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20 critical steps to help you sell your home

“Take the necessary critical steps to sell your home!”

1. Try to be flexible for agent showings and use the lockbox.

Agents have to make appointments based on when their buyer can make it, which usually means around the buyer’s working hours and sometimes with short notice, as the buyer decides what homes they want to focus on.

Agents need the co-operation and understanding of the seller in a big way here. We need a flexible time range 1 or 2 hours.

Usually when showing houses we set 5 or more appointments in various locations. The buyer can be 60 seconds or 60 minutes reviewing any one house.

Many agents will overlook a property on a first outing with a buyer if they have to drive to an office to get keys and then drive there again to return them.

Lockboxes ensure more agent showings with qualified buyers.

2. Make the most of that first impression.

Never underestimate the importance of outward appearances especially where your home is concerned. Potential buyers begin their decision making process early, with their first glance at your property, known as a drive by.

A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome buyers. So does a freshly painted or at least freshly scrubbed door.

If it’s autumn, rake the leaves.

If it’s winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between buyers and the true appeal of your home, the better.

3. Invest a few hours for future dividends.

Here’s your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, perhaps you might want to consider some minor redecoration. Fresh wallpaper in the kitchen or bath can add charm and value to your property.

Buyers would rather see how great the home really looks than hear you tell how great it could look “with a little work”.

4. Check faucets and bulbs.

Dripping water rattles the nerves, discoloured sinks suggest faulty or worn-out plumbing.

Burned out bulbs leave buyers in the dark. Put in 100 watt bulbs in all sockets.

Don’t let little problems detract from what’s right with your home.

5. Don’t shut out a sale.

If cabinet or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a buyers mind. Don’t try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away.

A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

6. Think safety.

Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller-skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low-hanging overhead lights.

Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.

7. Make room for space.

Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space.

They’re looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.

8. Consider your closets.

The better organized a closet, the larger it appears.

Now is the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity, or call your moving company and have them stored for you until you move into your new address.

9. Make your bathroom sparkle.

Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine.

Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats and shower curtains.

10. Create dream bedrooms.

Wake up buyers to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms.

For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture.

Colourful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.

11. Open up in the daytime.

Let the sun in!

Pull back your curtains and drapes so buyers can see how bright and cheery your home is.

12. Lighten up the night.

Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and out - when showing your home in the evening.

Lights add color and warmth, and make buyers feel welcome.

13. Avoid crowd scenes.

Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they’re likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum.

For best buyer response allow myself or the showing Realtor to show the house without you there or allow us to use the lockbox.

Provided at no extra charge.

14. Watch your pets.

Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you’re showing your home.

Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favour: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.

For best buyer response take them out for a walk or leave them with friends, relatives or neighbours.

15. Think volume.

Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction.

When it’s time to show your home, it’s time to turn down the stereo or TV.

16. Relax.

Be friendly, but don’t try to force conversation.

Buyers want to view your home with a minimum of distraction. For best buyer response leave and give your buyer the opportunity to discover the home for themselves.. If you must stay answer questions only.

17. Don’t apologize.

No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a buyer volunteers a derogatory comment about your home’s appearance, let the showing Realtor handle the situation later.

18. Keep a low profile.

Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But we and the other agents know buyers - what they need and what they want.

We and other showing agents will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you are not there or stay in the background.

19. Don’t turn your home into a second-hand store.

When buyers come to view your home, don’t distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need.

You may lose the biggest sale of all.

20. Defer to experience.

When buyers or showing agents want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert, your Realtor!
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