Helpful Tips When Selling Your Home

space-and-company-philadelphia-tips-for-sellersBY MINA MORGAN (

Selling your home? While your agent is going to lead the way on paperwork, open houses and negotiating, the following tips are where your work really kicks in. But don’t worry — while it might be work, the end result is getting a better price for your house.

1) Detach yourself from the home

Emotions can be very powerful, and can be a major influence in how you go about selling your home. Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house — a product to be sold. Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours. Picture yourself handing over the keys, and contracts to the new owners. Don’t look backwards — look toward the future, and new investments.

2) De-personalize

Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there. You don’t want to make any buyer ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”

3) De-clutter

People collect an amazing quantity of stuff, but if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it. If you don’t need it consider donating it, or trashing it. Pack up little personalized items, clean off all surfaces and counters, if you have things that must stay accessible daily, put them in a small box and store them away when they are not in use. This all needs to happen anyway to move once the house has been sold, so consider it a head start.

4) Rearrangements

Buyers like to take a look at everything. Think of the message it sends if items fall out/down/on them! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if they sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. Cabinets and closets must be arranged and showcase how the buyers would consider storage and cabinet space. Shoes aligned, dress clothes hung up neatly. Food and spices neatly placed in cabinetry.

5) Take and replace personal items

If you want it, replace it. If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer they can’t have an item, they will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

6) Make minor repairs

These are all lower costing changes that can make a big difference in appearance, and give extra incentive to a potential buyer.
• Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
• Patch holes in walls.
• Fix leaky faucets.
• Fix doors that don’t close properly, and kitchen drawers that jam.
• Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to brighter or wilder colors.
• Replace burned-out light bulbs.
• If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, now is the time.

7) Clean House

• Wash windows inside and out.
• Spray down the exterior.
• Clean out cobwebs.
• Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
• Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
• Clean out the refrigerator.
• Vacuum.
• Wax floors.
• Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
• Bleach dingy grout.
• Replace worn rugs.
• Hang up fresh towels.
• Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no. Especially pet odors!

8) Be your own critic

• Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
• Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
• Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
• Make sure window coverings hang level.
• Tune in to the room’s statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and cohesiveness?
• Does it look like nobody lives in this house?

9) Create curb appeal

If a buyer won’t get out of their agent’s car, because they don’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get potential buyers inside.
• Keep the sidewalks cleared.
• Mow the lawn.
• Paint faded window trim.
• Plant bright flowers or group flower pots together.
• Trim your bushes.
• Make sure visitors can clearly read your house address.

10) Rent a Storage Unit

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra items from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”
Now geared with some helpful client based tips — sell those houses!

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