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10 tips for selling your home, by Ron Denhaan, Realtor.

10 selling tips

Get your home ready to sell

In preparing your house to sell, ask yourself over and over if your house looks like someone else's dream house. Houses in move-in condition tend to be inviting to buyers; houses that are in like-new condition typically sell fastest and procures the best price because it outshine the competition. Often sellers have organized their homes to express themselves - their travels, collections, interests, favorite colors and unique tastes. However, when selling a home, the goal is just the opposite. It is to create a clean, simple background that many different buyers would like to move into. Warm, clean, simple, spacious, well lighted, neutral - and uncluttered - this is the look you want to achieve. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider as you look over your house when getting ready to sell:

1. Preparing the exterior

2. Clean, Clean, & Cleaner

3. Entryway - Your interior's first impression

4. Living Room

5. Bedrooms

6. Furniture - Less is more

7. Kitchen and Baths

8. Closets

9. Utility/Laundry room

10. Make the home "Light and Bright"

1. Preparing the exterior
Remember the sixty-second rule: that's all the time you have to create a good first impression! Mow the lawn, rake leaves, trim trees and shrubs that keep light out of the house, and remove dead plants. It will probably be easier to sell your house if the buyer can see it, outside and in. Pick up tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys, and building materials and store them neatly in a storage area. Replace broken or missing roof shingles, and straighten and clean the gutters and downspouts. Clean all windows and mend torn screens. Dress up the front yard with some simple landscaping. An evenly cut yard is pleasing to the eye. Fertilize the grass a month or two ahead. Do not allow shrubs to cover windows. They block light on the interior, and give an appearance of crowding on the exterior. Coil hoses and place any tools inside the garage. Too many flowerpots are distracting - use a few large pots with healthy plants.

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2. Clean, Clean, & Cleaner
Step back for a moment and look at your home as if you were seeing it for the first time. Every room should be neat, spotlessly clean, dusted, and uncluttered. Wash the walls, windows, and light fixtures. Clean smudges around doorknobs and on light switches. Tighten loose stair railings and clean all woodwork. In the event that you feel a project of this magnitude is better left to a professional, ask your real estate agent to recommend a professional cleaning service. Having all carpets professionally cleaned can work wonders for the interior.


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3. Entryway - Your interior's first impression
Use bright light bulbs in the foyer and throughout the house. Fill the house with a pleasant aroma, such as berries in the summer or cinnamon in the winter, or some other fresh scent. Invest in a brand new welcome mat. Stains, scratches and dirty spots create distractions to the eye, and are a form of clutter. Clean, paint, and eliminate as many of these as possible. .Pay close attention to your front door. Is it dirty, darkened by mildew, or in need of re-finishing? The foyer should be clear of shoes, coats, or excess items on the walls.

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4. Living Room
Replace the carpet if it's old or worn. It costs money, but you may find that you will more than recoup that cost when the home sells. Patch cracks and nail holes in the walls, and repaint walls in neutral colors, such as white or ivory. Nail down creaking boards and stair treads. Lubricate any sticking or squeaking doors. Open all curtains, and replace them if they are getting old. Add lamps and lighting if the house is dark. Set out fresh flowers. Too many personal collections and photographs are distracting for buyers. Buyers must be able to imagine their own family in the home. Large plants often take up too much space. Allow only a few healthy plants in the house. Place books so that the backs are even. Lay some books horizontally, and leave open space for art objects. Leave on a few lamps for pleasant lighting.

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5. Bedrooms

Bedrooms should appear restful and serene. Sparsely furnished is best. Use your best covers, or invest in new ones if yours are worn. Clear off bedside tables, and add back just a few books or nice items. Bedside lamps add a warm ambience for showings. Remove excess paintings or photos from the walls.  In some cases, old curtains do more harm than good. Take them down and clean the windows for a fresh look. Children's bedrooms usually need to be simplified. Take down posters and box up toys. Avoid an overcrowded look.


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6. Furniture - Less is more
Rearrange or move furniture to make your rooms look more spacious. Discard worn furniture and move extra furniture to a storage unit. Remember, too much furniture and too many knick-knacks make rooms look cluttered and small. One or two decorative items per surface is plenty, so pack the rest away. Visit model homes for decorating ideas.

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7. Kitchen and Baths
These rooms should sparkle! Clear off counters, and clean all appliances and fixtures. Scrub the floors and walls. Re-caulk tubs and showers. Clean these rooms thoroughly, and be sure they smell fresh! The kitchen is the heart of the home and plays an important part in attracting the heart of a buyer. This is an active area that usually needs special attention. Do not have notes or photos on the refrigerator. Never leave trash containers out in the kitchen or bathroom. Put items that you use daily - toothbrushes, soaps, razors - in a container, and place the container inside in a cabinet.

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8. Closets
Take those things to Goodwill that you'll have to discard anyway when you move. Organize shelves and straighten shoes. Be sure that sliding doors operate smoothly on their tracks and knobs on drawers are secure. Organize your pantry with everything facing forward. Remove excess food and containers. Relieve your closets if they are stuffed. Pack items that are not needed.

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9. Utility/Laundry room
Dust and wash off lint from the washer and dryer. Dust and wash off the water heater. The laundry room often functions as a spill over room with junk on the shelves. Clear everything out, and have just a few soap boxes visible.

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10. Make the home "Light and Bright"
Do everything you can to brighten the interior. Replace wallpaper with white or off-white paint, and repaint shabby or dark walls. Open the blinds, and replace broken windows and window seals. Always maintain a comfortable temperature inside the house, even if you are away for an extended period of time.

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Hope you found these tips helpful. Let me know if I can help you further!

      Ron Denhaan, Realtor           


BRE# 01728866




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