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Preparing to Sell

Preparing Your Home to Sell.
As a rule, well maintained homes in "like new" condition should sell quickly whereas poorly maintained homes may sit on the market unsold for some time. Most homes fit somewhere in between and anyone contemplating selling their home should begin preparing to do so well in advance. This allows them plenty of time to "fix up" their home in an unhurried and economical manner.

Whether one has the time or has suddenly decided to sell their home, it is generally better to do the obvious things requiring effort and minimal cost to make your home "market ready" than it is to spend a lot of money to do so.

Your Septic System.
One area where realtors sometimes have difficulty is convincing sellers to get their septic system inspected before putting their home on the market. Knowing your system has passed gives you a stronger bargaining position than if you don't know. Yet many sellers prefer to wait until they have an accepted offer.

Sellers should try to take a fresh, impartial look at their property prior to putting it on the market. Enhance your home's curb appeal. You have just one chance to make a good first impression, so don't under-estimate the importance of a fresh coat of paint, a well-tended yard and entryway, and the need to eliminate clutter.

Although sellers often concede that new carpeting or wall paint is warranted, they are sometimes too willing to let prospective buyers worry about such improvements. In reality, buyers tend to make mental deductions from the sale price for each new "job" they will have to take care of, and they are inclined to inflate the cost of new carpeting or other simple repairs. Your listing agent will give you specific advice, but here are several suggestions for you to consider:

1. fertilize, seed, cut lawn and clip shrubs and purchase fresh mulch;
2. clean, wash, deodorize indoor carpets and floors;
3. consider applying fresh paint to interior walls;
4. use accents (like fresh bath towels, decorative soaps, light air scents);
5. clean closets & cabinets to the point of looking empty - they will appear larger;
6. consider repairing/replacing damaged roof shingles;
7. reseal asphalt driveway;


1. plant new shrubs or trees;
2. select vivid colors for new paint or carpeting - stay neutral;
3. purchase new wallpaper or light fixtures;
4. purchase new appliances;
5. clutter shelf tops with personal photos, etc.;
6. fill closets with items removed from the rooms;
7. replace entire windows;
8. pave a gravel drive;
9. install new siding
* © 1999-2001 by Massachusettes Association of REALTORS®. All Rights Reserved.

At some point you must say "my home is ready enough to sell". There are lots of smaller things that you can do while it's on the market and it's critical that it get listed in time to take advantage of the best selling seasons, beginning with Spring. Potential buyers may be encouraged when the see a "work in progress". The following is an excellent summary to "Preparing To Sell Your Home" 40 Free or inexpensive tips to make your home show better and put more money in your pocket.

Preparing to Show.
One of the last things to do before opening your doors to potential buyers, is to clean your home, put everything away, prepare for visitors, and keep it that way until your home sells.

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