Thursday, January 23, 2014

Selling your Home: The Seven Steps to Prepping your House for Sale

Seven Steps to Prepping your House for Sale

By a recent client

Is your house ready for its close-up? Putting a house on the market means that strangers are going to be scrutinizing its every nook and cranny, closet and cupboard. So what are the best steps to take to prep a house for sale? Here are seven suggestions for getting your house to look its best, with “premium upgrades” for each suggestion.

1. Basic: First impressions count, and plants are an inexpensive way to maximize your house’s curb appeal, especially in the winter time when most of your landscaping is cold and grey. So some potted plants at your entry will go a long way to taking a black and white picture and turning it into a color portrait. If weather permits, then by all means plant some colorful annuals right by your entrance or place containers on each side of your front door. A hanging basket will freshen up your porch, while a row of potted plants will add color to your steps. Don’t forget to keep the plants looking good.

Upgrade: If you can, a fresh coat of exterior paint will brighten your horizons. However, if you don't have the budget for that, you may want consider painting the trim around your front door and around any front windows. Buyers usually have to pause at the door before entering, and freshly painted trim--inside and out--will add to a good first impression.

2. Basic: Sweep and vacuum; wipe counters and clean sinks. Hide clutter in lidded boxes or better yet, throw it away, your going to moving anyway, so why pay to move something still in its original box or no longer useful! Buyers need to feel comfortable when they walk through your home, and cleanliness is essential to comfort. If you really hate to clean, consider a cleaning service as an excellent investment in getting your house sold.

Upgrade: Flowers in a vase or a bowl of fruit on the table send a message that your house is clean and fresh. Spritz your dining table with a bit of lemon scented furniture spray – it’s a subtle but guaranteed way to say, “I’m clean!”

3. Basic: It is standard procedure for your Realtor to recommend having your windows cleaned inside and out; this is done to create a brighter and cleaner impression all around.

4. Basic: Clean out your closets. Get rid of all empty hangers, clear the floor space and thin out your clothes as much as possible. Sell, give away or donate unused items. Think of this as getting a head start on your move.

Upgrade: Borrow the look of upscale clothing stores. Replace your mismatched wire hangers with one type of plastic or fabric covered hanger. These hangers are reasonably priced at most home stores or Costco, and your clothes will thank you. Arrange your clothes by type (all shirts together, all pants together, etc.) and by color.

5. Basic: Lighten up. Make sure that all overhead lights are working and that table and floor lamps have bulbs. A well-lighted house seems cheerful and clean.

Upgrade: Add at least one floor or table lamp to each living space with an overhead light. Your rooms will look both warmer and brighter with multiple sources of light. And turn on all lights before your house gets shown to buyers. Also recommended, please have a little sign or post it indicate which switches to use for visiting Realtors as they need to have a "how to" guide to look like they know your home to add to the confidence of showing it to their clients.

6. Basic: Clear out cabinets and cupboards. You want people to feel that your house offers plentiful storage, so make sure that kitchen, laundry and bathroom cabinets are organized and uncluttered.

Upgrade: Borrow a styling tip from supermarkets and drugstores, and turn bottles and boxes so that their labels face out. It’s a simple trick that most people won’t even notice, but it instantly brings order to visual chaos.

7. Basic: Depersonalize your home. Buyers need to be able to imagine living in your house, and your family photos, souvenirs and knick-knacks get in the way of this process. As much as possible, pack up and store your most personal items.

Upgrade: Create neutral “stage sets.” Look at how catalogs for stores like Pottery Barn/West Elm/Restoration Hardware style a room to suggest comfort and style. A colorful throw on the back of an armchair, a few recent magazines on the coffee table, or a pretty perfume bottle on the bathroom counter add the right amount of personality. These touches send a message to buyers that living in your house is a pleasure. Even better, employ the skills of a talented stager to bring the right "now" looks and colored accessories into your home so that today's buyers can more readily identify with the property and potentially see it as theirs!

I love having my clients and friends provide content for this local blog!

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
Good Homes

Selling a Maplewood/South Orange/Millburn/Short Hills area home involves many steps and having an experienced Maplewood New Jersey Real Estate Agent and Realtor®, specializing in the Bedroom Communities of New York City in Essex/Union County— Millburn, Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, South Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Springfield, Summit, Madison, Chatham, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Westfield--by your side will make the transaction run a lot smoother. I would love to be your Maplewood/South Orange New Jersey Area Real Estate Professional! I assist both buyers and sellers in the Bedroom Communities of New York City, mostly served by NJ Transit’s Mid-Town Direct Train Lines, offering commutes of 45minute or less to NY Penn Station, with either the purchase and or sale of residential real estate.

As an Accredited Buyer’s Agent (ABR), I have received special training to guide and educate you through the entire home buying process. From start to finish, I listen to your needs and desires in what you would like and take the information you give me to find you home. My GO-TO team can provide you the best in Real Estate advice with regard to attorney choices, Home Inspectors and Mortgage Loan Officers

As your Maplewood/South Orange/Millburn/Short Hills/Essex/Union County New Jersey listing agent I am well versed on as your local expert in all things in the Maplewood and South Orange area Real Estate Market. You can expect personalized service that includes a detailed consultation on how to best position your Mid-Town Direct home to be competitive in today’s market with training to provide my clients with an in-depth Advanced Comparative Market analysis, and advice on staging. As my office’s technology officer as well as both a Zillow Platinum Premier and Trulia Premier agent, I use the latest and most up-to-date marketing methods to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible. Being your New Jersey Real Estate Agent and Realtor ® not only involves just finding the home or selling the home, but being your guide, negotiator, advisor and advocate and making sure that your needs and goals are met. Being your New Jersey Essex/Union County area Realtor® (with a little bit of Morris County thrown in for good measure) is one of my truest passions, and “Helping You Find Your Dream Home” is my number one priority.

Mark Slade

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