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Make the most of that first impression
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch help real estate sellers put their best foot forward and make prospects feel welcome. 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 the real estate seller's home, the better.
Invest a few hours for future dividends
Here's your chance to clean up in real estate. Tidy the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor touch-ups and redecorating. Real estate sellers can benefit from updating the hardware on kitchen cabinets, adding new slipcovers to sofas and keeping a vase of fresh flowers in the entryway. These are some of the simple touches that can go a long way. If you're worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to help get your house ready. Remember, prospects would rather see how great the real estate seller's home really looks than hear how great it could look "with a little work."
Check faucets and bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned-out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark. Don't let those problems detract from what's right with your home.
Don't shut out a sale
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 the real estate seller's part can smooth the way toward a closing.
Real estate sellers learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller blades on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low-hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as safe as possible for visitors.
Make room for space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They're looking for storage space, too. Since you want your home to look as spacious as possible, remove any excess or very large furniture. Make sure that table tops, dressers and closets are free of clutter. Don't use your garages, attics and/or basements to store extra things. These areas also need to have the impression of space. Instead, put them into storage.
Consider your closets
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
Make your Kitchen and bathrooms sparkle
Kitchens and Bathrooms sell homes. They should look as modern, bright and fresh as possible. It is essential for them to be clean and odor free, so let them shine. Keep counter tops cleared. Do not leave any dirty dishes in the sink. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, real estate sellers should display the best towels, mats and shower curtains.
Create dream bedrooms
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 if real estate sellers want buyers to be able to imagine relaxing there.
Open up in the daytime
Let the sun shine in! Real estate sellers should pull back curtains and drapes so that prospects can see how bright and cheery the home is.
Lighten up at night
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.
If your basements shows any signs of dampness or leakage, seal the walls.
Avoid crowded scenes
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. Real estate sellers should keep the company present to a minimum.
Watch your pets
Dogs and cars are great companions, but not when real estate sellers are showing their homes. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep any animals outside, or at least out of the way.
A loud stereo or TV, might kill a real estate transaction. When it's time for a real estate seller to show the home, it's time to turn down the stereo or TV.
It's best if you're not there when your home is being shown. However if that's not possible, be friendly - but it's not necessary to force conversation. Prospects want to view the home with minimal distraction from the real estate seller.
No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home's appearance, let your experienced Realtor handle the situation.
Keep a low profile
Nobody knows a home better than the real estate seller. But Realtors know buyers - what they need and what they want. Your Realtor will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
Don't turn your home into a second-hand store
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.
Defer to experience - It's the Experience
When prospective buyers want to talk price, terms or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your Realtor. As the real estate seller, you might feel tempted to weigh in, but your two cents could cost you much more.
Help your agent
Realtors have an easier time selling homes if showings are scheduled through their offices. And real estate sellers appreciate the results.