecessary clutter from your attic, basement and closets to better display spacious rooms (consider storage or a garage sale to dispose of extraneous items)
    • Arrange all your room neatly and remove excess furniture
    • Keep fresh, clean towels in the bathroom
    • Use candles or air fresheners to make the room smell pleasant

  5. Put Your Home in the Best Light

  6. Strategically lighting your home, even during daytime showings, can create a cozy mood and highlight positive attributes of each room, so:
    • Avoid the use of overhead lighting that makes rooms look washed out and lifeless
    • Be creative and arrange lamps to help smaller rooms seem larger, and large rooms seem more intimate
    • Use lighting to highlight the "living areas" of your home, such as a pair of chairs near a fireplace, or a table in a breakfast area
    • Put the spotlight on the strengths and potential of your home
    • Create the right mood and atmosphere given the room's function, color scheme, etc.
    • Accent the positive aspects and unique features of each area of your home During Showings

  7. Leave the Selling to the Professional

  8. Buyers often feel uncomfortable in the presence of a homeowner, so:
    • Try not to be present during showings & inspections
    • If you are home, never apologize for the appearance of your house
    • Only your Realtor should discuss any objections and subjects like price, terms, possession and other factors with the buyers

  9. Keep the Disturbances Down

  10. Potential homebuyers have a lot to take in, so minimize distractions.
    • Play classical, jazz or soft rock music, but keep the volume low
    • If possible, turn off the ringer on your phone during showings
    • Keep cats, dogs, litter boxes and feeding dishes out of the way-preferably out of the house

  11. Create a Homey Atmosphere

  12. A buyer tries to picture themselves and their family living in your home, so:
    • Create a pleasant aroma by baking cookies or bread, or placing cornmeal in a pie plate in a warm oven on the day of the showing
    • Keep the heat or air conditioner at a comfortable level
    • If you have a fireplace, light it during wintertime showings
    • Open drapes in the daytime
    • Turn on lights-especially outside for evening showings

  13. Have Records Available

  14. Even if a buyer doesn't study them, having records available can make it clear you are conscientious and have nothing to hide.
    • Have copies of your gas, electric and water bill from the last 12 months available
    • Be ready to show all home improvement and repair bills