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I think many sellers are of the opinion that once a realtor has listed their home for sale, they can sit back and expect their home to sell without giving much thought to the fact that they have to be an active participant…
Here is an excerpt from my booklet for Sellers “A Real Estate Guide for Sellers” where I outline things they need to be cognizant of to assist their realtor, and themselves, in a successful sale.
Make Your Home Accessible
Having your home accessible to prospective Buyers as much as possible, is critical in the sale of your home. Agents try to give as much notice as possible for requests to show your home, but there are times when last-minute requests do occur. Granting requests as much as possible is desirable … the request you turn away may be the purchaser you’ve been waiting for.
Dress For Success
Looking good is important when you want to make a great impression, whether for a job interview or a social function. The same is true of a home that is on the market. When the “For Sale” sign goes up in front of your home, it should be “dressed” for the occasion.
Since the first impression will be of the front of the house, a well-groomed exterior is crucial, from the landscaping to the paint. The interior of your home should be clean and tastefully decorated. Take care of any minor cosmetic repairs that are needed, such as cracked plaster or peeling paint. A sparkling kitchen and shiny bathrooms, clean windows, and the absence of clutter will help your home “show well”. Keeping your home looking good at all times is hard work, especially if you have children and are packing for a move. The dividends are impressive, however, because a home that looks well cared for has an excellent chance of selling quickly for top dollar.
Good curb appeal is a major plus when we market a home. A little bit of work on the front of your can pay big dividends.
When a potential buyer pulls up in front of your house, their first impression is absolutely crucial. Sometimes buyers won’t even look at a home with droopy shutters, sagging gutters, peeling paint and a bumper crop of dandelions in the front yard. Or they might go in expecting to find a “fixer-upper” that could be purchased at a bargain price. If a house looks neat and cared for from the street, the initial good impression will carry over as the buyers step inside.
It is not necessary to hire a professional landscaper, but listen to your Realtor’s suggestions when you list your home. Local nurseries can help you select blooming plants that will thrive in your area. Keep the lawn mowed, and regardless of the season, take care of exterior maintenance. Strong curb appeal will help your home sell more quickly and for top dollar.
A Sparkling Kitchen
There’s no doubt about it–the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the whole house for many prospective buyers. Smart sellers will take a close look at how they can make their kitchen a real asset when it is time to sell.
Your kitchen doesn’t need to be state-of-the-art to be attractive. The first step toward enhancing your kitchen’s appeal is a thorough cleaning. This includes the walls, cabinets (inside and out), floors, and appliances. Keep the counter tops as clear as possible of small appliances and gadgets. Consider low-cost improvements which can make a big difference, such as a coat of paint, fresh wallpaper, or new floor covering. Be sure to keep the kitchen sparkling when the house is being shown. This means no dirty dishes in the sink or mouldy cucumbers in the refrigerator. This extra effort will pay great dividends!
Help Your Realtor
Once your home is listed for sale, it may be difficult for you to step aside and let your agent take over. When prospective buyers arrive, you may want to stand by to point out the closet extenders, the hidden spice cabinet behind the kitchen door, the energy-saving storm windows or the updated copper plumbing. If you really want to help, however, you will leave the house whenever it is being shown!
We have found that the sales process does not really begin until buyers have begun to voice their objections about a property. Sometimes these concerns are serious enough to remove your house from consideration. Often, however, people voice objections as a defense mechanism because they really love the house and they want to buy it. We are trained to know the difference. If a seller is standing at the agent’s elbow, the buyer won’t be comfortable enough to let this process take place, and we could lose the sale. The best way to help is to give us the room to do our job.
Very few people will buy a house because they are attracted by fantastic bathrooms. Buyers do react to bathrooms that are not cared for, however, because they view them as a reflection of the overall condition of the property.
Many buyers know that plumbing repairs potentially represent a major expense. They get nervous about dripping faucets, loose tiles, and running toilets. Your pre-marketing preparations should include making sure that your plumbing is working properly and that any cosmetic damage caused by former leaks has been repaired.
Keep the bathroom spotless while your home is on the market. Get out the scouring powder, mildew remover, glass and tile cleaner and a scrub brush. Re-caulk around the tub and shower, if necessary. A new shower curtain, bath mat, and nice smelling soap can help give the buyer one more positive reason for liking your home! And remember, keep the toilet seats down!