Friday, March 1, 2013

5 Steps to getting your house ready to sell

The costs of expensive upgrades are rarely recouped at the time of sale and studies show that smaller, simpler actions can yield a bigger return on your investment of time and money.

Here are five inexpensive, yet highly effective, ways to prepare your home for sale.

1) Create curb appeal
The outside of your home is the first thing buyers see. Trim hedges, maintain the lawn, power wash the siding and deck (and clean stains from the shingles if possible) and try to inject some color with potted flowers and plants (you can take them with you!). Make a great first impression on buyers!

2) Just store it (or sell it or throw it...)
Less is more when it comes to showing your home so put your knick-knacks, clear the paperwork off the counters, remove stacks of books and clear your fridge-covering artwork. Be sure to avoid stashing personal items in your closets because empty, clutter free closets are more appealing to buyers.

3) Lighten and brighten
Extra sunlight lends an airy feeling to your home, and interior lights provide warm glow. Wash your windows, keep curtains and blinds open, replace burnt-out bulbs, and add outdoor lighting to your landscaping, if possible. Also, keep your lights on in the evenings in the event that potential buyers drive by after-hours. With the lights on, your home will look inviting instead of dark and gloomy.  You always leave a light on for guests, right?

4) Paint an appealing atmosphere
A new coat of paint will freshen up any "lived-in" room but stick to neutrals such as light grays and tans. Also, consider repainting rooms that are currently bright, fun colors or busy designs - this can divert a buyer’s attention away from the home and toward money-costing “projects” that would come with buying the home.  I am sure you know, the wall paper must go.  A buyer sees pain and expense when they see wall paper - even if it is just a border.

5) Clean floors
New carpet or flooring can be expensive.  But you should spot clean stains and have carpets cleaned to freshen up the appearance (and smell). Using a wood floor or laminate floor cleaner can restore life to tired floors.  Be careful to use the right product for your floor so it doesn't become a slipping hazard!

With the help of your REALTOR® and a little hard work, these tips should help you increase your home’s appeal to more buyers without breaking the bank and even help you sell your home more quickly if you are priced right.

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