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Emil Ratti
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Selling Your Home: Where To Begin?


First Impressions
Remember what first attracted you to your house when you bought it? What excited you about its most appealing features? Now that you're selling your home, you'll need to look at it as if you were buying it all over again.

A spruced up house makes a great first impression on potential buyers. An attractive property grabs their attention and makes them excited about finding a house that looks and feels well-cared for. Because buyers know theyíll encounter fewer problems if they buy it, your house becomes more appealing and stands out from the competition. So if you prepare your home correctly, youíll save time selling it when itís on the market.

A good first impression makes an impact on a number of levels. Itís not just the way your house looks to potential buyers, but how it feels and smells to them, how their friends and family will react, how they imagine it would be to live there.

With simple improvements throughout your house, you can grab the attention of potential buyers and help them see why your house is right for them.

Plan Ahead
Create a plan to enhance your property. Keep a notebook for your selling project, and as you stroll through your yard, make a list of what needs to be done. Consider what your property looks like to people driving by or walking through your door. What will they like or dislike? What needs fixing, painting, cleaning? What can you improve? Whether you paint your house or fix up the yard, your efforts donít need to be costly; even inexpensive improvements and minor repairs go far toward attracting serious buyers. But remember, those seemingly insignificant problems youíve learned to live with can actually discourage potential buyers. Here are ideas for increasing your homeís appeal in order to sell it quickly at the best price.

Interior

Clean Everything
Buyers expect a spotless house, inside and out. So clean everything, especially your windows and window sills. Scrub walls and floors, tile and ceilings, cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash scuff marks from doors and entryways, clean light fixtures and the fireplace. Donít forget the laundry room. And put away your clothes.

Cut the Clutter
People are turned off by rooms that look and feel cluttered. Remember, potential buyers are buying your house, not your furniture, so help them picture themselves and their possessions in your home by making your rooms feel large, light, and airy. As you clean, pack away your personal items, such as pictures, valuables, and collectibles, and store or get rid of surplus books, magazines, videotapes, extra furniture, rugs, blankets, etc. Consider renting a storage unit to eliminate clutter in your garage and attic.

Itís hard to get rid of possessions, but cleaning and clearing out the clutter can really pay off in the end. Packing away your clutter also gets you started packing for your next move. Make your garage and basement as tidy as the rest of your house. Simple little tasks such as storing your tools and neatly rolling up your garden hose suggest that you take good care of your house. Donít let anything detract from making your best first impression.

Closets
Theyíre an important consideration to many buyers. By storing clothing you wonít use soon, youíll make closets look spacious.

Paint
A new coat of paint cleans up your living space and makes it look bright and new. To make rooms look larger, choose light, neutral colors that appeal to the most people, such as beige or white.

Carpet
Check its condition. If itís worn, consider replacing it. Itís an easy and affordable way to help sell your home faster. Again, light, neutral colors, such as beige, are best. If you donít replace it, you can suggest to potential buyers that they could select new carpet and youíll reduce your price; buyers like to hear theyíre getting a deal. At the very least, have your carpet cleaned.

Repairs and Renovations
Itís best to avoid making major renovations just to sell the house since youíre unlikely to recoup those costs from your selling price. Make minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, gutters, loose doorknobs, and broken windows. Make sure repairs are well done; buyers wonít take you seriously if your home-improvement efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish.

Leaks and Moisture
Water stains on ceilings or in the basement alert buyers to potential problems. Donít try to cosmetically cover up stains caused by leaks. If youíve fixed the water problem, repair the damage and disclose in writing to the buyer what repairs were made.

Exterior

Curb Appeal 
The "Wow" factor ó that first visual, high-impact impression your home makes on potential buyers ó can turn a looker into a buyer. To determine your propertyís curb appeal, drive through your neighborhood and note other properties; then approach your own house as if you were a potential buyer. How does it look? Does it "wow" you? Will its curb appeal attract buyers? Note what needs improving, such as trimming trees, planting shrubs, or painting gutters. Little things convey that youíve cared for your home, and this is your opportunity to sell that important message to buyers who are shopping from the street, simply cruising neighborhoods just looking for houses for sale. To get them through your door, do what you can to make your property look like someoneís dream home.

Paint/Stain
If itís peeling or blistering and you canít remember the last time you painted it, your house needs some attention. That also goes for stain that is significantly faded. A newly painted or stained exterior will help sell your house faster. And whether you do it yourself or hire someone, youíll also increase your homeís value.

In the Yard
Grab peopleís attention by enhancing your yard and landscaping. If your house looks inviting and well-maintained from the street, people will imagine that itís attractive on the inside, too.

ē  Prune bushes and hedges; trim trees.

ē  Keep your lawn looking healthy and green by mowing it often, fertilizing it, and keeping it edged and trimmed.

ē  Clean up and dispose of pet mess.

ē  Weed your gardens; add fertilizer and mulch; then plant colorful flowers.

ē  In winter, keep your driveway and sidewalks shoveled, de-iced, and well-lit.

ē  Stack firewood, clean out birdbaths, repair and paint fences.


The Front Door
An attractive entry catches a buyerís eye and says, "Welcome," so highlight this area of your house with decorative touches, such as a wreath on the door or new shrubs and flowers around the steps. For an even grander entry, clean and paint your front door, or replace it with a new one for a few hundred dollars. Donít forget to fix and polish doorknobs, repair torn screens, and then put out that new welcome mat.


Let Us Help You Sell Your Home!


Selling a home is the largest business transaction most of us will ever make. The selling process can be very complex and time consuming, however with the aid of our services, be certain that you will come away completely satisfied and stress free.

One of our main responsibilities is to arrive at an accurate estimate of value for your home, so we ensure a detailed evaluation and analysis of every part of your home. Our work doesnít stop there, as we will fully investigate the real estate market and compare your property with similar listings to make sure that you receive the highest amount you deserve for your home.

We will follow a step-by-step marketing program that will provide you with service that is professional and courteous. In the end, you will be sure that the price you set reflects the true value of your home under current market conditions . . . rest assured that you will be completely satisfied with your selling price once we have completed the proper research and evaluation of your home.
 



 

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