PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE

 

"YOUR" HOME MINUS "YOU" = "R" HOME

 

Prior to placing your home on the market, it is important that you take the time to conduct a very critical self-evaluation of your property, both inside and out, in order to properly prepare it for sale. 

 

"Staging" has become a very popular term in recent years, aided to a great extent by numerous television programs geared towards today's more savvy real estate clientele.  In order for your home’s floor plan, room proportions, craftsmanship, special features, amenities and other intangibles to be fully appreciated by prospective buyers, you will need to de-personalize your living space as much as possible.  In this way, prospective buyers will gain a greater appreciation for the home itself and actually begin to visualize living in it according to their own lifestyle and taste.  Figureatively, we want potential buyers to eliminate "YOU" from "YOUR" Home so that they can begin to imagine it as "R" Home.  Your ability to help potential buyers imagine themselves actually living in your home will help assure that they walk away with a very positive experience.

 

I will be happy to assist you in preparing your home for sale by offering tips on how you can best prepare it for viewing by prospective buyers.  In addition, I can introduce you to professional stagers who would work closely with you on a dedicated basis to assure that the charm and beauty of your home will be showcased.  By celebrating the most important aspects of your home, you can be confident that it will make a lasting first impression.

 

Following are a few suggestions on how you can begin to stage your home prior to placing it on the market.  Let’s first consider the exterior of your home.  The first impression potential buyers develop from the street, often referred to as a home’s “curb appeal", includes a visual appraisal of the exterior condition of all structures, including porches and decks, roof, landscaping, patio, pool and walkways.  For example, is the beauty of the exterior of your home marred by stains caused by the weather?  Consider an inexpensive power washing to restore its luster.  Are the yard areas free of clutter such as toys, lawn maintenance equipment, etc.?  Assure that lawns and shrubbery are being properly maintained in the Spring and Summer and that leaves are raked and collected in the Fall.  If your home is going to be shown during the winter months, it is most important that all walkways and driveways are kept free of snow and ice.  Your goal must be to create a safe, warm and inviting approach to the home to set the stage for the excitement to be found within.  Remember, you only have one opportunity to make a lasting first impression!

 

Once inside, every effort should be made to promote or enhance room size, traffic flow and natural light.   Remove all unnecessary furniture and all personal items such as family photos from tables and walls.  It is best to de-personalize your home for several reasons.  Potential buyers are interested in imagining how they might feel living in this home and often, personal photos serve as unnecessary distractions for them.  Much of your attention should be devoted to the kitchen.  Here, countertops should be kept completely clear of any unnecessary clutter.  Counter space is prime real estate in the kitchen and it is a key selling point for many potential buyers.  This has become even more critical in recent years since the responsibility for preparing meals may now be shared by several family members at the same time.  Remove everything from your countertops and keep them spotless.  With respect to cabinets and closets, operate under the guideline that less is more.  It is always preferable to showcase the amount of storage space in your home.

  

Potential buyers will always focus considerable attention on the operating systems in the home.  Make certain that all plumbing, air conditioning and heating (HVAC) elements are inspected for defects that will need to be addressed.  Be sure to have any problems fixed professionally.   It is also a good idea to make sure that major components that require periodic maintenance such as septic systems and heating and cooling systems have been recently serviced.  Display the documentation so that prospective buyers know that all systems are routinely inspected and maintained professionally.  This goes a long way toward demonstrating that the entire home has been well cared for.

 

Storage space is always a consideration to the prospective buyer, particularly buyers moving up to a home from apartment living.  Take every opportunity to demonstrate that there is ample storage space throughout the home, including the garage, attic and basement.  A good tip is to pack up and store any fixtures, appliances and window treatments that you plan to exclude from the sale of your home.  If possible, relocate them off premises.  Replace all antiques and heirlooms with suitable replacement fixtures so that there can be no misunderstanding as to whether they were included in the sale price.  You would not want these items to become bargaining points at some later date. 

 

Once you have organized, de-cluttered, repaired and refreshed your home, it is critical to insure that the home remains as clean as possible at all times.  If you have pets, consider temporarily relocating litter boxes and food dishes to less conspicuous areas and make sure to remove any musty or stale odors in the home.  With your keen attention to detail beforehand, you will create a lasting first impression and assure your home will enjoy a substantial edge over other competiting properties.

  

Without question, selling a home is a major undertaking, particularly in today's real estate environment.  It requires patience, attention to detail and dilligence.  With your commitment to staging your home in its best possible light and with my guidance and assistance as your dedicated real estate professional, together we can better assure a superior result!