Tips for Sellers

 If you have had your home on the market and it isn’t selling, or if you are considering selling….Take a real hard look at your home.  Is the yard neat and inviting?  Walk in the front door.  What is the first thing you notice?  Is there an odor?  Is it cluttered?  Pretend you are a buyer and remove any distracting items you see.  Ask friends and family to do this for you as well.  They may see things you miss.

Nothing turns off a buyer quicker than a cluttered and dirty house.

Clean everything!  Scrub the floors, clean the windows, ceiling fans, base boards etc…

Make sure your curb appeal is the best that it can be.  Trim the bushes, edge the sidewalk, keep the grass mowed and don’t forget the front door!  Clear away all dust and cobwebs.  This is the first real glimpse any buyer has of what is to come and how well your home is maintained. If the front door is neglected the buyers may think the rest of the home is too.

Get rid of smells!  Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke and pet smells.  If you do smoke, smoke outside and dispose of cigarette butts and ashes immediately.

Do not try to hide odors with a heavy application of Carpet Fresh or air fragrance.  A candle or two is fine.  Remember many people have allergies and my react to the smell, making them leave and not consider your home at all.

Get rid of clutter.  Throw out or file newspapers and magazines.  Pack away most (not all) of your decretive items and clean out the garage.

De-clutter your kitchen.  Put away all unnecessary appliances, bric-a-brac and remove all personal photos and notes from the refrigerator.

Put away out of season clothes to make closets roomier.

Clean your gutters.


Make sure everything is in proper working order.

You live in your home.  You know that the drawer in the kitchen needs adjusting, that the shower door doesn’t open all the way and needs new rollers and the kitchen sink leaks slightly on the hot water side.  These are minor issues and can be fixed in-expensively and will ultimately be discovered when they hire an inspector or even if they do the inspection themselves.  Small problems such as sticky doors and cracked caulking may seem trivial, but give buyers the impression that your home isn’t well maintained.



When you know your home is going to be shown that day make sure it’s ready.

Leave home so that buyers will feel free to comment and really look at the house.

Turn on all the lights and open curtains and shades. (Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms brighter, especially basements and dark rooms.  Replace any burnt out bulbs)

Play soft music in the background.

If you have pets take them with you when you leave.  Nothing is more distracting than a dog barking non-stop while potential buyers are trying to envision themselves living there.

If you have a great back yard, make sure the buyers can go in the backyard free from pets biting, barking and jumping on them.  If you work and can’t get the pets out, arrange for a neighbor to walk them or at least put them in the garage with a note warning the Realtor and Buyers that they are there! If you have a giant oversized garage that is a major selling feature, make alternate arraignments for your pets.

Staging do’s and don’ts

Let me first say that as a listing agents we will discuss with you items that we feel you need to address to make your home more saleable and show its best.  If you are not good at decorating or staging an area that needs attention, I will be happy to help you as I have done  for other clients.  Or if you prefer, you can always enlist a friend with a good eye or even hire a professional.

Avoid bold and abrasive colors on the wall and flooring.  Potential buyers may see a lot of expense and work that they are not willing to do.  Make your home move in ready

Don’t misuse space. If it’s an entry way put an umbrella stand, mirror or other appropriate item in that space.  If you have a dining room, make it a dining room.  Don’t make buyers guess what to do with a space.

Put bright seasonal flowers on the dining table, at the front door or in a bathroom to liven it up and make it smell nice.

If you have an outdoor patio or deck, spruce it up.  People love outdoor living spaces and consider them an extension of the home.  Stage it with inviting furniture, plants and even table cloths for pretty days.

Pricing your home to sell

If you have had several showings and no offers, it is most likely price.  There may be an over-abundance of properties in your price range, making competition fierce.  Tour your competition and see how you compare.  Adjust your price accordingly and make sure  your home stands out in the top of your field.

Price your home correctly when you put it on the market.  To do this ask your Realtor to provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)  This will show you similar homes in your area currently listed and what has recently sold and their price per square foot.

This information is important because this is how the Appraiser will appraise your home for the bank.  It might be tempting to “price it high and see” if you get any bites, but if the home doesn’t appraise or gets stale on the market, you may be forced to sell for less than you should have if you had simply priced it right on the front end.

If you get an offer right out of the gate that is acceptable do not hesitate or counter back.  If your Realtor told you this was the price to expect, take it!  Often the best offer you receive is your first offer.  The reason?  Serious buyers have been looking for a while, they have seen everything in their price range and may have even lost a deal or two.  They are familiar with all of your competition and know first-hand how you compare.  Don’t get caught up with “it’s selling so fast, I must have it priced too cheap”. I have seen homes get 2 or more offers the first week and the seller counters full price or close and the home sit there for another 3 years!

Important Safety Tips for Showing your Home

Remove all drugs and Jewelry from the Bathrooms.  The only place in your home that a buyer will be totally unattended is in the restroom. (Nationwide the number 1 item stolen today is prescription drugs) Remove all temptation from them by keeping valuables and drugs out of the bathroom.

Lock away all guns and ammunition.  If you don’t have a safe place to lock them up, buy a safe or take them to a trusted friend or relative house.

Do not welcome strangers into your home.  Often buyers will drive around neighborhoods looking for a home.  If they see the owner they may ask to come in and see the house.  Do not let them in. Give them your Realtors card or have them contact their agent if they have one. This way they can be screened and qualified.

Don’t leave bills laying around when you are going to have a showing.  Unscruplous people may look through your personal mail and get credit card numbers or other personal information.

Do not answer a lot of questions regarding your security system.  If a buyer is overly interested in your security system, beware they may be casing your home.

Have a security code just for realtors.  Do not give out your personal code.


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