Getting Ready to Market
Getting Ready to Market means getting your home into the same condition in which YOU would purchase it for your asking price..
In the words of my father, “Soap and water are cheap!” To that end, prospective Buyers won’t pay for dirt and clutter. What they are looking for and will pay for is a clean abode that minimally meets their requirements in terms of size, price and location. What sells is recent paint and clean floors. What doesn’t? Dirty stoves, bathtub rings, smelly litter boxes, and dirty walls.
Consider the following items:
1. Front Yard – It all begins here. You need to establish “curb appeal.” If it looks bad from the street, no one wants to go in. Mow your lawn, trim the hedges, and blow off the gravel.
2. Front Entry – Remove cob webs, clean the front door, and replace burned out light bulbs. While you’re at it, clean the front mat. If it’s in disrepair, remove it or replace it.
3. Living Room – Dust the blinds and light fixtures including ceiling fans. Dust your furniture. Check light bulbs and replace as necessary. Buyers like to turn on the lights. If you have a burned out bulb, they’ll wonder if something is wrong with the fixture.
4. Dining Room/Area – No computers or mail please. Seeing these items give the impression there isn’t room elsewhere in the house to sort mail and surf the internet. Check light bulbs.
5. Kitchen – Everyone wants a large spacious kitchen. The Food Network has turned us all into gourmet cooks, so think counter space as you prep this room. What that means is put your stuff away. Clean your stove and oven, turn on the dishwasher, shine your sink and appliances. Again, don’t forget the lights and remember your window coverings.
6. Family Room – Lights, blinds, and ceiling fans. If you have a dog or cat, deodorize your furniture and remove pet fur. Yes, I know what you’re thinking…they’re buying my house – not my furniture. I wholeheartedly agree. But you have to remember, Buyers are looking for clean and well kept, which to their mind means “pride of ownership,” which then means less is likely to go wrong after they buy.
7. Bathrooms – Toilet, tub, sink, counter, mirrors and shower…clean them all. I’ll get to flooring later, but since you’re in there, do that too. Make sure the exhaust fan is working and not filled with lint. Dirty shower/tub curtain? Just replace it. Light bulbs? You know the drill.
8. Bedrooms – Closets! De-clutter and organize. Buyers look in closets. They have lots of stuff and want to know if it will fit. If it doesn’t work for you, it’s not gonna’ work for them either. Yes, you have to make your bed…sorry. Dust your ceiling fan, blinds, and… (you know).
9. Clutter – If you can’t see the floor or continually bump your legs on the coffee table, you have a room with too much furniture. If your furniture appears to be “held hostage” by your walls, you have too much furniture. If an easy chair has a shiny worn spot on the side from squeezing past it, or an end table crosses the imaginary line dividing a room, you have… In many cases simply relocating one item to the garage, or a permanent relo to charity, is all it takes to have a room heave a sigh of relief. Remember Buyers are buying square footage. They are buying space. If they can’t see it, it ain’t there.
10. Odors – Smelly won’t sell! Air out your house and change the a/c filter. If you have heavy duty smells, try filling your bathtubs and sinks with hot water, laundry soap and bleach, just as you would do when washing a load of white clothes. Turn on your ceiling fans and open your windows. After about an hour, the odors should be dramatically diminished.
And now the disclaimer…Ahem…Bleach is a chemical. Read the label on the bottle and follow the manufacturer’s precautions and recommendation for appropriate use. You are using water, so there could be the potential of drowning. “Watch your children and pets!” You will use hot water, so there could also be the potential of scalding. Be careful! Bleach causes bleaching so you may encounter loss of color should it or its fumes come in contact with fabrics. Bleach and aluminum are not friends. Do not allow bleach to come in contact with aluminum as “pitting” may occur. And for crying out loud, do not mix bleach with ammonia, thinking if one is good - both will be better. Doing so will produce mustard gas and that can kill you. Know what? Just skip it. If you’re the type to burn a pot instead of boiling the water, you’re in over your head! Let’s just move on…
11. Flooring – Nothing is an unsightly as dirty, grimy, stained carpet! Have it professionally cleaned and mop your floors. Sticking is not a good thing.
12. Garage – It is widely accepted that a garage is used for storage, right? Right. What it should not be, is a precarious pile of heaven knows what. Stack and store items neatly, making sure they are not in front of the water heater, air handler, or water softening system. Buyers need to see these items.
13. Driveway – Remove oil and grease stains if any exist.
14. Patio – If you have discolored plastic furniture that looks ready for the garbage, throw it in. It only detracts from the feeling you’re trying to create. Got a pot display? Make sure none of them are broken and plants are healthy. Sweep your patio clean and remove any cob webs you see.
15. Back Yard – Same as front: mow, trim, and blow. Remove animal excrement.
16. Side Yards – If you use them for storage, or as a dog run, make them neat and tidy.
17. Overall – (A) Wash sliding glass doors and tracts. (B) Dust baseboards and window sills. (C) Consider washing curtains or send drapes to the cleaners. (D) Wash windows and screens. (E) Remove tree branches that may encroach (hang over) your roof line. (F) Remedy trip/fall hazards caused by uneven outdoor "bricking, or by rugs inside.
18. WEAPONS – The second amendment of the U.S. Constitution states we have the right to bear arms. As citizens of Arizona, we can carry concealed or unconcealed. Rights are a privilege, and with every privilege there is responsibility. While your home is on the market, you MUST exercise gun safety. Lock up your weapons or store them offsite!
So there you have it...
If you complete these items you’re "getting ready to market," eyeing success, and on your way to SOLD! Should you plan to invest anything more than soap, water, and elbow grease – let's talk first. We should discuss your plan, the costs involved, and what return (if any) you can expect on additional monies spent.