What You Need to Know Before Selling Your Home
A house provides protection from the elements and a certain level of security. But, for a house to become a home there must be more. A home is a place where sticks and stones combine with heart and soul to become a place of solace. A place where we can each enjoy our special and personal surroundings. Most of us do this by expressing ourselves artistically. No, not as sculptor or landscape painter, but nonetheless in artistic ways. Decorating for example, is a very artistic way of expressing ones most personal feelings. A room’s walls can be white, purple, black or blue. They can be smooth or textured and striped or covered with flowers – or various combinations of all of these elements. The wallpaper in the kitchen, the finish on the cabinets, the furniture in the living room. All represent artistic elements of texture, color and shape in your home that personalize it and make it your own. It’s always a pleasure to know that others enjoy what you have created. However, when you are the one that lives there it doesn’t make any difference who else likes what you’ve accomplished – as long as you find pleasure in your surroundings. By the same token, keep in mind that decorating a home is a very personal thing. Something that not everyone can appreciate.
Now, stop for a moment and think about how you felt the last time that you visited a home that you thought was gaudy or poorly decorated. A home where you may have liked the occupants, but thought that their decorating taste was all in their mouth. Remember, we said that decorating was a very personal thing. The person who decorated the home you hate probably feels as special about their home as you do about yours. Our point – no matter how much you like it there is always someone else who WON’T [like it]. And when it comes to selling a home “not being liked” can be a serious and expensive proposition for a seller. Individual taste helps to make the world go round. But individuality, and the desire to make one’s home one’s castle, can be a detriment when it comes time to sell.
This week’s offering is all about how to prepare yourself and your home for sale. As we suggest how this is done please keep the following in mind: When several potential buyers preview your home, and most of them don’t care for what they see, the odds for a lucrative sale substantially diminish. On the other hand, if most of the people are pleased by your home’s appearance, the potential for a sale increases. Also, the more people that like what they see the greater the potential for not only a sale, but a lucrative one as well.
When preparing your home be sure not to forget that first impressions are lasting ones and the front yard is the first thing that most prospective buyers will see. Fertilize and water your lawn, pull weeds and plant colorful flowers. Make your home stand out among the competition. Make it look like an oasis in a desert of blah homes.
Next, keep in mind that a prospective buyer is a space conscious animal. Therefore you must also be space conscious. If you’ve been in your home for 10 years or more you could probably store half of your furniture and still have more in your home than you need. Show the walls – not your furniture. Save showing your furniture for a furniture sale. Selling your home is not a painting sale either. Art is subjective. Clear the walls.
And that brings up another issue – the walls. Paint them a light off-white color – all of them. Hide everything in the way of personal taste. Let the buyer use your plain white walls as a canvas to imagine how they will be able to decorate “their new home” and how the will “personalize it”.
Next, get rid of that green shag carpet. What you want is an inexpensive medium earth tone cut pile carpet. One color everywhere. And by all means – if the floors are hardwood – give them a shine.
Finally, air out your home. You may not be aware of how different your home smells to an outsider. Come on, you’ve been in homes and gotten a nose surprise once or twice – haven’t you? Don’t take a chance. Use fresh air circulation and air fresheners to eliminate smells. God forbid you do all these things and the home appeals to you so much that you decide not to sell.
There are other important factors. You are competing with other homes in your market. Be aware of what’s for sale. Visit the competition. Count the bedrooms and bathrooms. Get a feel for the size (total square footage) of the competing homes. It is important to be aware of features such as window covering, a pool, an out building, landscaping, fencing etc? Make a list and price your home accordingly. Although your realtor may have a handle on all of these things it is important for you to know as well.
Study the schools in the area – whether you have children or not. Leave literature about what’s available on the kitchen counter. Help the buyer make up his or her mind. And don’t be in a rush to sell. Your realtor may detect your urgency and try talking you into selling quick and cheap.
Market conditions and available financing will also have an impact on the sale of your home. When the market is hot you can sell quickly and for a top price – but remember – the same will apply to the home you intend to purchase.
Study the mortgage market. Find out how to combine creative financing with your sparsely furnished, plain white-canvas-walled home to make your home a good deal for the buyer and a profitable transaction for your and your family.
For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our listener hot line 24/7 at 1-800-737-2474.