Tuesday, May 23, 2006

10 Steps Before Listing

1. Start at the Street. Pretend you are a prospective buyer seeing your home for the first time. What do you see from your car? Make your home so inviting buyers will get out of their comforting cars and walk to your front door. Place fresh seasonal flowers, in pots or planted, along the front walk or by your front door. Brighten the
hallways of your condo's common areas, especially if its a small association.

2. Make Repairs. Lubricate squeaky door hinges, fix dripping faucets, and make sure toilets flush properly. You get used to the minor faults in your home, so ask a friend to inspect for minor defects.

3. Exterminate. One bug or spider, dead or alive, can cause some buyers to leave immediately.

4. Remove Clutter. Not only does a neat, organized house feel larger and more inviting, clutter-free homes give prospective buyers a chance to see the home’s features.

5. Deep Clean. Remove dust, spiders, and odors.

6. Depersonalize. Pack your personal mementos and photographs. Give your buyers the opportunity to visualize their personal effects in your home.

7. Lighten Up. During the winter months, use bulbs with the highest wattage recommended in light fixtures. Add small table lamps for extra lighting. If you have room on your kitchen and bathroom countertops, a small decorative lamp adds a warm glow with a designer’s touch.

8. Wash Walls or Repaint. Fresh paint gives you the best return on your money.

9. Clean Carpets or Replace. You may be accustomed to the way your carpet looks, but what do buyers see? If you're selling to first-time home buyers, they most likely won't have the money beyond the down payment to pay for new carpeting. Move-up buyers expect perfection, even if they want to tear it all out.

10. Consider having your pets taken care of by family or friends. Some home buyers are allergic to pets, while others will be turned off by pet odors. You get accustomed to your pets' odors, but these scents drive buyers away.

With a little thought and effort, you can persuade buyers that your house exceeds their expectations-- and is worth getting out of the car.

Geno Petro
Chicago Home Estates

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