Jacksonville Real Estate Market

Jacksonville, Florida

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Preparing To Sell Your Home

Posted on | April 29, 2010 | No Comments

First tip: “Read this article and put the ideas into action BEFORE putting your home on the market !”

The key thread for this guide is that you never get a second chance at a first impression. That first impression starts with “curb appeal”.

As an active agent I have to tell you that many, many times the buyers in my car will not even get out of the car to inspect a house if they are turned off just looking at the exterior of the house, the landscape, and clutter in the yard. This reaction even surpasses a tempting
great price. The property needs to look good and appealing from the street, up the sidewalk, on the front porch, throughout the rooms of the house, in the darkest closets, and even in the attic. Your mission is to give the impression of a well cared for home. Make the prospective buyer feel that this home is quality all the way through, not just on the surface.

You need to prepare your home as if it is a Model Home. You know what I mean: clean, organized, sparsely populated, and gender neutral.

Seriously, you need to eliminate a lot of the furniture, the pictures, the flower arrangements, and even the knick-knacks on the shelves. This is great and well thought out for YOUR family. Present your home as a “starting canvas” for another family to use to build their home.

Start looking at your home from the curb. Stand at the street and take a good look at the house. If all you can see are trees, shrubs, weeds, and a lackluster lawn then you have some serious yard work to do. Landscaping is meant to enhance the home, not hide it. Start you clean up with one of the easiest things to do which is to trim the shrubs that are overgrown. They should be lowered to a height near the bottom of the windows. Remove all ivy growing on the side of the home. Bring in squares of sod for any missing lawn. Fertilize the lawn and edge all sidewalks, planting areas, and tree circles. Bring in bags of mulch to spread and enhance. Trim all branches that may be hanging low in the yard. A simple rule of thumb is to have all the limbs high enough so that you can walk under the tree. Finally repair all missing cement in your walk ways. Nothing worse than a prospective buyer tripping on your front walk.

On entering your home insure that the door bell button is operable and that all trim around the front door is visually pleasurable. Wash and paint the front door and don’t forget to spruce up the mail box and the house numbers. Finally, the front door handle. The goal is a smooth and easy entrance. You may need to replace that rusty door handle that sometimes sticks when you want to open the door.

As already mentioned the inside of the home needs to be sparsely decorated. This is your toughest part of the project. The majority of the cleaning, de-cluttering, moving of possessions to a storage unit, and general removal of possessions can be done by you and your family and perhaps even hiring on some extra hands. Again, do this prior to listing the home. Once the home is reduced from clutter, furniture, and family memorabilia it is time to give the house that model home look and feel. If this is not your strongest talent you may consider hiring a professional stager. It is important to note that you should interview a few stagers and get their ideas and prices and not just bring in the first one you talk to. You need not stage the entire house. Probably, you will end up staging three or four rooms in total. A key point to keep in mind regarding the staging of your home is that if buyers have a choice of two comparable properties similar in price, they’ll choose the one in the best condition. Just as on the other hand, if two properties are similar in condition, the buyers will choose the one that is less money. Your staging will determine your home’s general condition.

When it comes to cupboards and closets theys should look as they have enough room to hold additional items. Box up off-season clothes and over populated cupboard shelves to make it look that way. Do not have the shelves piled to the ceiling. Remember to remind yourself while you are boxing these items up that you are doing it now so that you will not have to do it while you are trying to move out. The main reason is that it will make the storage space look larger.

While inspecting the bathrooms to make them more presentable you will need to apply fresh caulk around the tub, insure that the shower/tub handles operate as they should, replace the shower curtain and liner, and probably replace the toilet or at least replace that toilet seat.

Getting your home prepared for selling needs to take place prior to contacting your real estate selling agent and listing the home. After all it will be the real estate agent’s first impression of the product he/she is about to market. Finally, once it is on the market the key thread for this guide is that you never get a second chance at a first impression. That first impression starts with “curb appeal” and the lasting impression is created during the walk-throughs of your home.


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