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Home Selling Tips

Now is a great time of year for putting your home on the market to sell. Spring is a hot market. But since it's a buyer's market, how are you going to catch your buyer's eye and entice them to make you an offer? Yes, a fresh coat of paint will help and so will a new welcome mat. But the stakes are raised and nowadays you need to do a lot more work on your home to get the highest price in the shortest amount of time.

The obvious things to do are to clean, paint and repair, but that's probably not going to be enough. You don't want to present a cluttered home or one that is in disrepair. So here are just a few of the many things you should consider doing or hiring a professional stager to do for you.

  • Boost the Appeal from the Curb - You need to attract buyers from the street by the way the front of the home looks. If you can't get them through the door, you don't have a prayer of selling the home. So that all important curb appeal is where you need to focus attention first. 84% of people now use the internet to search for homes. So people are deciding at home on their computer whether to even drive by your home or not. That's why any pictures or video needs to look smashing.
  • If You Can, Make the Big Fixes - Budget, of course, is an important factor. The make or break rooms are your kitchen and bathrooms. So if you're going to put in some major work and invest more dollars, that's where you want to concentrate that part of your budget first. The National Association of Realtors found in 2007 that 59% of home buyers actually remodel or make improvements to the homes they buy within 3 months of the close of escrow. 47% of those people improved the kitchen. 45% remodeled or improved a bathroom and 43% remodeled a bedroom.
  • Disclosures Should be Full and Complete - Buyers will usually insist on a home inspection. Don't let them find out that way if there is anything wrong with the property. That's a recipe for a wiggle out. Get a preliminary inspection yourself so you know what to fix in advance and so a buyer will never see what you had to repair. Keep your receipts. Any upgrades you decide not to do can provide estimates for buyers to consider on their own. When you do this, you'll create the aura of being an honest seller and that will help buyers be comfortable with dealing with you.
  • Be realistic. - You want to make sure your asking price is competitive with other properties of comparable homes, particularly those on the market within the past 3 months. Buyers are becoming more selective and homes are taking longer to sell. There are internet sites that will value homes, so you want to make sure you are asking for a reasonable price.

Your home must compete with new construction and with whatever idea a buyer has of what a home should look like and offer them. Over 33% of buyers prefer homes less than 10 years of age, however most homes are about 12 years old that sell successfully. So you can see how important condition is. So work hard to help your buyers feel comfortable with buying your home. Hire a professional to help you do it right. The money you spend on a professional stager will likely be much less than the price you will sacrifice if you have to reduce your asking price because you got no offers.

Quick Links for this Issue
May's Decorating Issue 1
How to Strip Wallpaper
Using Plants
Homestaging Tips
Decorating with Cabinets
How to Decorate Stairs


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Barbara Jennings is author of 10 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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