Here are some things to keep in mind when putting your home
on the market.
What are the two most important rooms in your house (from
a buyer's point of view)?
Should you spend a lot of money on remodeling before putting
your home on the market?
The answers are given later.
As a seller, what you want to do is put yourself in the shoes
of a potential buyer. It's important for you to see your house
through the eyes of someone looking at it for the first time.
The best way to do that is ask Jill & Herb to come over
and take a look at your home as if they were in the market.
Many times, they will be able to suggest improvements that
you would miss.
- Keep the temperature at a comfortable setting.
- Turn the television off and have soft music playing.
A good first impression is important. A house's "curb appeal" is how it looks to someone driving up to it for the first time. That's why it's a important to have the landscaping and outside of the home in good condition. Clear up the clutter in front of the house. Make sure your lawn is mowed and the bushes are trimmed. If a buyer's first impression is favorable, they will want to look further. If their first impression is not so favorable, this will influence how they see everything else about your home.
What can you do to make your house as desirable as possible? First we'll start with the simple things:
- As stated, keep the lawn mowed and the yard free of clutter.
- Keep the walkways and steps clean.
- Turn your patio lights on when showing your home in the evenings.
- Try to avoid having strong odors in your house - fresh baked cookies however, would be great!
- Do not smoke - if possible try to do your smoking outside during the entire time that your home is on the market. You could actually loose a sale to non-smoking buyers.
- Keep the drapes and blinds open. Let as much light into the rooms as possible.
- Have flowers and greenery throughout the house.
- If possible, keep the kids and pets outside.
- Clean your bathrooms and kitchen. Don't leave dirty dishes
- Keep your closets free of clutter.
- Clean those easy-to-forget rooms like the garage, attic,workarea.
- No dirty windows or mirrors.
- The floors should be scrubbed and the carpets vacuumed.
- And finally, don't interfere with Jill or Herb showing
They know what to point out to the buyers.
Other things that you can do to increase the appeal
of your home :
- If it is needed, paint both the inside and outside of the
house. It's best to use neutral colors. Fill the holes and
cracks on the walls and
- Replace your old wallpaper if it is in bad shape. Otherwise,
just make sure the walls are clean.
- Remove the stains in the sinks and the tubs.
- Replace the tile in your bath and kitchen if needed. However,
most of the time, a good mildew remover and some grout will
take care of unsightly tile.
- Have your carpet cleaned.
- Go around the house and tighten or replace missing door
and cabinet handles.
- If doors are hard to open and shut or they squeak, lubricate
them. (Soap can actually work as a lubricant on drawers and
- This is the time to have those cracked windows fixed. You
can have the glass replaced at your local hardware store or
glass shop. It's not as expensive as replacing the entire
- Also, fix those leaky faucets and make sure the drains
in your tub and sinks are not clogged.
- If your hot water heater needs replacing, do it. Add the
cost into the price of your home. New buyers don't want the
hassle right after moving in. This would also give them the
option of financing the added cost - something they couldn't
do after the sale.
- Make the necessary repairs to your roof if it leaks. If
there are water marks on walls or ceiling, cover them with
a coat of paint after you
make the repairs. NOTE: You must tell the buyers about material
defects on a property that would not be apparent during a
- Check the fence on your property. Repair and paint it if
- How about your driveway?
Now for the answers to those questions
What are the two most important rooms to a buyer? Number
1 is the kitchen and number 2 is the bathrooms(s). This is
why it's important to have both of these rooms in top condition.
Make sure your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and garbage
disposal are in good working order. Replace the floor and
the tile on the walls - or at least make sure they look new.
If your cabinets are in bad shape, get them fixed. Replacing
them may or may not be cost effective. (See the answer to
the next question.)
For the bathroom: replace the shower curtain, clean the tile
around the tub (grout if necessary), make sure there are no
odors. Keep clean towels hanging.
Should you remodel? For the most part, major remodeling will
not be cost effective. In other words, you will probably not
make back all of the money you put into it. The exception
may be kitchen remodeling (in the $3,000 to $8,000 range).
Here you may actually, see a 'profit' for your efforts.
The next closest would be a bath addition ($10,000 to $12,000)
and major kitchen remodeling ($15,000 to $20,000). Studies
have shown that these two may not have a pay back of 100%,
but they could be close. Of course, the more you spend, the
least likely you'll be to make it up in price. This is especially
true if these additional costs put your house way above the
average price in your area. However, if selling your house
fast is very important, any remodeling will help. Home buyers
would rather see the home improvements than be told how much
potential the home has.
Other remodeling efforts that will probably not bring you
a return on your investment: bath remodeling, family room
addition, master bedroom suite, attic bedroom, a new patio,
replacing your windows,and adding a sun room. If you want
to do these things, make sure you're going to be in your home
long enough to enjoy them. Otherwise, leave them for the next