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Getting My Home Ready to Sell


Timing your Sale

Choosing the time of year to put your house on the market is an important decision. You can use the predictability of these cycles to your advantage.

  • March through September are normally the most active selling time for residential real estate.
  • Sales activity usually slows from October through February.

Handling Pre-sale Preparation

If you make the right improvements when fixing up your property, you increase the odds of selling it quickly for top dollar.

  • Start the pre-sale fix-up process by getting an outside opinion of your house's strengths and weaknesses.

Key Exterior Improvements

Buyers begin forming their opinions of your house long before they go inside. Curb appeal (the external attractiveness of your property) is critically important. Here are some tried-and-true ways to enhance your house's curb appeal.

  • Carpet, steam clean or replace dirty or worn out carper, buyers hate old dirty carpet!
  • Painting: Paint your house's exterior before you put it on the market. Repaint any dirty or odd colored walls.
  • Kitchen and Appliances: buyers hate outdated appliances. Replace them, its an easy way to add value and interest to the most important feature of your home, and a great investment to make in getting your home sold quickly.
  • Faucets and lighting fixtures are the least expensive way to add value and interest to your home.
  • Lawn: Keep your lawn freshly mowed and neatly trimmed.
  • The exterior of your home should look well maintained. Mow the yard regularly, prune bushes, plant fresh flowers, put out fresh mulch, and pull out all weeds. This is the first impression they will have of the condition of the home and of you the seller. Make it a good one.
  • Repairs: Be sure that all gutters and down-spouts are in place and clean. Replace missing roof shingles and broken or cracked windows. Check exterior lights to be certain that they're working properly.
  • Clean, scrub and polish: Keep your stove, oven, refrigerator, microwave oven and other appliances spotlessly clean inside and out.
  • Eliminate odors: Buyers will notice strong smells as soon as they walk through your front door. Eliminate smoke, mildew, and pet odors.
  • Fix drippy faucets: If any of your sinks or bathtubs drain slowly, unclog them.
  • Get rid of clutter: Keep clutter off of kitchen counters and dirty dishes out of the sink.

Pre-marketing Property Inspection

Prudent purchasers will have your property thoroughly inspected before they buy it. The best defense is a good offense. Discover everything wrong with your house before putting it on the market.

  • Damage control: If you discover the problem before marketing the house, you can disclose it to prospective buyers with a repair estimate.
  • Financial planning: It's very important to have a realistic estimate of your present house's net proceeds of sale before committing to buy a new home.
  • Fine tuning: Professional property inspectors can help you spot minor defects: such as dirty filters in the heating system; ventilation problems in the basement, garage or crawl space; blocked gutters; loose doorknobs; stuck windows; a missing chimney hood or spark arrester, and so on.
  • Peace of mind: The inspector alerts you to health and safety precautions you should take.

Staging a House





Staging a house goes way beyond your efforts to make it look nifty before having friends over for a dinner party. Here are some staging tips that you can use to increase your house's emotional appeal.

  • Kitchen: Aromas from fragrant goodies like freshly baked gingerbread or just-brewed coffee bring back wonderful memories of home.
  • Bathrooms: Always have fresh towels in bathrooms. Buy new shower curtains; old ones are usually mildewy. Put new soap in the soap dishes.
  • Clear everything off your refrigerator: Most folks use magnets or tape to stick everything from vacation snapshots and finger-painting masterpieces to notes for the kids and "to do" lists on the surface of their refrigerators.
  • Comfort: Keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A house that's too hot or too cold isn't inviting.
  • Flowers: Vases of colorful, fresh flowers spotted throughout the house make a wonderful impression on prospective buyers.



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