- Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.
- Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.
- Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn our or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.
- Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.
- Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediments?
Source: National Association of REALTORS®
To put the best face on a listing and appeal to buyers who follow feng shui principles, keep these tips in mind.
- Pay special attention to the front door, which is considered the “mouth of chi” (chi is the “life force” of all things) and one of the most powerful aspects of the entire property. Abundance, blessings, opportunities, and good fortune enter through the front door. It’s also the first impression buyers have of how well the sellers have taken care of the rest of the property. Make sure the area around the front door is swept clean, free of cobwebs and clutter. Make sure all lighting is straight and properly hung. Better yet, light the path leading up to the front door to create an inviting atmosphere.
- Chi energy can be flushed away wherever there are drains in the home. To keep the good forces of a home in, always keep the toilet seats down and close the doors to bathrooms.
- The master bed should be in a place of honor, power, and protection, which is farthest from and facing toward the entryway of the room. It’s even better if you can place the bed diagonally in the farthest corner. Paint the room in colors that promote serenity, relaxation, and romance, such as soft tones of green, blue, and lavender.
- The dining room symbolizes the energy and power of family togetherness. Make sure the table is clear and uncluttered during showings. Use an attractive tablecloth to enhance the look of the table while also softening sharp corners.
- The windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting the windows professionally cleaned will make the home sparkle and ensure that the view will be optimally displayed.
Source: Sell Your Home Faster With Feng Shui, by Holly Ziegler (Dragon Chi Publications, 2001)
•Making showings difficult to schedule
•Keeping a messy house
•Failing to make needed repairs
•Overpricing their home
•Taking negotiations personally
Making improvements to your home’s landscaping will enhance its marketability and increase the value. Stand in the road and take an objective look at your home so that you can develop a plan for improvements. Below you will find some helpful tips:
Remove any items from your yard that look out of place, such as, bikes, balls, unused lawn furniture, trash cans and the like.
Take a look at your lawn. How does it look? Is it well groomed and green? A great looking yard is the key to increasing your curb appeal. Don’t cut your yard too high. Most yards do best when cut at a height of at least three inches. If your yard is in poor shape it may need to some seeding and fertilizing.
How do your planting look? Do you have the right balance? Are they too large for the space? If so; you may want to remove them and start over. Do you have enough color? If not; set out some flowers that are appropriate for the time of year. If trees are overgrown and hiding the house, then give them a good trimming or have them removed altogether.
Figure out what is the focal point of your yard, and work extra hard to make this area stand out
When selling your home you need to highlight its strengths and focus on its features. Here’s a list of places to start:
1. Make a lasting first impression – Curb appeal is extremely important. Make sure your lawn and shrubbery are neatly trimmed. The front door should be clean and dust free. If it needs a fresh coat of paint, then paint it.
2. Don’t hesitate to decorate – Faded walls and worn woodwork won’t sell your home. A small investment in paint will do wonders.
3. Let the sun shine in – Open drapes and curtains. Clean the windows. Home buyers are drawn to bright, cheery interiors.
4. Bathrooms are big sellers – Make bathrooms shine. Clean the sinks and toilets thoroughly. Re-caulk vanity tops and tile as needed. Make sure that you are displaying fresh neatly folded towels.
5. Wake up your bedrooms – Remove excess furniture. Use colorful sheets and bed spreads. Open the drapes and let the light in.
6. Pay close attention to the details – Loose door knobs, sticking drawers, wobbly hinges and stuck windows can all cost you the sale.
7. Call the plumber – Have those leaky faucets fixed. Make sure the drains are running free and clear. Clean those rust stains from the tub and bowls.
8. Buyers love big closets – They look even bigger when they are clean, neat and well organized. Remove as much as possible. Either give it away or place it in storage.
9. Lighten up – By day let the sun shine in. By night turn on all lighting in advance of showings. Make sure that you replace any bulbs that are not working. Add accent lighting to wall hangings, fireplaces and other unique features of the home.
10. Leave it to the professionals – Let your REALTOR® handle the showings and negotiations. They’ve been carefully trained and will look out for your best interest.
Here are seven things that a seller should avoid when selling their home:
1. Putting the home on the market before it’s ready – Make sure you have the home in top notch condition and free of clutter. Impressions are everything when selling, so get yours ready before putting it up for sale.
2. Over improving for the neighborhood – When making improvements to your home, be careful not to go overboard. You want to keep your home’s size and materials used similar to the other homes in your immediate area.
3. Pricing the home based upon what the seller wants to net – Following this practice will almost always lead to failure. If a home is not priced in-line with other similar homes, then it will receive few if any showings, and will attract mostly low ball offers. After a while the home will become what is termed as “market worn”.
4. Hiring an agent based on non-business factors – Make sure that your hiring the best person for the job and not a friend or family member who’s in the business.
5. Getting emotionally involved in the sale of the home – Once you decide to sell your home you need to become emotionally unattached to the house, it’s now a commodity and it needs to be treated as such.
6. Trying to cover up problems and not disclosing them – Most states require a written seller property disclosure report that you as the seller must complete as part of the selling process. Make sure that you complete this form with great care and detail. If you don’t properly disclose an issue that you have knowledge of, then you open yourself up for possible liability at a later date.
7. Not getting everything in order before selling – Research such things as new financing, terms of your existing mortgage, market conditions and etc. By having a better understanding the process and what to expect, you can hopefully sell your home and purchase a new one with less stress and fewer hassles.
Before you decide to list your home take a look at these areas to see if changes are warranted:
1. Curb appeal – This is your first chance to make a good first impression with a buyer. Stand in the street and take a hard look at your home’s exterior. Are the shrubs overgrown, is the lawn neatly trimmed,
should you add some flowers, do you need a new mailbox and etc. You want to have landscaping that’s welcoming, looks great and will keep the buyer interested.
2. Exterior – Walk around the outside of your home and make an assessment of the condition of its exterior. Do you find some damaged trim, do you need to paint, are the window screens in good order, do you find areas that need to be caulked and etc. If the buyer finds the outside of your home to be in good repair, then you’ve set the stage for a more favorable showing on the inside.
3. Kitchens – They can often make or break a sale. You want the buyer to walk-in and fall in love with your kitchen. Take an objective look at your kitchen; could it use some improvements? It could be as simple as a fresh coat of paint, or all the way up to a full blown renovation.
4. Baths – A nice bath rates high on a buyers list. It much like the kitchen in that you can simply improve it with a fresh coat of paint or do a full renovation. Many small improvements on a bath can have a great impact, such as, new lighting, new towel bars, a new sink and the like.
5. Decorating – You may love the color schemes in your house, but many buyers may not. You want to have your house decorated so that it appeals to the masses, not a select few. Generally neutral color tones work best.
6. Pets – Pets bring unwanted issues when trying to sell. If at all possible try to find a good temporary home for your pet while your house is on the market. If that’s not possible, at a minimum remove your pet from the home when it’s being shown.