Getting your home ready to sell

Taking the 'You' Out of the Home

There is a lot to consider when you are getting your home ready to sell. One of the most basic considerations must be to decide on the best way to display what the house you are selling has to offer to potential buyers, not what your home has meant to you for the time you've lived there. And that means before you place your property on the real estate market, you need to make it less personal and more saleable.

For instance, if you are a collector of angel figurines and you have them displayed on most wooden surfaces and in cabinets -- whether built-ins or your own furniture -- you need to pack those pieces away and give the property a more 'clean' or less cluttered appearance. The same can be said for your husband's record collection or race car collectibles.

Family pictures are okay, just not maybe the large quantity you are used to displaying around the home. One family portrait sitting on the mantle or on your foyer table is acceptable. Having pictures of all your children and pets in a line up the wall alongside the staircase to the upper level will take away from the potential buyer's ability to see their own personal touches on those walls.

Make sure the house is thoroughly clean before you allow the property to be shown, be sure and keep any personal items displayed to the absolute minimum-avoiding clutter is the key, and you will have a greater chance of receiving offers for your property.

Interior Improvements & Fixes

If you're looking to sell your home, there may be a few things you need to do before you put it on the market. Whether you have a leaky roof or an electrical problem, some things need to be fixed or they will be found by an inspector.

So, how can you prepare to sell your home?

Act as if it's not yours: The first thing you want to do is act like this house you own isn't yours. Now, walk through every part of your home like a buyer would and look for problems. Just make sure you're honest with yourself about what needs to be fixed.

Water problems: Make sure there are no water problems such as flooding in the basement, water damage in the ceilings and other issues. These issues can really devalue your home.

Electric: Make sure all the electric is working in your home. From all the outlets to the light switches and appliances, make sure everything can be turned on.

Exterior: Take a look at the exterior of your home and search for problems. Is the roof sinking in and leaking? Are the concrete blocks in the ground cracking and letting in critters and water? Make sure the exterior is just as good as the interior.

Get rid of clutter: Before you have people come to look at your home, make sure you get rid of all the clutter in your home. When a home is cluttered, it looks much smaller than it is.

As you can see, there are some things you will need to do in order to prepare to sell your home. Consider these ideas above and have a better chance at selling your home.

Exterior Improvements & Fixes

Making important repairs and fixes to the exterior of your home gives buyers a positive first impression and draws them inside to explore the interior.

First impressions have a big impact on a potential buyer's decision. Therefore, it is important to make sure the entry way to your home is neat and tidy by fixing any sagging screens and painting the door and door frame. Also, fill in any major cracks in the walkway leading up to the house.

A roof that shows signs of neglect or disrepair is one of the biggest turnoffs to buyers. Be sure to replace missing shingles or roofing tiles. Clean off any moss or algae that might be growing on your roof. A roofing professional will be able to help you with this.

Take the time to landscape your yard. Re-seed or fertilize the lawn if necessary and keep it mowed. Prune your trees and bushes and remove any dead branches or leaves. To increase the visual appeal of your home, plant new flowers or shrubs. Finally, remove any 'no trespassing' or 'beware of dog' signs and place trash cans out of sight.

When it comes time sell your home, the first thing potential buyers see is the outside. Making repairs and improving the exterior of your home makes it more appealing and more likely to sell for top dollar.