One of the most important things to do before putting your home on the market is to take care of the "easy" things. Make a list of things that need to be repaired – leaky faucets, chipped paint and loose hinges – and fix those items.
Considering tackling a remodel before selling? Check out articles from REALTOR® Magazine at www.REALTOR.org/ REALTORMag by entering the search term "Remodeling" and you'll receive helpful guides like, the Field Guide to Remodeling, and the latest Cost vs.Value Report.
5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR CURB APPEAL
Curb appeal, or how your home shows from the street, is one of the key things that will sell – or not sell – your home. If buyers are turned off by the outside of the home, it will be very difficult for you to get them into the home and change their negative opinion. Curb appeal will be the key to making the right first impression.
Here are 5 things you can do to improve your home's curb appeal:
• Declutter the yard by removing toys and lawn furniture
• Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes and the edges, and plant fresh flowers to add color
• Paint doors and windows with a fresh updated color
• Patch holes in the driveway and reapply sealant
• Wash windows and screens
SHOWING YOUR HOME DO'S AND DON'TS CHECKLIST
Now that you know what it takes to stage your home and get it ready to sell, you want to make sure you have successful showings. Follow these proven showing do's and don'ts and you'll be on your way:
• Clean the home from top to bottom
• Mow your lawn
• Send pets to the neighbors
• Keep things organized and clutter free
• Leave valuables out and on display
• Leave pictures or personal effects out
• Clutter the closets (buyers will open these areas)
• Allow pets fur or smell to permeate the house and turn off buyers (always vacuum up fur and neutralize any pet odors)
Visit www.REALTOR.com to find the Home Sellers Guide to Success under the "Advice & Ideas" section.
What is staging, anyway? Staging is the process of enhancing the impression a prospective buyer has about your home. Staging is all about removing things from your home that make it look smaller, drab or dated. It differs from decorating because decorating involves bringing things into the home to enhance the look of it.
The key to staging is simplicity and getting prospective buyers to a place where they can picture themselves in the home. You can begin by focusing on these staging basics:
DECLUTTER – Remove "you" from the home (meaning pictures and personal items). Replace personal photos with scenery or postcards. A good rule to follow is to have no more than 3 items on any surface. Remove all items from kitchen counters and store them away.
NEUTRALIZE – Neutralize the rooms with light- colored paint, like creams, tans and white. Keep bright colors to a minimum and use neutral and/or natural colors that can work with many different styles.
KEEP IT CLEAN – Nothing sells better than a clean and well — maintained home. Always keep the home feeling and smelling clean for showings.
Some inexpensive upgrades that can make a huge difference to the buyer include:
__ New bed treatment (especially for the master bedroom)
__ New towels
__ Fresh paint
__ Replacing old lamps or lighting fixtures
Start with these staging suggestions and talk to a REALTOR® about your home and what specific changes will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Enter "Staging" in the search field on www.REALTOR.org and you'll find the Field Guide to Preparing and Staging a House For Sale, offering in-depth staging and curb appeal information.
Download the pdf brochure "Getting it SOLD! Your resource for staging, curb appeal, and selling success!"