Selling Your Home
Get the House Ready

A house that "sparkles" on the surface will sell faster than its shabby neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained. From experience, REALTORS® also know that a "well-polished" house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what they can't see has probably also been maintained.

How much should you spend?
Exterior and curb appeal
Preparing the interior.

How Much Should You Spend

In preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed by a new roof, but they aren't likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive  "touch-ups" to your house, such as new cabinets knobs and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room, and doing extensive remodeling.

Tom can advise you on what improvements need to be made. Don't hesitate to ask him for advice.

Maximizing Exterior and Curb Appeal

Before putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to maximize its exterior and interior appeal.

Enhance your home’s exterior and curb appeal by:

  • Keeping the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly;
  • When mowing the lawn catch the grass and keep it out of the street.
  • Trimming hedges, weeding lawns and flowerbeds, and pruning trees regularly;
  • Checking the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling;
  • Inspecting doors and windows for peeling paint;
  • If there are spider webs or wasps nest keep them cleaned away.
  • Cleaning and aligning gutters;
  • Inspect and clean the chimney and save any receipts.
  • Repairing and replacing loose or damaged roof shingles;
  • Repairing and repainting loose siding and caulking;
  • In Northern winters, keeping walks neatly cleared of snow and ice;
  • During spring and summer months considering adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance;
  • Re-seal an asphalt driveway;
  • Keeping your garage door closed;
  • Storing RVs or old and beaten up teens' jalopies elsewhere while the house is on the market; and
  • Applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door.

Maximizing Interior Appeal

Enhance your home’s interior by:

  • Giving every room in the house a thorough cleaning, as well as removing all clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded rooms have actually rented storage garages and moved half their furniture out, creating a sleeker, more spacious look.
  • Hiring a professional cleaning service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
  • Removing the less frequently used, even daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making these areas much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a move anyhow, holding a garage sale at this point is a great idea.
  • If necessary, repainting dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
  • Checking for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement.
  • Repairing cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
  • Replacing broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
  • Inspecting and repairing the plumbing, heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
  • Repairing dripping faucets and showerheads.
  • Buying showy new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
  • Sprucing up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.
  • If the room looks cramped find someplace to store non-essential living items.  A storage building is a cheap investment when you are wanting to make your house more appealing and roomy.

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Moving Tips
Obtain estimates from three licensed movers before you make a choice. Have an estimator from each company visit your house to examine the items you're moving before issuing a quote. Verbal quotes are not binding, so make sure each mover gives you a written estimate. In most cases, you'll want a "not to exceed" or "best price" estimate. This will limit your moving expense to the amount quoted. If the move ultimately costs less than the estimated amount, you will pay the lower price. Ask about discounts.
Trusting a Mover
Moving is stressful, even when it goes smoothly. Be wary of a bid significantly below all other estimates. A low bid can indicate that someone is trying to buy your business, or it can be a sign of inexperience. You have to trust a stranger with your personal belongings, so make sure you feel confident that you'll get the level of service you require. Making Sure Your Move Goes Smoothly

Save money by moving less.  Sell, donate or throw away possessions you don't want before you get your estimate.
Request good-credit letters from your utility companies.You can avoid putting down money for deposits if your utility company will notify the new company of your good credit status, or send you a letter of reference.
Start working on your change of address notices.  Send them to creditors, magazines, membership organizations, insurance companies and other regular correspondents. You may also want to send notices to your friends and relatives.
Measure all openings in the house, or space in elevators and stairwells. You want to make sure there's enough clearance to accommodate your possessions.
Prepare your own inventory of important possessions.  Include box numbers so you can find these items quickly.
Arrange utilities.  Call at least two weeks before your move to have electricity, water, gas or telephone service switched on closing day or the day you move in.
Arrange contractors.  If there is time between your closing and move-in dates, you may want to have carpeting and painting done before you move in the furniture.
Make a First Night box. Label it prominently and include towels, sheets, blanket, tissues, paper towels, plastic utensils, paper plates and cups, screw driver, hammer, can opener and other essentials.
Change the locks on your doors. You may or may not choose to do this, but most security experts advise it.
Save your receipts. You may be able to deduct some of your moving expenses. Consult your tax advisor.

Do you have suggestions?  Let Tom Know.


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