Quick Tips for Sellers
1. STREET PRESENCE – Neatly Trimmed Landscaping, Refinished Front Door,
Welcoming Dash of Color with Flowers, Door Mat; Polished Door Knob and Hardware,
Clean and Clear Windows, No walkway booby-traps!
2. FIRST IMPRESSIONS – Create an inviting interior entrance. (When you walk through the door do you smile?) Remove barriers to your vision and to moving comfortably through the home.
3. REDUCE CLUTTER AND FURNITURE – Get rid of everything you will not be taking with you: THIS IS THE TIME—before you show your home. Put away personal photos, depersonalize as much as you can. Remove damaged, soiled items. Organize shelves, closets, cabinets, pantries. Buyers will look in closets, garage, and places you might never think. Pretend your Mother in Law is on her way! WARNING: before showings begin, remove anything valuable to you; hide drugs, cash in unexpected places not easily reachable.
4. CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN – Windows – Fixtures – Hardware – Fans – Vents – Refrigerator and other Appliances. (Yes, people will look in the dishwasher and places you would never think!) Remove stains…from carpet, curtains, furniture (If a Seller doesn’t take care of personal belongings, imagine the condition of things you don’t see: AC units, Water Heater, Roof!!) Eliminate odors but avoid heavy fragrances. Open windows and let in fresh air some time every day, if weather permits.
5. THE INSPECTOR IS ON HIS WAY! Make minor repairs: leaking faucets, drain stoppers that do not close, cracks, stains, grout, caulking, railings that wobble; make sure all light bulbs work….even in lamps. Your agents will walk through with Inspector’s eyes to help you spot potential repair items.
6. SHOWCASE THE KITCHEN – The biggest payoff for your time, effort, and money during this preparatory phase is in the Kitchen. Put away as much as possible from the counter tops, organize the cabinets, remove garbage (frequently), newspapers, anything not absolutely necessary: for every item in view ask yourself…does this need to be out here? What does this contribute to showing off my home? Even if you hand wash dishes, put the dishrack, dishrags, sponges and brushes out of sight for showings–people may think your dishwasher is broken. And, of course, freshly baked cookies before an Open House or Showing pays dividends, especially if you leave them out on a plate for your guests!
7. ALL THE HOME’S A STAGE! Furniture placement can enhance the space of your home. Think Minimalism. The goal is to show the rooms to be as spacious and welcoming as possible. Focus Stage the best features of your home: eg. Champagne glasses by the master spa; bright flowers to draw one’s eyes to a wonderful window view; good book on a chairside table to create a cozy feeling. Beds are the biggest visual spaces in rooms…wise to invest in good looking bed covers that are not distracting and enhance the space (avoid large busy prints in small rooms, etc.) Do not leave fans or portable heaters in sight. (Is your AC not strong enough?) Ask of every piece of decor: “Does this Enhance or Detract?” If it does not have a positive purpose, hide it or ditch it.
8. LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE – Before each showing, turn on ALL of the lights, open shades, shutters, drapes to let sunshine in, install brighter bulbs and/or add lamps to rooms without a lot of natural light. Remove sunscreens if not absolutely necessary. Exception to this would be a room with Western exposure in summer.
9. GET FRESH ! – Add color and style: Place fresh flowers near the entry and perhaps one other important place, potted flowering plant(s) on patio and porch. Bowl of fresh fruit in the kitchen and/or family room. Fresh, colorful towels, new hand soaps in the bathrooms.
10. DO YOUR OWN WALK-THROUGH – Walk from the curb toward, around, into, and through your home pretending to be a prospective buyer. Look at everything as if it is the first time you’ve seen it. This is no longer your home…it is a stage set ready for a new owner to make their own memories.
The MARY & ELLEN Team WEST USA Realty
Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a REALTOR to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.
Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will, too. If you have floors that need cleaning or refinishing, be sure to get it done—hard flooring is a huge selling point in Arizona. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or cabinet drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—walls, roof, walkways, etc. The FIRST IMPRESSION sets the mood for the entire showing visit. And many potential Buyers do a drive-by before they request a visit to see a property.
Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.
Stage. Once your house is clean and in good condition, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and blush—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.
Marty and Ellen maintain a storage facility of furnishings they use to “focus stage” clients’ homes for sale. This is included in their full service package available at no charge for every listing. Their initial walk-through provides a database of recommendations to maximize the financial potential of a property with minimum effort and expense.