RE/MAX Northern Illinois - Laura Schiavone

20 Tips for Selling Your Home



20 Tips for Selling Your House

As a homeowner, you can play an important part in the timely sale of your property.  When you take the following steps, you'll help me sell your home faster, at the best possible price.

 

The easiest and most reliable way to improve the appeal of your home is to enlist a quality home service professional.  The right professional can help you get everything in order - from repainting the kitchen to providing a thorough cleaning - so you can stay focused on more important things.

A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted - or at least freshly scrubbed - front door.  If it's autumn, rake the leaves.  If it's winter, shovel the walkways.  The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.

Here's your chance to clean up in real estate.  Clean up the house, and I mean ALL OF IT!  Window sills and screens, light switches, cabinets, kitchen drawers, door knobs and surrounding areas.  Look up high to see if you have any cobwebs.  Clean all your light fixtures. Clean all your appliances. DECLUTTER and DEPERSONALIZE!  Although your home is warm and inviting, it has likely been "personalized" with family pictures, collectibles, etc.  You are moving now and attempting to make your home appealing to anybody and EVERYBODY and the only way to do that is for them to be able to see themselves living there, be able to imagine THEIR belongings in the space, and they cannot if all they see is all your personal items displayed.  Pack it all up.  Now is the time! Clear all the magnets off your refrigerator, empty your counter tops almost completely.  Before your home hits the market, I can consult with you on the best way to stage your home for showings.  If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecorating.  If you're worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to get your house ready.  I can even help make paint color suggestions.  Neutral and light is the way to go! And if you're not great at painting, hire a professional.  A bad paint job is worse than no paint job at all.  Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really is than hear how great it could look "with a little work."

Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggest faulty or worn-out plumbing.  Burned out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark.  Don't let little problems detract from what's right with your home.

If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect's mind.  Don't try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away.  A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights.  Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.  If possible, remove any jewelry, weapons, and prescription medication from your home along with any valuables.  

Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space.  They're looking for storage space too.  Make sure your attic and basement are free of unnecessary items.

The better organized a closet, the larger it appears.  Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity or pack your off-season or excess clothing.

Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine.  Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers.  For added allure, display your best towels, mats, and shower curtains.

Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms.  For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture.  Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a MUST.  Now is the time to wash them all well too.  There's nothing more distracting than walking into a bedroom and smelling dirty sheets!

Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes, open all your blinds, so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.

Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening.  In fact, turn on all the lights even in the DAYTIME TOO.  The brighter the home, the better, every time!  Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.

Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people.  Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they're likely to hurry through.  Keep the company present to a minimum.  In fact, I recommend you leave the home for showings completely.  Having people in the home while buyers are trying to look at it makes them extremely uncomfortable.  You want them in your home as long as possible so they feel at home.  After all, that is the point, isn't it?

Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home.  Pets have a talent for getting underfoot.  So do everybody a favor:  Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.

Rock-and-Roll will never die.  But it might kill a real estate transaction.  When it's time to show your home, it's time to turn down the stereo or TV.

Be friendly, but don't try to force conversation.  Prospects want to view your home with a minumum of distraction.  If you MUST be present, smile, say hello, let the buyer's agent know where in the house they can find you while you're waiting.  It is not a good idea to have extensive conversations with the buyer's agent or the potential buyer.  You never know what you might say that can hurt negotiations.

No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings.  If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home's appearance, let me know and I'll handle the situation.

Nobody knows your home as well as you do, BUT real estate agents know BUYERS - what they need and what they want.  I will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.

When prospects come to view your home, don't distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need.  You may lose the biggest sale of all, your home!

When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your Re/Max Sales Associate!

I will have an easier time selling your home if showings are scheduled through my office. You'll appreciate the results.