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How to Prepare Your House for Sale

House for Sale

When you decide to prepare you house for sale there are many things you can do to make it sell faster and often for a higher price. First impressions are all-important.

Real estate salespeople will tell you that buyers make up their minds almost immediately when they find the house they want.

Walk out to the street and take an objective look at your house. Is the driveway in good repair? It doesn’t cost very much to seal it. If it’s not paved, could it use a relatively inexpensive load of fresh gravel?

Does the fence need repainting? Has your lawn been fertilized lately? It should at least be given a good cut and trim. Consider planting a few more flowers or shrubs if you want to prepare your house for sale the right way.

The first really close look prospective buyers get of your house is the front porch. It would be a shame if they stumbled over a weak or wobbly front step. And no purchaser wants to be greeted at a front door that sticks or needs painting. A gallon of paint on the front door and windows is a small investment that can pay dividends.

Painting

You may even want to consider painting the entire house. Ask your listing sales person for advice about larger jobs like this. He or she usually has a good insight into the type of home improvements you should undertake.

Bear in mind that dark or unusual colors don’t help your sale. You may want to repaint in light, attractive tones. If your rugs are frayed, it may be better to remove them and go with hardwood floors. At least ensure the carpets are well vacuumed.

It’s important your house is well-lit. Some people like a quiet, dark study, but that’s a one-room situation. Make your house look bright and airy by turning on the lights and cleaning the windows inside and out.

Spend more time tidying up and uncluttering your house. Urge your children to keep their rooms neat and clean so they too can contribute in preparing your house for sale.

Avoid cooking overly spicy foods. Don’t take the risk that a potential buyer will be turned off by strong food odors.

Most of these home improvements are relatively inexpensive things you can do yourself. However, if they enhance the saleability of your house, they’re well worthwhile. You’ll probably be able to sell your house much faster (an important factor when the real estate market is relatively slow), and you may well get a higher price.

In addition, the extra value such improvements add is tax free. When you sell a principal residence, you don’t have to share the profits with the taxman. Some homeowners think making
small improvements is a waste of time if they’re planning to move. After all, the new owners will want to make their own changes. But remember that most of the buyers are looking for their dream home – a house that’s in move-in condition, not one that needs a lot of work.

Renovation

When it comes to major renovations, some things are much better investments than others. Consider fireplaces, for example. Adding a fireplace with a heatilator will make your house more saleable because of both the popular appeal and the energy savings of such a unit.

The same logic doesn’t necessarily apply to air conditioners, which consume energy while providing comfort for only a few months of the year.

As two-income couples become more common, families spend more time in their kitchens. A bright kitchen with lots of cupboards will almost always make your home more desirable and attract a higher price. For the same reason, the convenience of a main floor powder room or an ensuite bath makes them good investments.

When it comes to preparing your house for sale, ground floor family rooms almost always pay for themselves, but the value of a recreation room in the basement is less certain. Somehow, a basement room doesn’t have the same appeal as one on the ground floor, because of things like cold, dampness, lack of windows and often low ceilings.

Swimming pools are high-cost additions, but they aren’t necessarily good investments, especially on a smaller lot. Not all buyers want a pool. Many people prefer big gardens, while others worry about their children’s safety. Some just don’t like the amount of work involved with a pool. When you eliminate such people, you’ve narrowed your market to
a much smaller group of potential buyers.

Preparing your house for sale is a relatively easy task when you know the key component. The real key is the all-important first impression your house creates. The decision to buy a house tends to be a love-at-first-sight reaction, so you’re wise to dress up your home to look its best. You can do an inexpensive job or invest a sizable amount of money. Either approach can pay off handsomely, provided you do the job properly.

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