Get Your Home Market Ready

Dated: 05/30/2018

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When a homeowner thinks about the sale of his "home," as the marketing of his "house" for sale, the mindset will typically turn from less of an emotional experience to one that is more transactional.

"Home," for many, is a place where memories are made, while a "house" is a structure.

The separation from the emotion of the transaction makes the moving experience less overwhelming and more systematic and easier to live through. The simple shift puts a homeowner in a spirit of control.

The first step of marketing a house for sale is to work with your real estate agent to agree on a price that will cause your house to sell. The next step would be to stage your home, and when meeting with homeowners they're typically ready for a punch list of "to-do" items.

Below is a checklist to start you on your way to marketing your house to would-be buyers.

Exterior General: Do not neglect the exterior of your home! The exterior is your would-be buyer's first impression, and if they don't like what they see on the outside, chances are, they'll be swayed (in a negative way) about what they'll see on the inside - if they even bother going in. Here's what you need to address: Clear the trash from the curb along side the road. Check the condition of your mailbox. Is the house clearly numbered?

Cut the grass. Trim the edges. Trim the bushes. Remove weeds. Rake leaves. Replace bark mulch. Plant pots and flower beds with seasonal color. Pressure wash driveway, patios and decks, and exterior siding. Paint the front door (and exterior if necessary). Paint window frames. Repair gutters and downspouts. Replace missing shingles. Clean up the garage. Store garden tools. Store sports equipment. Store recreational videos. Sweep the front door area and replace the old doormat. Polish or repaint the front door knob.

Interior General: Repaint a neutral color if necessary. Rooms must be well lit, airy, and warm. Open curtains and blinds. Clean carpets, floors, walls, and windows. Have light background music playing. Keep pets out of the way, preferably out of the house. Remove all small rugs, shoes, and sports equipment. Remove all dead indoor flowers and plants. Clear away all clutter and excess furniture. Clear fireplace and fill with logs. Repair or replace all broken items - including light bulbs, windows, fittings, hardware, and leaky faucets.

Kitchen: It should be thoroughly cleaned and smelling fresh. Clear kitchen counters, bulletin boards, and fridge magnets. Remove all clutter and personal items. Clean grout or re-grout if necessary. Accessorize with just a few pieces.

Bathrooms: They should be thoroughly cleaned and smelling fresh. Remove all clutter and personal items. Clean grout or re-grout if necessary. Clean all tile. Resurface if necessary. Repair leaky faucets. Replace bathroom hardware. Remove soap scraps. Display clean towels and new soap.

A homeowner's to-do list of items to address to market their house for sale is one tool to take the emotion (and stress) out of the transaction.

Having something tangible to be in control of, like a list, puts a homeowner into a selling mentality - not to mention getting down to the business of getting the house sold.

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