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As soon as you put your house up for sale, your beloved home will be in competition with every other home listed, making it one of hundreds. Appropriate pricing, a good school district, and a nice neighborhood are great assets to have, but in today’s market there are many other homes with the same features. To make your house stand out among the masses, you need to present it at its best. To do so, you must view your home as a potential buyer will view it. Take emotion out of the equation and give your home a cold, hard inspection. Determine what things are the best about your home and what things are the worst.
There are many things you can do to play up your home’s good features while minimizing the negative ones. Start with your curb appeal. Your home should not have flaking paint or dull trim. If this is the case, you will need new paint in a neutral color. Bushes should be pruned back and shaped. Leaves should be raked up and bagged. The lawn will show the care you give it so be sure to keep it cut and as weed free as possible. Walkways should be repaired if they need it. Rent a pressure washer and clean the sidewalk and driveway so the whole scene looks clean and freshly tended. To draw people into the house, make sure the entry way is open and friendly. Lighting should be adequate and interesting. Consider your front door as a statement piece and paint it or dress it up with a wreath of flowers or tulle. If you have a porch, ensure the steps are in good repair. If you have porch furniture, ensure it is clean and the cushions look fresh and crisp. Consider planting flowers around the porch to add some color. Nothing says, “Come on in” quite like a home that appears well loved from the yard. Your home should smell clean. Avoid using heavy fragrances which may cause allergic reactions in your potential home buyers. Light, crisp fragrances are best. If you have access to flowers or do not mind the expense, a bouquet near the entry to your home will make a nice impression. Vanilla or sugar cookie scents will help the buyer feel at home. Clean, clean and clean some more. This step cannot be avoided. People who are considering your house as a potential buy will be nosey.
They will poke their heads into your closets, cabinets and attic. Take everything out of these places. Mop the floors, wipe down the shelves and dust the clothing rods. Update or remove old, worn out shelf liner or contact paper. Return your things to the closets and cabinets with an organization in mind but dispose of the things that are not useful. The more space these places have, the bigger and more organized they will appear. Well-organized closets and cabinets will stand out in the buyer’s mind. Some homebuyers will like carpet and some will hate it. Carpets gather and hold dirt and scents, but steam cleaning will give them a fresh fragrance and appearance. Rent a steamer and use it multiple times before returning it. It is especially important to do this if you have a pet. If the carpet is beyond cleaning, pull it out and replace it. The available options are endless so finding one that fits your budget should not be difficult. Some places even offer free installation with purchase. Give your home a deep cleaning. Clean your windows and polish until they shine. Scrub the walls to remove the grime and dirt that builds up naturally. Wipe down the baseboards and door frames. Clean out the refrigerator and the oven to make them look larger and newer. If there is a chore you hate and neglect, now is the time to do it vigorously.
The cleaner your home is, the better it will show. Since selling a house is hugely based on first impressions, you want your home to show at its best. You may need to rent a storage site for a few months once you declutter, but it is well worth the expense. Remove family pictures, wedding pictures, and knickknacks. Items relating to your hobbies should be put away. Toys should have a place and be in it. All of the little touches that say your home belongs to you should be put away. Buyers want to walk through your home and imagine themselves living there. They cannot do this if they are distracted by your belongings. If your walls have any imperfections, now is the time to fix them. Knicks and dings can be repaired with a little spackle which you can find at any home repair store. Larger problems like holes can also be repaired by you. There are numerous instructions online for the do-it-yourselfer.
While you may love the bright purple color of your master bath or the dark red of your guest room, you are now marketing your home to the general public and their tastes are sedate. Choose a paint color that is neutral and crisp. Nothing makes a room seem larger, calmer and cleaner than the perfect paint color. Pay particular attention to the kitchen. Those kitchen cabinets that make the house look dated and old could benefit from a coat of paint. There are kits with several color options available for purchase at home repair stores and online. Replacing ugly or chipped laminate is fairly inexpensive and can completely transform the look of a kitchen. You can replace or even paint old water fixtures and drawer pulls and hinges. By doing so, you can greatly improve the look and feel of your kitchen with little money spent.
If you have never replaced your lighting, this could be a good time to do so. A light fixture is a simple way to add style, class and character to a room without ruining your budget. There are many options out there in all price ranges. Depending on the lighting you already have, updating could be as simple as changing a shade. New lighting can be fairly easy to install and will make a huge impact. A brightly lit room feels cleaner and bigger than the same room with less than adequate lighting.
Fix everything you can. That closet door that will not close all the way or the sink faucet that leaks can cost you money in the sale if you do not fix it beforehand. Since no one wants to purchase a home that has issues, the buyer will ask you to fix any problems found by the inspector before the sale or to accept a lower offer. Fixing everything you can in advance may seem expensive but the better the condition of your home is in, the higher the asking price can be. Once you have cleaned and decluttered your home, have another look around. Is the comforter on your bed looking outdated? Is your shower curtain showing its wear? Do your curtains need updating? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, it is time to replace them. Neutral, pattern free linens are universally appealing and can make your home seem luxurious and stylish, therefore increasing its appeal to buyers. Staging your home may sound intimidating but it is not. Update your accessories. Put out candles and flowers. If you have a pet, kennel him or put him out before each showing and be sure to check for little surprises before leaving. Make sure all dirty dishes and clothes are out of sight if not cleaned. Keep your home picture perfect so you do not have to turn down a showing due to a messy house. It can be irritating but in the end the effort is worth the trouble. Buyers are more likely to fall in love with a home that is clean, inviting and comfortable.
Irene Medina and The Medina Real Estate Group have vast experience in marketing of properties extensively worldwide via the internet. They sell their listings in record time and for top dollar. They have received many recommendations from their extremely satisfied customers. Realtor Irene and The Medina Real Estate Group service, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Plantation, Parkland, Davie, Weston, Tamarac, Broward County and South Palm Beach. She has been a Silver medal winner with Keller Williams for the past 3 years. She is a Certified Residential Specialist, CRS, Certified Distressed Property Expert, CDPE, she is also a Graduate of the Realtor Institute, GRI. She also holds the following designations, SFR, CHS, TRC and is working on her Commercial Real Estate accreditation.
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