Tips for Sellers


Selling your home can be a fast, easy, painless process with a financially rewarding finish. I’ve outlined below some of the ways to prepare your home for a quick and profitable sale.

Clean It. It sounds like a lot of work, especially since you might still be living in it while you list it, but sparklingly clean homes show the best, hands down. If you’re not up it, hire professional cleaners for the harder tasks, like vacuuming under furniture, organizing the garage, wiping down baseboards, cleaning windows, and mopping the basement floor.

Repair It. Even the smallest of leaks, cracks, patches of peeling paint, or carpet stains can turn off potential buyers. Besides, all the defects of your home, no matter how large or small, will show up in the home inspector’s report — and a few pages of problems, no matter how insignificant, may be enough to go from easy closing to nightmare closing. Take the time now to repair leaking faucets, repaint a child’s room, replace cracked window panes, and steam-clean the carpet.

Open It Up. Do not underestimate the effectiveness natural sunlight will have on selling your home. Open all the blinds and shades. If heavy drapes partially or fully block sunlight, consider removing them altogether. Dark or semi-dark homes can sometimes signify dingy, musty, and unclean in the minds of potential buyers.

Make It Cute. HGTV’s Curb Appeal program is popular for a reason. It’s true that many people decide whether or not they like a home the instant they first see it from the street. Make the most of that first impression by maximizing the curb appeal of your home. Sometimes all it takes is a weed eater, a lawn mower, hedge trimmers, and $50 in blooming perennials and pine bark mulch. For others, it may take a new coat of paint, shutters, replacing the brick walkway, a new lamppost, or updating the entire entry.

Make Yourselves Scarce. Hanging out in your home while potential buyers view it is bad for business. Your presence inhibits buyers from really seeing all the nooks and crannies and from talking openly about what they like and don’t like. You also don’t want kids to stick their foots in their mouths accidentally at the wrong moment, either. A simple, “You should have seen all the water in the basement during the hurricane last year!” can drive a potential buyer away for good, despite the fact that every house in the neighborhood has water problems and your basement comes equipped with a sump pump.

Update It. If your house sits on the market for longer than you’d like, it may be time to bring out the big guns. Worn hardwood floors, distinctive wallpaper, 1970s-style kitchens (avocado green- or mustard-colored appliances especially), unique paint colors, eccentric bathroom tilework, or other remnants of times past can be the kiss of death for an easy sale. Consider updating the worst elements before trying to sell again. The money you spend today will most likely translate into a much higher sale price.

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