January 23, 2019

Home Selling Tips

Check List before selling your home

When you are putting your home on the market, you will want it to look its best. The better condition your home appears in to prospective buyers, is directly related to what the sales price will be. Between two comparable homes priced relatively equal. The one that is perceived to be in "better" condition will bring a faster sale and a higher (or a closer to list) price. It is important to Stage your Home" when showing your home to potential buyers. Staging involves a variety of techniques to help depersonalize and make your home appear more attractive and appealing to a broader pool of qualified buyers. Helping prospective buyers imagine living and emotionally "moving-in" to your home will bring a faster sale.

Please use these helpful tips to spruce up your home and yard.

Paint: There are few things as inexpensive as a gallon of paint that will yield you a higher return both inside and out. A coat of paint on interior walls and woodwork will freshen up most interiors and make them appear newer. Exterior painting is also a must if you have peeling or worn surfaces. Before painting outside, scrape or water-blast any blistered or peeling paint, repair gutters and own spouts and replace wood showing dry rot.

Front entry: First impressions do count and the entry is where your buyers get their first opportunity to make a close inspection. All woodwork should be freshly and neatly painted, including the door if necessary. Replace a badly worn or broken doorbell button. Polish the door brass or replace it with new. Brush away cobwebs overhead and pressure wash walkways to remove moss and stains. Put out a new or clean doormat. Do a thorough weeding and pruning job on any flowerbeds near the entry, and add a few pretty flowers nearby.

Patio: A nice array of outdoor furniture that is in good condition looks very appealing. Put away any garden equipment or loose toys and play things.

Swimming Pool: Adjust chemicals until the pool sparkles. Hose dust and cobwebs from filtration equipment. Store chemicals, tools and toys neatly. Weather permitting, always open the pool when showing the home.

Yard: Mow and trim the lawn. Weed flower beds, remove and replace dead plants or trees. Put down a layer of fresh bark mulch if necessary. Water regularly during the growing season and add some seasonal color to flowerbeds.

Driveway, garage/carport: Clean up grease or oil spots. Reseal and coat asphalt driveways and pressure wash aggregate. Make sure that the garage door opens freely and that the automatic door opener is in good working order. If possible, don't park cars in front of the house or in the driveway. Recreational vehicles or boats should be in the garage or carport or behind a fence in the back. Cars being overhauled should never be visible from the street.

Fence/decking: A few missing shakes or slats are real eyesores to buyers, yet they ar usually inexpensive and easy to fix. Repair, paint or stain as necessary. Pressure wash and reseal decks.

Roof: Have the roof and gutters professionally cleaned and treated and replace any missing or worn shingles.

Carpets: Steam-cleaning is the best answer for soiled carpet; shampooing seldom does the job where show ability is concerned. If pet odors are present, be sure to clean the carpet some time before the home is placed on the market to be sure the odors have been eliminated.

Windows: Repair or replace torn and bent screens. Replace any cracked or broken panes and replace windows with broken seals. Also, notice foliage near windows. A window framed in ivy can give a warm homey feeling, but cut it back if the foilage is restricting the light coming into the room.


When you get ready to place a home on the market for sale, it becomes a product, and just like any product on the shelves at your local store, it has features and benefits, pluses and minuses, and there are other products to with which to compete. To gain an edge in your marketplace, you must be priced right and look better than the competition. Sometimes it's difficult to think of a home as a mere product, but it helps to think that way so that you can get top dollar for your property and sell it in a reasonable amount of time.

Why Stage your home?

Two of the most important benefits are:

  • Decrease in Market time
  • Increase Your Home's Value

A staged home will show better than competing homes for sale in your local market, allowing you to sell faster and for more money.

One of the best and least expensive ways to improve the show ability of you home is to make it feel spacious. Openness stimulates positive feelings in buyers. Overstuffed rooms or closets give the impression of being smaller than they really are. You can't change the size of what you have, so try to present it in a pleasing way. If necessary, rent a mini-warehouse to store your extra belongings in while the house is on the market or start packing away things you don't use every day and put them in a portable storage container delivered right to your home.

Staging Tips

Closets and storage areas: When clearing the clutter from your home, it is tempting to shove everything in the closets. DON'T DO IT. One of the most frequently voiced requirements of buyers is for closet and storage space. Open up your storage areas by getting rid of items you aren't using. When a buyer opens a closet and everything comes pouring out, the impression is there is not enough closet space in the house.

Garage: The same thing is true with the garage. Buyers will pay a premium for a garage if they can visualize it being of value to them, but it's hard to sell the virtues of a garage when it is filled to overflowing. If your garage has become a two-car attic, move the excess to a mini-storage facility.

Counters & Cabinets: The same principle applies here: Overcrowding drives the impression of inadequacy. This applies to bathrooms and kitchens. Have bathroom counters free of cosmetics and toiletries. Kitchens are very important. Store infrequently used counter-top appliances and have some fresh flowers and fruit displayed and of course, have all dishes stored or in the dishwasher.

Bedrooms and playrooms: Always have beds made neatly, the rooms tidied and toys displayed artfully.

Lights: When showing your home to perspective buyers, it pays to illuminate the home thoroughly -- have every light in the house on. Don't forget those outside, in the garage, utility room, halls and closets.

Additional staging tips:
For those of you who really want to
make an impression,
here are some sophisticated ideas.

  • Depending on the time or year and the weather, light the fireplaces to create a warm homey environment.
  • Have soft music playing in as many rooms as possible. (Always the same music from room to room).
  • Light aromatic candles (if you are going to be present) to give a soft glow to the room and introduce a pleasant sent in the air.
  • Set the dining room table with your best china and stemware.
  • Bake cookies, pies or bread before a shoeing or simply borrow the aroma from scented candies or incense. Have a pot of spiced cider on the stove.
 Debbie  Office: 408/800-7028     

  Certified SBA Business Advisor with The Silicon Valley Entrepreneurial Center
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  Member of The California Association of Realtors®
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