WHAT CAN I AFFORD?
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 is 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. Real estate sellers should make sure attics and basements are clean and free of unnecessary items.
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 bathroom sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. 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 specious 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.
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 Kitty or Spot outside, or at least out of the way.