ENHANCING YOUR HOME'S SALES APPEAL
October 9, 2009 | Maureen Kalesnik
When preparing you home for sale, it is important that you assess it for visual impact particularly its first impression. Consider the 3 R's - Repair, Return and Replace. Keep in mind that a limited investment on your part in time and money can add substantial dollars to your selling price. Prioritize your improvements by identifying those which you can do yourself, as well as deciding which items require professional service. Be aware, however, that you time will be limited, and that major improvements may not return your investment, particularly if the alternative is offering a buyer's allowance.
The following are some basic hints in preparing your home for sale:
Homes with a simple, coordinated decor are most saleable. When in doubt, neutralize. Select neutral color prints. Make sure walls, windows, carpets and draperies are clean.
Neatness is a must. The exterior and interior should have a pleasing appearance - both are essential for the critical first impression. Discard items that you have been meaning to clear out. Clutter is out.
Eliminate obvious negative features. Loose door knobs, squeaky doors, dripping faucets and pet odor although minor, may be viewed as critical factors in the prospective buyers eyes.
Advantages and benefits must be self-evident and not left to the imagination. Complete unfinished projects before showing your home. Emphasize all positive points.
Illuminate your home. A dimly lit home will appear dingy and small. Don't hesitate to increase the wattage up to the maximum rating of the fixture. Open draperies during the day and close them at night.
Inflate your home. Make it appear more spacious by removing any unnecessary items. Place such items as counter-top articles, basement belongings and excessive clothing in temporary storage until your move takes place.
Set the tone. Make your home inviting. Prospective buyers are attracted to homes with pleasing touches. Fresh cut flowers and soft music will create a warm atmosphere.
Take advantage of provisions in the IRS code allowing deductions for repairs in anticipation of selling. Timing is the key factor. Work completed more than 90 days prior to the sale may not qualify.
Try not to be home when your property is being shown. Many prospects refrain from making a thorough tour when the owner is present.
Continue an ongoing rapport with your broker. Understand the terms, strategies and options presented to you. When in doubt, ask.