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Getting Your Home Ready to Sell: Part 2 (More General Tips)

Part 2 of the series. Blob topic is more general tips for prepping your home for market! Next blog post will be getting your kitchen ready.

Continuing with my last blog, I wanted to start off with the yard and exterior.  Having your exterior looking the best it can will present you with more buyers.  First impressions are really difficult to do over.  Speaking of the yard, maybe it’s time to get that 1973 motor home with a large oil stain underneath that hasn’t started in ten years off the driveway.  Pick up junk and messes outside as your yard is the first thing ANY potential homeowner sees.  Having a $20 plastic Dora the Explorer pool does not add value or make buyers woo at the "home with a pool".  Numerous buyers will drive by a home before ever asking their agent to view the inside.  Why would a buyer stop at a junkyard to buy a house or even want to look inside?  How can a potential buyer see their children playing in the backyard if it is currently being utilized as a rusty lawnmower graveyard or the Land of Busted Lawn Ornaments?  Finally, clean up any signs of wildlife such as spiders, rats, mice, rhinoceroses, etc. Take a duster around the house and swipe the corners for cobwebs.  Remove mouse traps because no buyer wants to fear that your house is infested with rodents or worse, rhinoceroses.

The word “repair” strikes fear in sellers and cause them to see dollar signs. Most home repairs are simple, cheap, and the homeowner can do it themselves. 
Few lived-in homes are in mint condition and realistic buyers don’t expect that.  They do however expect a home that is free of major repairs and has been well-maintained.   Walk around the inside and outside of the house while making a list of things that need to be repaired.  Change light bulbs that have burnt out even
the ones in the garage, inside closets, and appliances.  Apply lubricant to squeaky or sticky doors as not make your house sound haunted. Either update cabinet hardware or replace missing hardware with a similar look.  Brushed nickel or chrome hardware add a nice, classy touch to cabinets and are a cheap way of updating old, tired cabinets. It is a simple fix and can find modern hardware at any home store.  This also goes for the gold, outdated light fixtures....cheap and easy fix.  Just make sure all new light fixtures match!  Fill in nail holes with putty.  Then sand the area once dry and paint over the putty.  It will look like there was never a blemish on your precious walls. 

Depersonalization is a trendy way of saying “removing your life” from the home. 
Too many home sellers feel if they take out their person pictures, style and touches that the house will feel cold.  Sometimes this is true but typically when buyers walk through your house, we do not want them distracted by your “unique” style of decorating, pictures of you in Hawaii, the eerie mural consuming your dining room wall or that 300 pound marlin hanging above the fireplace.   The features of your home should stand out instead of your worldly possessions, right?!  Remember…..the items leave the home when you sell so start your packing early and get rid of your personal items.

Series continues next blog with focusing on preparing your kitchen......the kitchen is number one room that sells a home!!!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tom Sommers/Edina Realty July 19, 2011 at 03:38 PM
Nice article
David Nelson, Lakeville Realtor July 19, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Thanks, Tom! Your articles are quite interesting as well. Keep up the blogging!!

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