Move2Oregon - Home

Preparing To Sell

Tips to get your home ready for buyers:

Preparing To Sell

Have you ever been through a property listed for sale and thought "what is going on in here?" Too much clutter for you to envision your furnishings, a little pet odor maybe? These are some of the issues that can make or break a sale.

Now, we all know that you can't make everyone happy. There are always going to be the "eye-rollers" out there that seem to be looking for every reason possible to complain.  Let's not focus on them. Rather, let's take a look at your home from an everyday buyers perspective.

1.) Issue: Odor

It is my opinion that the number one deal killing offense to the buyers senses is ODOR!  It is well known, that because you spend the most time in your home, you may not be a good judge of what aromas it presents.

Solution:

Have a friend or family member, that is not afraid of being completely 100% honest, come by and take a deep sniff! Ask them their opinion. Ask them if there is any sort of offensive odor in any area of your home, and ask them if they can identify the smell. Then, by all means necessary, get rid of that offensive funk! Do not think that because you had the carpets shampooed, and the house steam cleaned, the problem is completely solved. Make sure you invite those people over for another deep breath to see if your efforts were successful.

2.) Issue: Clutter

Reduce Clutter We all have some trinkets, kids toys, dog bedding, (the list goes on and on) hanging around our houses. I know these things may be sentimental to you, however this isn't about you anymore, it's about the perspective buyers. Your goal is to get your home sold, not showcase all of your wall hangings and nick knacks.

Solution:

Spring cleaning! Take a look around and pin point those items that seem to be collecting dust and put them away.

Dig through those storage closets and find the things you no longer use ( a good rule of thumb is: if you haven't seen it in a few years, and completely forgot you had it, get rid of it) have a few garage sales, or donate to your local charities.

Make sure to have as little as possible on counter tops and built in shelves. Buyers like open space to visualize their own belongings, so make sure to provide that for them by taking wall hangings or extra pictures off the walls.

Nicely fold linens in the linen closet to be as presentable as possible, because buyers do open the cabinets. (Also, its a good idea to lock up any medications or expensive jewelry... you never know).

Obviously, your kids and pets need to have access to their toys, and I'm sure you'd like access to your shoes and slippers, so get creative! Buy some attractive bins or baskets to store such things.

Another very important room to de-clutter is the garage. It is normal for most garages to become the dark abyss, a storage closet so deep and vast that it may hide all of the answers to the universe... however, the prospective buyer needs to have the opportunity to imagine their own mysteries of the universe stored in the garage. Make sure you organize everything in plastic bins or boxes, and get rid of what you don't need anymore. If you have a tool bench in there, make sure there are actually organized tools on it, show the buyers that the possibilities are endless in your fabulous garage!

3.) Issue: Filth

Remember the last time you moved? After all of your belongings were packed up and hauled off, and you took a broom to the empty house? Now, remember asking yourself "Where did all this filth come from?"

In our daily and sometimes hectic lives, our surroundings tend to become familiar, we look past things, we forget to sweep behind the fridge, and how many of us have actually degreased the hood fan in the kitchen, or scrubbed the window tracks in the last year?

It is very normal for a perspective buyer to give your home the "white glove" treatment. A home that is in desperate need of a good scrubbing, but is otherwise very structurally sound, and updated, may give off the impression that it has been neglected. Buyers may think that if the home is filthy on the surface, it probably has something more sinister wrong structurally. An un-scrubbed tub and shower, may automatically get someone thinking of the dreaded "M" word... MOLD!

Solution:

Clean, Clean, Clean! Hire a cleaning company to come in an give it a good once over, and be very specific with them about exactly what you want to see! If that is not an option for you, and you choose to don the plastic gloves yourself, make sure you go the extra mile, sweep and mop where you normally don't, scrub the forgotten zones, the tops of floor moulding, behind the fridge and stove, window sills and tracks. Make sure you get those spider webs from the highest pitch in the ceiling, and touch up any major scuff marks you see on the paint. (Magic Eraser= miracle product)

When you're finished, grab your favorite beverage and celebrate your victory! Just don't forget to clean the cup!

4.) Issue: Curb Appeal

I can't begin to tell you how many times I've had buyers choose to pass up on seeing the inside of a house because of the outside of the house. Buyers have a tendency to drive by houses that are in their price range before ever asking an agent to get inside. I've seen many houses that are meticulous on the inside, with great features and amenities, that look like a bulldozer is needed from the curb. Its a sad fact, but that is the fact.

Solution:

Buyers need to be intrigued. A well designed and maintained front yard goes a long way with a perspective buyer (and an appraiser as well fyi). Make sure the lawn is cut, and the leaves and any yard debris collected, plant some colorful flowers in pots, and just spruce up the yard in general. Doing this will go a long way with the perspective buyer.

The exterior of the home in general should look well maintained. Wash away any mud that is splashed on the siding, get rid of any garbage or junk that is hanging around, tighten up those sagging gutters, and scrub (or pressure wash) the green slime that is built up on the patios and walkways. It may be hard work, but will be time well spent!

5.) Issue: Price

The biggest issue of them all! Homes that are priced well, sell!

Solution:

HIRE A TOP-KNOTCH REALTOR® The buying & selling processes have changed dramatically over the past several years. It is no longer a simple transaction - there are many laws & codes to follow. To find the Top Real Estate Brokers here in Oregon - pick up a copy of the Move2Oregon.com Magazine or get online http://www.Move2Oregon.com and find a local Realtor. Read their profiles, check for reviews, and feel free to call and email them with questions. All agents have the ability to sell your home, some better than others. It is important to find an agent that has a far reach, works with a good company, and can demonstrate good marketing skills and follow up. An agent that seems to be telling you everything you want to hear, and is timid around the tough questions might not be the right way to go. Ask them each to preform a Comparative Market Analyses on your home, you should get a good idea on price with a few different opinions. Remember, the one that comes to you with the highest listing price, isn't always the one to go with! There are many factors to be considered. Check their referrals, and check with your state agency for any possible complaints.

Handing Over The Keys

A good Realtor should be able to answer all of your questions, and tell you they'll find an answer if they don't have one. A good Realtor should be able to provide you with references of recent home sellers. A good Realtor should have a decent web presence, this helps with the marketing of your property. A good Realtor should not shy away from the though questions, and should be willing to be up front with you about the condition of your home, and what you need to do to whip it into shape. Most of all, a good Realtor should have knowledge of how the current market is trending, a good personality, a strong will, and should relate well with you, the seller.

Thank you for taking the time to read my tips on selling your home! I am always available for your comments or suggestions, or to answer any questions you may have about the current selling environment! And remember - When you list, insist that the Move2Oregon.com Magazine & Website be included in your marketing plans.