· Hire an Agent who can give your home or property constant exposure to prospective buyers 24 hours a day seven days a week. Next step is to:
· Clean the yard and garage of clean of any rubbish lying around, keep the lawn mowed and grounds looking tidy. Buyers will go by their first impressions as they drive up to your home. If they see you have “pride in ownership” they will be more inclined to offer you full price. Buyers usually offer hundreds or even thousands of rands less for an “Un-kept” looking property or one in a run-down condition. You wouldn’t take a dirty car into a dealership and pay a high price for a dirty car full of junk, the same goes for your home. Buyers are more apt to buy the home that looks clean and shiny over one that shows it has had little care.
· Have the roof cleaned and repaint the exterior if needed. This can bring you many added rands from a buyer. Buyers will pay more for a home if they don’t think they have to spend money on it right away for maintenance.
· Repaint interior walls white or very soft neutral crème-white if the walls are now colored bright or unusual colors. Prospective buyers will want to imagine their own belongings in the rooms…and sometimes be turned off by bright or inappropriate colors. Keep everything as “neutral” as possible.
· Organize your cupboards and closets. Have them looking neat and orderly.
· Have your windows sparkling clean, your floors or carpets cleaned and counter-tops free of clutter. Repair damaged vinyl or counter tops.
· Pack up everything you don’t need to use on a daily basis. You need to do it sooner or later, and doing it before you list will not only save you time later, but will allow the buyers to “mentally move-in” with their own belongings. You might even consider putting some furniture or other things into storage while the home is being marketed. Too much furniture or rooms filled with all your special “treasures” will make the rooms look smaller, and will distract the buyer. Remember, you want the buyers to be busy asking your Agent about the home, not admiring all your furniture. Keep the rooms “simple” and uncluttered. This is the time to “show off your home” not your “possessions”.
· Toss out any dead or dying plants and only keep a few nice ones in strategic places. Oh yes…NO DIRTY ASHTRAYS PLEASE!
· The easiest way to pack up your “extras” is go into each room one at a time, and take everything you can do without on a daily basis into the middle of the room, then pack it up and put it away or store it.
· Remove family photos from mantels, tables and walls. They can distract a buyer who might be more interested in looking at the family pictures than looking at the home.
· Next, go into the kitchen and make sure your oven is clean and remove all the small appliances from the counter tops. Store them under the counters for quick retrieval when needed. Cluttered counter tops make them appear to be smaller than they really are. Keep counters wiped and free of food and spatters. Empty garbage cans often and don’t allow them to have an odor that may turn a buyer off.
· DIRTY, SMELLY, KITTY-LITTER BOXES ARE A DEFINITE NO-NO!!!!
Pet smells are a real deal killer! Buyers don’t want to have to smell unpleasant odors while viewing a home…they leave quickly and won’t stay long to look at the home if it smells like a kennel. Keep pets out of the way during showings. Big dogs frighten some buyers so bad that they won’t go near a home that has one locked inside. Place your family pet in an appropriate “safe-place” at all times and alert your agent to their presence. Posting your pet’s name somewhere that can easily be seen by your Agent can be helpful too, and less traumatic for your animal if they have a ‘stranger’ in their house that can call them by name.
· Turn the lights ON in all the rooms just before a showing and leave the home during the showing whenever possible. Buyers sometimes ask sellers questions about personal matters that should not be discussed, trying to “feel you out” for possible price negotiation information. Your Agent knows what information the buyer should be given in order to realize the highest offer possible. If you are not present during the showings, this can be avoided. If you must be at the showing, don’t volunteer such things as: “Why you are selling”, “How long the home has been on the market”, or any other confidential information to a prospective buyer or his Agent during a showing. This kind of information can and will affect any offers you might get from the buyer.
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