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Selling Tips

When preparing to sell your home, think about how your personal decorating style may affect prospective buyers. You want your home to be clean and clutter-free and as neutral as possible so buyers can visualize how their furnishings will look in your home. And keep in mind, there is a difference between how you live in your home and how it should look once itís on the market.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE LASTING - The front door greets the prospective buyer. What does your home say when potential buyers walk in the front door? Since your front entry is your homeís first visual impression, you want it to be as inviting as possible. Even if your home doesnít have a distinct entryway, you can create one that is warm and welcoming using a few suggestions from the pros: Establish a focal point with a plant, print or decorative lamp. You might add attractive storage with a wall shelf or table artfully arranged with collectibles and flowers. Or just hang a picture or mirror on the wall, and put out a decorative throw rug. Also keep the lawn trimmed and edged, and the yard free of refuse.

DECORATE FOR A QUICK SALE - Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal. Why try to tell the prospect how your home could look, when you can show him by redecorating? A quicker sale at a higher price will result. An investment in new kitchen wallpaper will pay dividends, and you can't find a better investment when you're selling a house than a few cans of paint and a little putty to brighten up its interior.

LET THE SUN SHINE IN - Open draperies and curtains and let the prospect see how cheerful your home can be.A home awash with natural sunlight is highly desirable to prospective buyers., Move large furnishings away from your windows if they block the light or view. Lighting is an inexpensive and effective way to enhance your decorating. If you have a particularly nice feature or area -- perhaps a plant or artwork -- spotlighting the subject can be a nice touch. And for a special mood in one of your rooms, such as the dining room, install a dimmer switch. Finally, clean those windows! Sparkling windows are a signal to buyers that you care about your home. Repair or replace cracked panes, torn screens, broken sashes and ropes or cords as well. When showing your home, open your curtains to let the light shine in -- especially if the view is nice. Create counter space. Store away extra appliances. Put away dish racks, soap dishes and other clutter. Decrease kitchen clutter further by removing magnets from refrigerator.

Interior Face-Lifts! - Itís only common sense that prospective buyers appreciate the clean look of newly painted and carpeted homes. These and other simple interior improvements can help increase the value of your home and decrease the amount of time it takes to sell. But remember, buyers often view as many as 12 homes -- including brand-new homes -- before they make a decision. To make your home more memorable, consider these interior decorating improvements.

Have a garage sale before the home is listed. Get rid of clutter so that the buyer can really see your home. Clean out what you think you won't need in your next home. Pack away all that you can. Home buyers will expect you to be preparing to move, so a few packing boxes here and there can be used to your advantage. They could be a good visual stimulant to someone who is "on the fence;" they show that you are moving and are serious about finding a buyer. Be sure, though, to find the fine line between clutter and emptiness.

REPAIRS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE - Loose knobs, sticking and squeaking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, and other minor flaws detract from home value. Dripping water discolors sinks and suggests faulty plumbing.Have them fixed. Many buyers believe there will be ten problems they haven't noticed for every one they do see.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM - Display the full value of your attic and other utility space by removing all unnecessary articles.

SAFETY FIRST - Keep stairways clear. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.

MAKE CLOSETS LOOK BIGGER - Neat, well-ordered closets show that space is ample.

BATHROOMS HELP SELL HOMES - Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers. Make this room sparkle!

ARRANGE BEDROOMS NEATLY - Remove excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and freshly laundered curtains.

HARMONIZE THE ELEMENTS - FM radio or stereo on softly. TV off. All lights on, day or night. Drapes open in the daytime, closed at night. If it's hot, cool it; if it's cold, light a crackling fire.

YOU CAN SELL PRIDE OR OWNERSHIP FASTER AND FOR MORE MONEY - It's called cleanliness, and cleanliness has more buyers than used dirt. Put sparkle in your bathrooms and kitchen, and you'll take lots more silver out.

THREE'S A CROWD - Avoid having too many people present during inspections. The potential buyer will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house.

MUSIC IS MELLOW - But not when showing a house. Turn off the blaring radio or television. Let the salesperson and buyer talk, free of disturbances. Background "soft-playing" music is okay.

PETS UNDER FOOT? - Keep pets out of the way -- preferably out of the house. Many people are acutely uncomfortable around some animals.

BE RUTHLES ABOUT ORDORS. If there is a smell, your house won't sell. Use cleansers of all kinds to make the home smell fresh, from carpet freshener to potpourri. Deodorize cat litter and scoop litter daily. Put cedar chips inside the closets. Be careful with room sprays, they could stimulate allergies. Use the sense of smell to your advantage by having fresh-baked cookies on the kitchen table.

SILENCE IS GOLDEN - Be courteous but don't force conversation with the potential buyer. He wants to inspect your house, not pay a social call.

BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE - Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it has been lived in. Let the trained salesperson answer any objections. This is their job.

NEVER STAY IN YOUR HOUSE WITH HOUSE HUNTERS - Let the agent handle it, and remove yourself if you possibly can. Remember, that agent has worked many hours with these people, and knows that they're looking for, and how to work with them. Let him or her do the job without interference. You may feel that an agent isn't showing the important features of your home to the prospect, but the agent knows people aren't sold by details until they've become emotionally involved with the big picture of your home. The presence of any member of the seller's family can't help, always unnerves possible buyers, and often prevents a sale. Don't put this obstacle in your path; please leave when buyers are coming.

WHY PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE? - Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to potential buyer before he has purchased the house often loses a sale.

A WORD TO THE WISE - Let your Realtor discuss, terms, possession, and other factors with the prospect. I am eminently qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion.

Mail8042.gif (4196 bytes)E-mail me so we can discuss your real estate needs!

Ron Kimball "A Internet Realtor"
Serving all of Kitsap Mason & Pierce County, WA
New Visions Reality LLC
1616 Ellis Court | Port Orchard, WA 98367
Direct Line (360) 876-4741| Fax (360 ) 876-4843
E-mail: homes@ronkimball.com

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