For Sellers

Imagine you decide to sell your home. A buyer magically appears at your front door and offers your asking price. You agree on the terms and the sale occurs without a hitch. For most sellers, this depiction is simply a daydream. The buyer doesn’t magically appear. When the buyer does come around, they may have a different opinion of the home’s market value. Sellers and their representatives must take proactive steps to attract qualified buyers and entice them to make acceptable offers.

Whether you’re planning to sell your home in the next few months or just studying up for that eventuality, there’s no time like now to prepare. If buying a house seems complicated, selling involves even more responsibilities and expenses. Here are some common steps to selling your home:

Prepare Your Home for Sale Well before you’re ready to plant that “For Sale” sign in your front yard, there is work to be done to prepare your home for sale.

Remember how keen your eye was to every small detail and defect in the houses you saw as a buyer? Now that door to your bedroom that never quite closed properly or that leaky faucet that you never got around to fixing will be seen by a potential buyer with that same keen eye.

Start making the obvious repairs today – even if you don’t plan to sell until a year from now. These repairs can cost money and take time. Plus fixing it now will allow you to enjoy the results before it’s time to move out.

If you plan on doing some improvements before the sale, the best place to start is where the buyers start: at your curb. Potential buyers base a large part of their decision on a property’s “curb appeal,” so make yours say something positive. That means a tidy front yard, a house with well-painted trim, a tidy driveway and a clear, welcoming entryway.

Inside, the biggest return on your investment continues to be improvements to the kitchen, followed closely by improvements to the master bedroom. If you’re making these improvements shortly before selling the house, consider painting and decorating the rooms in neutral colors, the most appealing choice to the greatest number of potential buyers.

Inside and outside, start reducing the clutter. When it comes time to show your home, less will mean more. Potential buyers don’t want to see how your closets overflow with clothes, how every room feels cramped with furniture, or how the yard is difficult to maneuver with that rusty swing set in the way. So downsize now; it not only will make the preparation for showing your home easier, it also will make packing for your move faster.