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 around.

- 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 your home.

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 doors.)

- 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 window.

- 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 routine investigation.

- Check the fence on your property. Repair and paint it if necessary.

- 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 owner.




Jill & Herb Levitt

Jill & Herb's Sellers Tip

In order to get the highest price in the shortest time, you need to know how to market your home. The better you market your home, the more offers you will get. And the more offers you get, the more choices you have to get the price and terms you want.

The most important factor of marketing your home is pricing it right. Your price should be adjusted to reflect the market, and the property's worth. The key is to get many people checking out your property at a fair price instead of having no buyers because your price is set to high.

Another important factor is the condition of your home. Make sure that your home looks ready to be sold. Fix any defects (peeling or faded paint, cracks, stains, etc.) Condition alone can sometimes prompt fast buying decisions. Not only should you fix any defects, but consider upgrading your home by making major repairs and cosmetic improvements before selling. A nice looking home triggers the emotional response that can lead to a financial response.

Learn how to negotiate the best terms for all parties involved. Terms are another factor which may be adjusted to attract buyers. If you insist on getting your asking price, think of what you can offer to the buyers, for example, improvements you've made, or even offering seller financing at a lower than market interest rate on a portion of the sale price. Convince them why they should be paying the price you have set.

Lastly, get the buzz out about your home. List your house with a hot agent that ensures your house is listed on the MLS and on the internet. On your own, get the word out. It should be visible to passerby’s that your house if for sale, whether it be signs, local advertisements or you telling friends, family, and acquaintances.