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Joseph Kucharski

Broker, NAEA Expert Advisor

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Suggestions For Selling Your Home

Selling your home for more than what you believe is possible may require some work.

First Suggestion, please allow me the opportunity to assess your home. I can determine what needs to be done versus what you may have heard on TV, read in a real estate solicitation or heard from a real estate agent.


1. Make The Most Of That First Impression

A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does at least a freshly cleaned/painted front door. If it is autumn, rake the leaves. If it is winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.

2. Invest a Few Hours For Future Dividends -  De-Clutter, De-Clutter, De-Clutter

Here is your chance to clean up in real estate by simply starting to pack today.  It all has to be boxed up and prepared for moving anyway.  Clean up the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. If you are worried that you cannot do a perfect job, hire professionals,    especially when it comes to painting. Most of us believe we can paint because we know how to hold the paintbrush and a roller, however, good painters are skilled craftsmen.  Unless you can "cut a room in" perfectly, please leave it to the professionals. Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really looks, rather than hear how great it could look "with a little work."

3. Check Faucets and Bulbs

Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark. Don not let $20 worth of light bulbs cost you thousands - literally.

4. Do Not Shut Out a Sale

If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospects mind. Do not try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane or lubricate them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

5. Think Safety

Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned (rigged, hanging) extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.

6. Make Room for Space 

Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They are looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.  If you really want top dollar you will want to pay close attention to these areas that most sellers will not concern themselves with, this is another opportunity for you to outshine the competition.

7. Consider Your Closets

The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now ís the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.

8. Make Your Bathroom Sparkle

Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats, and shower curtains. Ask the painter

9. Declutter Bedrooms and Their Closets

Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.

10. Open Up In The Daytime

Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is, but when you do, make sure you adjust your blinds to even length and prep all the window treatments to look photogenic. Lighten up every space by turning on ALL your lights, both inside and outside. When showing your home in the day or evening. Lights add color and warmth and make prospects feel welcome. My philosophy is that when a prospective buyer drives by your home at night, you want it to look lit up and impressive.  If your buyer's drive by the homes of interest they are considering, I am certain a "lit-up" listing win everytime.

11. Avoid Any Potential Odor

Plug in air fresheners are worth their weight in gold.  Even you you are certain you do not need them, place them in the living room, kitchen, 2nd level hallway and in the basement, finished or not.  Only use fresh scent or spring scent.  Do not use vanilla, cinnamon or "baked anything" scent.

12. Watch Your Pets

Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for leaving gifts in the yard, so you will want to check daily. Also, if they bark a lot, having them caged in the home is not a good idea.

13. Think Volume

Rock-and-roll will never die, but it might kill a real estate transaction. When it's time to show your home, it's time to turn down the tunes.

14. Relax

Be friendly if you accidentally encounter a prospective buyer or agent, but don't answer questions or get into conversation.  Move quickly while apologizing for the intrusion, even though it may not be your error.  Occasionally when I am showing homes to one of my buyers we run into a talkative seller, unfortunately, for the seller and not realizing it, they would give away their motivation for moving. This can really hurt a seller when it is time for negotiating an offer.  I can gather more information from casual conversation than one might realize.  Any good buyer's agent will use the information to their advantage to get a lower price..   

15. Don't Think, "There probably won't be a showing today..."

No matter how rushed you are, you will want to make time to at least straighten up your home whenever you leave, because of course, today will be that day that you have 3 or 4 showings. But it is better to show the home than not.  I will qualify the situation and advise accordingly.

16. Don't Turn Your Home Into a Second-Hand Store

When buyers come to view your home, don't distract them with signs offering to sell those furnishings you no longer need, you will draw their attention away from your home.  There will come a time to offer items you want to sell and maybe use them as a negotiation tool. Sometimes it is possible to use that unwanted furniture as a "credit" to the buyer instead of fixing something you'd rather not fix.

17. Defer to Experience

I will advise you, I know exactly what needs to be done in every situation... And I do NOT need a stager to tell me how my "product" should be prepared. If the agents you are considering need someone to advise them on how to present their listing... RED FLAG. I have over 20 years of home selling experience including preparing your home for the market.