If potential buyers are pleased with your home's appearance, the possibility for a sale increases. Also, the more people that like what they see, the greater the chances for not only a sale, but a lucrative one.
When preparing your home for sale, remember that first impressions are lasting ones and the front yard is the first thing that most prospective buyers will see. Fertilize and water your lawn, pull weeds and plant colorful flowers. Make your home stand out among the competition.
Next, keep in mind that a prospective buyer is a space-conscious animal. If you've been in your home for 10 years or more you probably could store half of your furniture and still have more in your home than you need. Show the walls, not your furniture. And clear them of paintings and other wall decorations.
Paint walls a light off-white color -- all of them. Hide everything in the way of personal taste. Let the buyer use your plain white walls as a canvas to imagine how they will be able to decorate and personalize "their new home."
Next, get rid of that green shag carpet. What you want is an inexpensive medium earth-tone cut-pile carpet. One color everywhere. And, if the floors are hardwood, give them a shine. Finally, air out your home. You might not be aware of how different your home smells to an outsider. Use fresh-air circulation and air fresheners to eliminate odors.
Your home will be competing with others in your market. Visit the competition. Count the bedrooms and bathrooms. Get a feel for the size (total square footage) of the other homes for sale. Be aware of features such as window covering, a pool, an outbuilding, landscaping or fencing. This will help you price your home. Although your real estate agent might have a handle on all of these things, it is important for you to know as well.
Study the schools in the area whether you have children or not. Leave literature about what's available on the kitchen counter. Help the buyer make up his or her mind. And don't be in a rush to sell. Your real estate agent might detect your anxiety and try talking you into selling quickly and cheaply.
Market conditions and available financing will of course have an impact on the sale of your home. Since the market is low right now, you want any advantage you can get for fair price. But, remember ... the same will apply to the home you intend to purchase.
Study the mortgage market, and learn about creative financing.
For tips from James and Morris Carey, visit their Web site at www.onthehouse.com or call the 24/7 listener hot line, 800-737-2474. The Careys are also on KRKO (1380-AM) from 6 to 10 a.m. every Saturday.
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