Archive for the ‘Preparing To Sell Your Home’ Category

The Best Time Of Year To Sell Your Home

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Thinking about putting your home on the market? You may be wondering when is the best time of year to sell your home. Like most things in life, there is a season when homes sales are most successful. If circumstances permit, picking the best time of year to sell your home can result in a quick sale at a good price.

Sell Your Home At The Best Time Of Year

Old man Winter. Real estate studies have shown that winter (specifically the months of November and December) is the slowest season to sell your home. Prospective buyers are caught up in the holiday season and don’t have time to hunt seriously for a home. In many parts of the country, the weather is more conducive to snuggling by the fire than it is to shopping for a home.

Hope springs eternal. As the weather warms, many potential homebuyers start to think about making a change. For potential buyers with families, the end of the school year (typically toward the end of spring) is the perfect time to move. After a long winter, more people turn to outdoor activities and are more likely to see “For Sale” signs in front of your house. (more…)

Staging Your Family Room

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Your family room may be the most popular space in your home, but making it appeal to prospective buyers can be a challenge. As a hub of entertaining and family activity, your family room may have seen years of hard use. Staging your family room will mean updating the space and removing any signs of wear and tear.

Staging Your Family Room For Success

A clean slate. Before you begin staging your family room, clean the space thoroughly. Make sure all surfaces are wiped down or dusted, including windows, sills and baseboard trim. Clean flooring completely, or consider hiring a professional to do the job. Clean and dust all furniture and electronics in your family room—don’t forget TV screens and under the couch!

Light and airy. Your goal, when it comes to staging your family room, should be to focus on making the room appear as large and attractive as possible. Start by purging the room of books, toys, papers and other miscellaneous items that don’t really have a place in the room. Next, consider removing a few pieces of furniture to improve the traffic flow and make the room seem less crowded. Finally, remove personal items like family or pet photos so that potential buyers can feel less like they are intruding and picture themselves living in your family room. (more…)

Staging Your Basement

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Staging your basement can seem like a challenge, but your goals are the same as for the rest of the house. When staging your basement, you want to highlight its best features and get potential buyers to imagine themselves enjoying the space.

Staging Your Basement When It Is Unfinished

A fresh start. No matter whether your basement is finished or unfinished, you’ll want to begin staging your basement with a deep cleaning. Floors, walls and baseboards should be cleaned. All furniture should be dusted and have any stains removed. Appliances and mechanical equipment like furnaces and water heaters should be cleaned to give them the appearance of being well maintained.

Thinning the herd. The most popular use for an unfinished basement is storage. If your basement looks like it’s auditioning for the graveyard of the Atlantic, try and get rid of as much clutter as you can. Donate, sell or throw out anything you haven’t used in the last 18 months. Removing as much clutter as you can will make your basement appear larger.

Get organized. Once you’ve removed as many items as you can, try to consolidate the remainder into as small a space as possible. If you have several small boxes, consider replacing them with a few large storage boxes. Move the rest of your stored items into a single corner of the space to open up as much of the area as possible. (more…)

How To Run An Estate Sale

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Wondering how to run an estate sale? An estate sale is different from a garage sale in a number of ways. First, the goal of an estate sale is to sell most everything in a house, while a garage sale seeks to sell only things you don’t need anymore. Secondly, an estate sale typically runs for a longer period. Finally, an estate sale takes place throughout your home—not just in the garage.< How To Run An Estate Sale Successfully

Bringing in the pros. If you are seriously considering an estate sale, you may want to think about hiring an estate sale agent. A professional estate sale manager will charge between 20% and 35% of the proceeds of the sale. For that fee, you can expect an estate sale agent to organize, promote and run the sale from beginning to end. An estate sale manager will itemize and price your belongings, advertise the sale and handle all transactions during the sale.

Embrace your inner packrat. As you prepare to run an estate sale, resist the urge to throw things out. That old line about trash and treasure certainly pertains to estate sales as well—there’s always a buyer for just about everything. Maximize your estate sales proceeds by selling even the things you think should go to the dump.

What not to sell. At the other end of the scale, you should hold back valuable items like antiques and rare items. An estate sale is like a garage sale in one respect: buyers expect to pay pennies on the dollar. You get more profit by selling valuable items separately, in an auction or similar sale. (more…)

Home Selling And Privacy

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Wondering how to protect your privacy while selling your home? Selling a home, by its nature, involves letting strangers into your living space. Identity theft is on the rise, and it’s only prudent to take the steps necessary to maintain your privacy while selling your home. Besides, information a prospective buyer might get from your home could weaken your bargaining position or ruin the chance of a sale.

Home Selling And Privacy: Practical Matters

Drawers and closets. Potential buyers can be expected to look in every drawer and closet in your home. Don’t assume furniture drawers are safe from prying eyes—remove all confidential documents and valuables from drawers and closets. Move these important belongings into a safe, safety deposit box or off-site storage unit for the duration of your home selling cycle.

Bring in the mail. Don’t leave mail (opened or sealed) on counters, in drawers or in the mailbox. If your home is unoccupied, pick the mail up regularly or have it forwarded to a post office box or alternate address. Even unopened mail can give prospective buyers information about your financial or personal status. (more…)

Selling Your Home With Pets At Home

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Nothing is as demanding as selling your home with pets as home. As hard as it may be to believe, not everyone loves the thought of a four-legged friend scurrying around the house. Whether a buyer’s fears are real or imagined, the fact remains that pets can be a major stumbling block when it come to selling your home.

With Pets At Home, Selling A Home Doesn’t Have To Be A Challenge

Remember, it’s only temporary. The number one way to avoid issues with pets at home is to move the pets out temporarily. The most effective solution is to move pets to a friend’s or relative’s home during the home selling process. Next best is to have your pet hang out elsewhere during showings and open house events. Last on the list is to keep your dog in the yard or in a crate while showing your home.

Clean up. As you prepare the rest of the home for sale, be sure to concentrate on pet areas as well. Have carpets professionally cleaned—if stains won’t come out, remove or replace the flooring. Clean feeding and grooming areas. Remove food bowls, water bowls and pet bedding.

That special odor. Even the most meticulously clean pet may leave odors behind. Have a friend enter your home and give an honest opinion. If pet odors are a problem, try commercial enzyme-based odor removers. You may have to hire a professional to get rid of odors or remove the source of lingering odors such as stained flooring material. (more…)

Staging Your Living Room

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Staging your living room is the perfect way to set off a large space that is often a gathering place for entertaining and conversation. By converting your living room into an open, inviting area, you’ll help your home appeal to a wider selection of prospective buyers. Ideally, staging your living room should result in a centerpiece that sets the tone for the rest of the house.

Tips For Staging Your Living Room

Purge. The simplest way to begin staging your living room is to remove excess items or items that don’t have a specific place in the room. Remotes, kids’ school books and stray magazines should all be taken from the room. Also, remove all but a few of your collectibles—a room crowded with items seems smaller than it really is.

De-personalize. Remove personal photos, souvenirs and other family items. When a buyer walks into your living room, you want them to be able to imagine themselves living there—family items get in the way of that illusion.

Upgrade. Take an honest look at your furniture and decide if it will create a favorable impression on buyers that tour your home. If your furniture is run down or in poor repair, consider renting new pieces for the duration of the sale process. Stained or worn pieces can be covered with a new slipcover that coordinates with the other colors in the room. (more…)

Staging Your Bathroom

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Staging your bathroom is almost as important as the kitchen when it comes to staging your house. Even the biggest bathroom is typically smaller than most of the other living spaces in your home. This means that details will jump out at prospective homebuyers who tour your house. Successfully staging your bathroom will give buyers the feeling that they’ve stepped into a wonderful spa—a place they’ll want to call their own!

Tips On Staging Your Bathroom

Cleaning up. If you’ve ever stayed in a fine hotel, the clinically clean bathroom look is what you want to mimic as you begin staging your bathroom. Clean all of the fixtures, the floor and the mirrors and windows. Clean the grout between the tiles and that baseboard behind the door that always seems dusty. If the caulk around your shower or tub won’t come clean, remove it and replace it with new caulk. Once your bathroom sparkles, make every effort to keep it that way!

Clear. Remove all clutter from your bathroom, including grooming products, hampers full of dirty clothes and especially toothbrushes and hairbrushes. Keep the essentials in an overnight toiletry bag under the sink for the duration of the home selling process. Also, remove any rugs or fabric toilet covers to give your bathroom a streamlined look of simplicity.

A ray of light. Take advantage of natural light by opening curtains or blinds as wide as they will go. Dust your light bulbs and the interior of enclosed fixtures—you’ll be surprised how much extra light this simple step provides. Always have all available bathroom lights turned on during showings and open house events. (more…)

Staging Your Kitchen

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Changing trends in entertaining and socializing have made staging your kitchen even more important as you prepare to sell your home. Back in the day, the kitchen was a walled-off room where food was prepared and then transported to the dining room. Today, many families cook, socialize and eat in the kitchen, making it the most important room in the house to prospective buyers. Staging your kitchen successfully will help present your kitchen in a way that will intrigue and impress buyers.

Staging Your Kitchen For Success

Cleaning house. The cheapest and most effective step you can take when staging your kitchen is to clean. We’re talking a deep, detailed clean that makes spring cleaning look like a quick tidy. Pay attention to all those areas you’ve skimmed over in the past: tile grout, windows and above (and behind) the refrigerator. Give some special love to your oven, stovetop and venting as well.

Simplicity is a virtue. Remove as much as you can from your kitchen to give it a simple, streamlined look. Clear the counters of appliances and cookbooks. Clean out the pantry and refrigerator and keep them both stocked at about two thirds full. Go through your cabinets and drawers (including that junk drawer) and remove the items you hardly ever use. The less clutter you have in your kitchen, the larger the space will seem. (more…)

How To Price Your Home

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Figuring out how to price your home is as much art as science. Ask three different real estate professionals and you’ll get three different answers, but which one is right? The only right price is the one that sells your house!

How To Price Your Home To Sell

Understanding how to price your home successfully can be confusing. There are many conflicting ideas and opinions to sort through before you make a decision. The best place to start when learning how to price your home is with the facts. Here are some tips to get you started:

Where to compare. In order to accurately price your home, you’ll need to compare it the completed sale price of similar homes. Which homes are best used for comparison? The ones located nearest to your own. In a suburban area, that means houses located inside a one-mile radius. Discard homes that are separated from your neighborhood by strong physical barriers such as highways or railroad tracks. Also, discard those that are located in different school zones or municipalities than your own

Why CMAs? Perhaps the best way to generate a price for your home is to generate a comparative market analysis (CMA) for your home. You can assembe your own CMA by using the web to find comparables.  Try to get several CMAs from different real estate agentsor automated valuation systems and then compare them to one you have assembled yourself. Look for differences in houses that were included or excluded and be prepared to ask each agent about the differences. Once you have the results, you can either average the three numbers or throw out the high and low number to come up with a reasonable starting price for your home. (more…)