Preparing a property

to sell

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How to make the Seller more money

Anything that adds more value than it costs should be seriously considered—and some of these items cost comparatively little and yet may dramatically enhance value (for example, fresh paint is almost always a great investment). This is not a reflection on the Seller’s taste; it is a cold calculation on how to make the Seller more money. Sometimes it is easier for the Seller to hear these suggestions from a third-party professional, such as a staging consultant.

Consider these steps

  • Arrange walk-through by a staging consultant, show CD on staging, or take the Seller to see well-staged properties currently on the market
  • Stage selected rooms of property; change the use of rooms to enhance value; replace selected pieces of furniture or area carpets
  • Stage back patio or deck to look inviting; stage the fireplace; stage the bookshelves
  • Fresh interior painting, especially of main rooms (use non-controversial colors)
  • Fresh exterior painting, especially of the front of house, front door and front fence
  • Maximize natural views (tree trimming, mirrors, window cleaning); minimize unattractive views (decorative screens, window treatments, glazed windows)
  • Professional cleaning (before going to market and ongoing thereafter)
  • Carpet cleaning and hardwood floor polishing; possible replacement of particularly worn carpeting
  • Maximize lighting (new lamps, brighter light bulbs, adjustments to drapes or blinds, creative use of mirrors, window cleaning)
  • Remove clutter from rooms, shelves, tables, counters and desk tops, closets, refrigerators, garages, basements, attics; move unneeded or unsightly furniture, vehicles and possessions to offsite storage; replace unhealthy house plants
  • New doormats and carpet runners
  • Kitchen and baths are pristine and uncluttered
  • Eliminate any unpleasant odors
  • Yard, lawn and garden work: weed, plant flowers, trim shrubs and hedges, possibly even re-sod front and/or back lawns
  • Flower boxes for steps, walkways, patio and windows
  • Flowers, plants, bowls of fruit for inside house
  • Special pet arrangements at showing times; if possible, relocate pets for duration of showing period
  • Seller moves out for first week of intensive showing (sometimes makes sense for sellers with young children)
  • Tenant move-out prior to putting property on the market (depending on how the property shows, and as possible pertaining to local tenant law)
  • Order pre-sale inspections, title search and required third-party reports
  • Order listing period Home Warranty (transferable to Buyer upon sale)
  • Put together complete Disclosure Package for Buyer(s) to review prior to offer
  • New towels, bath mats, shower curtains, soap, potpourri
  • Miscellaneous repairs (especially those that improve appearance, and repair leaks); replace broken windows and old light-switch plates, fix leaky faucets
  • Eliminate any unpleasant odors
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