Through the buyer's eyes

When selling your house, try to look at your house as a potential buyer would. Think about what originally compelled you to buy the house in the first place, and look for those cues to leverage potential buyers. Treat every showing as you would when entertaining guests -- while it's cumbersome to maintain that level of living while waiting for an offer to be made, it could drastically affect the way a potential buyer views your house as their next home. Here are a few tips to make note of for showings:

Atmosphere

  • -Open drapes and shades and turn on all lights to make your house look light and bright; open windows to freshen rooms.

  • -Set a comfortable temperature; cool in summer, warm in winter.

  • -Turn off the television; play soft background music.

  • -Keep pets out of the way; make sure all pet areas including any litter boxes are clean and free of odor; use air freshener if necessary.

Added touches

  • -Prepare tables with flowers and place settings; set out game or coffee table book

  • -Start a fire in your fireplace on a chilly day.

  • -Create a pleasant aroma with fresh baked cookies or bread.

Best practices for showings

  • -Secure jewelry, cash, prescriptions medications and other valuables.

  • -It is usually best to leave the house during the showing. If you have to be home, don't follow the sales associate around; they know their buyer and can best emphasize the most fitting features of your home.

  • -Save all business cards of sales associates who show the house. If people who are not accompanied by an agent ask to see your property please refer them to us; we will pre-screen them.

  • -Don't discuss price, terms, possession or other factors with buyers. Refer them to us. We are better able to bring the negotiation to a favorable conclusion as intermediary to third parties.

Follow these steps for your house to look its best for broker previews, buyer showings and open houses. Home enhancements can more than pay for themselves in stronger offers from buyers. Remember; look at your house through the buyers’ eyes.

The do's and dont's of pre-sale updating

“Never be the last homeowner in your neighborhood to renovate”! Many buyers know that the key to a quick sale is to be on par with surrounding properties, but not to completely surpass them. So, when updating before a sale, keep in mind the following “do's and dont's”.

Don’t add in superfluous luxuries like a home-office or master suite. They may look appealing to you, but your buyer may see them as over-the-top.

Don’t go overboard with the extras. You may need to revamp your kitchen, but you probably don’t need to choose the highest-end cabinetry or appliances. Most buyers won’t fully appreciate these luxurious details, costing you money in the sale.

Don’t go crazy on the yard. You might think a new patio or deck will be a huge selling point, but it may not be. Be sure to keep up with your landscaping so that it looks enticing, but don’t sink tons of cash into large-scale improvements.

Do turn that extra attic space into an extra bedroom. If it doesn’t cost too much to insulate and revamp your extra attic space, consider turning it into an extra bedroom. This will appeal to buyers with large families, or who plan on having out-of-town guests and find an extra bedroom an asset.

Do redo your bathroom, but aim for mid-range updates. Similar to the kitchen renovation, while most buyers will appreciate a nice tub or walk-in shower, adding that whirl-pool spa or Jack & Jill sink set-up is not a necessity, and can seem overboard to some.

Do update your siding. New siding on your home can really add sparkle to its appearance. As exteriors are often neglected, giving the outside of your house a little TLC can help it shine during selling.

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