Preparing your Home
for a Sale:
You the seller plays the most important role in the sale
of your property. The following are some thoughts on Home
preparation to impress the buyer:
1. First Impression
A Harvard study indicates that 65% of the first impressions
is by the way things look. Make the most of that First
Impression A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and
a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly
painted - or at least freshly scrubbed - front door. If it's
autumn, rake the leaves. If it's winter, shovel the
2. Clean the property
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, consider some minor
redecoration. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your
property. Prospects would rather see how great your home
really looks than hear how great it could look, "with a
3. No Dripping Faucets and blown Bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and
suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs leave
prospects in the dark. Don't let little problems detract the
buyer from what's right with your home.
4. Deal with the sticky doors
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be
sure they will also stick in a prospect's mind. Don't try to
explain away sticky situations when you can easily take care
of them. A little effort on your part can smooth the way
toward a closing.
5. Keep Safety in Mind
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
6. 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
7. Consider Your Closets
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now's
the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to
8. Make Your Bathrooms 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
9. Create Dream Bedrooms
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For
a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful
bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.
10. Open up in the Daytime
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so
prospects can see how bright and cheery your home can be.
1. Lighten up at Night
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both
inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening.
Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel
2. 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.
3. 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 favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at
least out of the way.
4. Turn down the 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.
Be friendly, but don't try to force conversation and don't
follow them around to closely. Prospects want to view your
home with a minimum of distraction.
6. Don't be offended
Never be offended or apologize for any short comings that a
potential buyer may point out about your property. Ignore
these comments to the extent that you can and resist the
urge to go on the defensive. It's not personal, the buyer
may simply be trying to set the stage for future
Conducting Open Houses: Tips
- Clear out their closets and their
clutter. Donate unwanted household goods to charity.
- Pack up extra toys, linens, small
kitchen appliances, and the like and store them offsite
or in the garage.
- Be sure the trees are trimmed, the
shrubs are pruned, and the lawn is mowed and watered
regularly. Turn on the sprinklers for five minutes 30
minutes before the open house. It makes the lawn and
- Refrain from cooking anything that
leaves a particular odor (fish, garlic, cabbage) and
from introducing any other unappealing odors into the
- Have a professional service clean
the home, including the carpets and the windows.
- Set the dining room table with
attractive linens, dishes, and stemware.
- Serve cookies and coffee; people
will linger longer.
- Arrange fresh flowers throughout
the home and have a fire in the fireplace in fall and
- Add extra lamps in dark rooms or
dark corners, and turn on the lights.
stacks of magazines, ashtrays, sports trophies, family
photographs, and other distractions.
Contract & Legal Advice:
1. Get a good attorney. Remember that a Real Estate Agent
is not an attorney.
2. Deposit Deposit Deposit
The more skin that the buyer has in the game more likely the
deal is going to go thru on terms agreed upon
3. Where can I find a contract.
Follow the link for a sample contract. Be sure to print
it on Legal Sized paper. This is a sample contract. Please
consult and attorney for you needs.
4. When in doubt consult your attorney.
Concessions that Sellers can make to get the deal done:
Sellers can let buyers move in quickly.
2. Sellers can help with
3. Sellers can let buyers rent
with an option to buy.
4. Sellers can permit certain
5. Sellers can pay closing
costs that are traditionally paid by the buyer.
6. Sellers can pay for
improvements such as exterior painting.
Reasons a Buyer may want a counter offer:
1. The buyer might make an
opening offer just to get the negotiations going.
2. If the seller has an
unrealistically high asking price, the buyer might make a
low offer to try and strike a compromise.
3. A buyer who can't afford
what the seller is asking might offer something close to his
maximum price, hoping the seller will make a viable
is finally accepted when the seller signs it and
communicates that fact to the buyer. The most common way of
communicating acceptance is by delivery of the signed offer
back to the buyer.
Thirty years ago, the sales
agreement was a single-page document with a few preprinted
lines. Everything was filled in by the salesperson or the
principals. Today's agreement is a multipage document
consisting largely of legal boilerplate. Most have room to
write in only the address, price, downpayment, and loan
amount. Everything else, including a long list of
contingency clauses, is usually preprinted to be crossed out
things to look for in Contracts:
1. The date the contract was
executed/ signed by all parties.
2. The full correct name of all
parties, along with their addresses.
3.A legal description of the
property being sold.
4. The full purchase price,
broken down to show the portion that was made as a down
payment and the balance amount due.
5. A "subject to" provision
covering zoning, covenants, easements, and restrictions of
6. Fixtures and personal
property that will pass with the property.
7. Specific items that will be
apportioned, such as taxes, insurance, water, and utilities.
8. The date and location of the
9. The name of the broker who
brought about the sale and who will be responsible for
paying commissions to agents and subagents.
10. To whom and how (such as
fax/certified mail) any notices affecting contract
contingencies will be sent.
11. The signatures of all
seller's right of cancellation if clear title cannot be
13. Remember that your Realtor is not an attorney and cannot
offer legal advice.