In this very competitive housing market, where only well priced and well prepared homes are selling, what can you as a potential seller do to improve your chances? Here are some time-tested suggestions for success!
CURB APPEAL: How long do you think you have to convince a buyer looking at the outside of your house that they would like to see it? Would you believe that buyers will assess whether your home is worth looking into in 15 to 20 seconds. Your house needs to be a "happy" looking home before people will step inside!
Remove clutter from your lawn, keep the grass trimmed and weed the garden. If there is any peeling paint, scrape, prime and put on a fresh coat. Repair any torn screens. Your front door is a focal point. Make sure it's got fresh looking paint. Oil any squeaking hinges. Consider planting some flowers in strategic places.
KITCHEN: The kitchen is the heart of the house. Don't skimp here. If the floor needs to be replaced, replace it. Remove any appliances and clutter from the counter tops. Repair any dripping faucets. Clean the vent hood.
BATHROOMS: Put your good guest towels out. Repair dripping faucets. Remove any stains from tub, sink and commode.
LIVING AREAS: Patch and paint any exposed cracks or nail holes in the walls. If fresh paint is needed, choose neutral colors. Replace all burned out light bulbs, and use brighter than normal wattage - a bright home will show much better! (But be sure not to use any wattage higher than recommended by your light fixtures, for safety.) For daylight showings, set curtains and shades to let in as much sunlight as possible.
Straighten out closets, basement and attic. Have a garage sale. Get rid of clutter - it will cost you money. Wash your windows.
SHOWINGS: Turn all your lights on. It should go without saying that there should be no pet smells or other unpleasant odors. Take care of these well before any showings are expected. Have a nice aroma in the house - like baking banana bread, or apples and cinnamon. Even if you have to use a spray, it will make the home seem inviting. Put some soft, easy listening music on the stereo for background.
SHOULD YOU BE HOME DURING SHOWINGS? Short answer - definitely NOT. And pets should be gone as well. Not everyone will appreciate and love your animals like you do.
Some sellers mistakenly believe that since they know more about the house than anyone else, that they should be there to answer questions. Unfortunately, this is counter-productive. Buyers don't feel comfortable with a seller following them around, and will try to escape as soon as possible. Let the agent (who knows the buyers better than the owner does) handle any questions. If more information is needed, the agent will ask the seller later. Buyers need to be able to voice their concerns, likes and dislikes without being embarrassed. A good agent will be able to hear the buyers' concerns and help them work through to solutions.
I would be happy to give you a no-obligation evaluation of what may be the most cost-effective things you can do to prepare your home for sale. Just call me at (717) 951-5552.
Brian Schulman offers expert personalized real estate representation and services in Lancaster County, PA. To contact him, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/
Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA. To learn more, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/
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