Category Archives: Selling your house

12 Ways to Prepare Your House For Sale: Bedrooms

We all spend a lot of time in our bedrooms. We don’t just sleep there, we read, hang out with the kids, watch TV, relax.

As comfy as the bedroom can seem, it is usually the first place in the house to get cluttered. What do you do when guests come over? Hide clutter in the bedrooms. We pile our dirty clothes on the floor or a chair or drape clothes to be worn again, over a chair or other piece of furniture. Shoes don’t quite make it to the closet. Books can pile up, dust can pile up. Kids often use their rooms for school work, electronic entertainment and regular toy playing.

This room, all of the bedrooms in the house need tending to and kept clean and uncluttered during the selling process. Remember it’s only temporary, until you move, and you may even teach yourself some new habits in the process.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Buyers love to snoop and that includes inside closets. Remove what you won’t need until the move. Put these things in a temporary storage unit. Make the closet look spacious.
  2. Clear off the tops of furniture. Declutter.
  3. Sure, you aren’t likely to be selling your furniture but if you clear out our drawers you’ll have emergency storage for showing days.
  4. Make your beds daily. Perhaps a new bedspread can freshen up the room. Remember the buyer wants to visualize each room as theirs and a fresh room is inviting.
  5. Put away stacks of books on the nightstand. If you have drawers, put them inside and keep the tops of the nightstands clutter free.
  6. Remove excess art and family photos from the walls.
  7. Clear the walls in the bedroom hallways of art to make the hallway appear larger.
  8. Remove all items hanging on the backs of doors. Even in the closet, extra items hanging on the doors can make the closet appear too small.
  9. Kids rooms: remove all excess posters. If you do not intend on painting the walls, a cluster of posters will signal to the buyers that there is wall or paint damage they’ll have to fix. If there is wall or paint damage, roll on a fresh coat of paint.
  10. Neutralize any brightly painted bedrooms. The buyers will want to visualize the room for what it is and bright pink or green or purple may be a turn off.
  11. Pack away excess kids’ toys. Pull them out after the move.
  12. Tidy the electronics areas.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

photo credit: 1.SNWHY.506.BR via photopin (license)

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19 Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale: Bathrooms

Bathrooms are an important part of the house. There are either too many (that need cleaning) or not enough. Bathrooms need to be a certain size for comfort. Buyers want a tub or a shower or both. Double sink or single sink.

The counter top is always a sticking point: what is it made of? How high or how low is it? And what about the finish on the fixtures? Tile floors, wood or carpet?  There are too many options and everyone has a different requirement for this room.  After all, an article by the American Grandparents Association claims that Americans average 30 minutes a day in the bathroom.  (I really think its a lot longer).

Like the kitchen, the bathrooms can look dated quickly but with a little work, your dated bathrooms can look great even to a picky buyer.

Here are some tips:

  1. Clear floor space. Put away trash cans, plungers, cleaners, hampers and the extra toilet paper holder on a stand.
  2. Invest in a new shower curtain.
  3. If you have a sliding shower door, repair or replace caukling around the frame, clean the glass so it sparkles.
  4. Keep reading material out of sight.

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    Courtesy of Creative Commons
  5. Place personal items in the cabinet.
  6. Hang matching towels. Perhaps they can match the new shower curtain.
  7. Keep the rug by the sink clean or remove it. If it takes up too much floor space, pack it away.
  8. Clear the counter tops. Put makeup and other items away in a drawer.
  9. Remove excess soap and shampoo bottles from the shower/tub area.
  10. Fix leaking and dripping faucets. Replace if necessary.
  11. Fix grout in the tub/shower and floor where applicable.
  12. Replace or paint the vanity cabinets if possible. Update drawer pulls, tighten cabinet door hinges.
  13. Tighten towel racks.
  14. Consider hiring a cleaning person to come through each week just for the bathrooms to keep them clean for showings.
  15. Linen closets in the bathroom should be tidy.
  16. Replace broken toilet paper holders.
  17. Clean mirrors.
  18. Make sure all light bulbs work.
  19. Clean your shower head. Buyers will turn it on and if it is mostly clogged, they will view it as a problem.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

photo credit: Geyser View Room via photopin (license)

10 Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale: Kitchen

People spend a lot of time in their kitchens. They cook there, eat there, entertain there, talk there. If you are selling your house, make the kitchen seem as a large as possible and as inviting as possible. Remember you are intending to move, so utilize your garage or rent a storage unit until you move to store excess stuff.

Here are a few tips to get your kitchen and eating areas ready:

  1. Clear your counters. Empty counters make a kitchen look more spacious. Since you are moving, pack up the stored items and those you keep on the counter and don’t use.
  2. Purpose the eating area. If it is currently the kid’s play room, minimize their toys (storage unit) and put a dining table and chairs back into the room. It helps the buyer visualize the size and whether their table and chairs can fit.

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    Courtesy of Creative Commons
  3. Remove extra leaves in the dining room table to make the room look bigger. Of course, if you have a large family that regularly uses the table, then you can make the room look bigger by removing extra furniture.
  4. Set the table and the bar counter area.
  5. Clean and organize the inside of your cabinets. Store what you won’t use the next few months.
  6. Paint, restain or update your cabinet doors if they show too much wear.
  7. Keep the doors of your refrigerator free of sticky notes,  magnets and other items. Declutter.
  8. Keep trash cans out of sight.
  9. Maintain a clean smell in the house: minimal spice and fish cooking as this can turn off a buyer when they enter the house.
  10. Clean your pantry of unwanted  items to make it look spacious.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

photo credit: 2321_central_apt_2E_kitchen_final_1_web via photopin (license)

New Real Estate Related Law

The Mississippi Legislature recently enacted a new law requiring real estate agents, licensed in the state, to have background checks and have fingerprints on file with law enforcement.law-1063249_960_720

This is great news for the home seller and is a move fully supported by the Mississippi Association of REALTORS.  Sellers can have peace of mind about who enters their house to view it. Real estate agents have always been required to take a Code of Ethics class, but now sellers are protected further by knowing their agent and those agents that bring buyers into their  houses, are law abiding citizens as well.

Starting July 1, 2016, new agents and those renewing their license (an annual event)  will have to have a state FBI background check and fingerprints taken.

If you have any questions about this, please contact me or your real estate agent for  more information.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655. 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

Photo source: Creative Commons/pixabay.com free stock photo

20 Ways to Prepare Your House For Sale: General Tips

There are a lot of things to do to get ready for putting your house on the market for sale. Whether you use a real estate professional or go FSBO, these tips can help you get your house ready to sell.

  1. Consider renting a storage unit for unneeded items until you move. A decluttered house will look great to buyers.

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    Courtesy Creative Commons
  2. Pack up about 30% of  your stuff. You are moving, right? So you don’t need those out-of-season and things you don’t use often items right now.
  3. Remove any furniture that clutters the room. Too much furniture can offer a mental challenge to a buyer who has to place their items in your room.  If a room looks too small because there are too many pieces of furniture, then it is too small.
  4. Paint walls and ceilings that need it. Use a neutral color, not necessarily the trendy color because the current trends may not apply to all buyers. Keep it neutral.
  5. Fix popcorn finish on ceilings that have some damage. Patching sometimes works, other times makes it worse. Consult a professional for help.
  6. Clean carpet if it is in good condition. Replace the carpet if it looks awful and not cleanable. Builder’s grade carpet in a neutral color is both economical and looks great.
  7. Empty closets of things you don’t need. Put these things in the storage unit.
  8. Fold your linen closet neatly and remove most of what’s there to make the closet look larger.
  9. Clean blinds and curtains if applicable.
  10. Upgrade light bulbs to brighten up the interior rooms. Brighter makes rooms appear bigger.
  11. Replace all burned out bulbs.
  12. Clean light fixtures and ceiling fans
  13. Remove family photos, awards, certificates. Let the buyers imagine the house is theirs instead of reminding them of who you are.
  14. Repair plumbing leaks
  15. Make minor repairs (screens, dents and dings)
  16. Replace worn door knobs and cabinet handles
  17. Fix/replace grout
  18. Get rid of pet odors and repair pet damage. If more occurs between listing and closing, at least you have years of damage repaired for the showing. Then, fix up the rest of the damage when  you move out.
  19. If your attic is filled at the entryway, pack those stored items into a storage unit or move them to appear organized in the attic. Let the buyers see past your stuff to how large the attic really is.
  20. Make a list of your major repairs to disclose to the buyers.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

photo credit: Unpacking. via photopin (license)

7 Ways to Prepare Your House for Sale: Entryway

The way you live in your house and the way you sell your house are two different things.

Your house is competing with others that are listed for sale so you’ll want to make it always look its best.  You don’t have to be perfect, just diligent about keeping your house show-ready.

The entrance to your house sets the stage for the rest of the house. Messy?  Cluttered? It could reflect the rest of the house and with a cluttered mess, buyers cannot see their things in your house.  If they cannot picture the house as their’s, they will move on and your house will sit that much longer on the market.

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Courtesy of Creative Commons

Here are some tips for the entryway to your house.

  1. Make sure all lights and lamps are working to brighten up the area.
  2. Does the doorbell work? Replace it if it does not work or if it appears to have broken parts.
  3. Fix the door if it squeaks, jams or if the lock sticks.
  4. Wash the windows in and around the door.
  5. Keep the entryway free of clutter.If your family tradition is to remove your shoes and toss them in a basket near the door, put the basket somewhere else and out of the way.
  6. The entry table and shelves should be free of clutter.
  7. Clear out the front closet. Buyers will look inside and would like to see the size. If it is jammed with out-of-season clothes and other items, it will look too small.

You are planning to move soon anyway, so start packing things you won’t need while the house is on the market. If you need to rent a storage unit until you move, it may be a great investment. A staged, uncluttered house that is priced right and well maintained tends to sell quickly.

Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655, 662-404-0816 or 662-234-5344 Equal Housing

 

20 Ways to Prepare the Exterior of Your House For Sale

The first impression people have of your house is earned from what they see on the outside. If you house is kept well and looks inviting, chances are the inside is, too, and buyers will gain an interest in seeing what’s inside.

The truth is that some buyers will decide whether to go inside or drive by to the next house by seeing the outside.  I have actually cancelled appointments shortly after arriving because the outside of the house wasn’t in good condition and the buyers didn’t want to waste their time going in.

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Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Here are some tips to make buyers want to come inside:

  1. Spruce up the lawn by cutting, trimming, weeding and removing all yard clutter.
  2. Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds – it gives a fresh and maintained look for a low cost.
  3. Trim your trees and bushes.
  4. Apply fresh paint to wooden fences or power wash them to look fresh.
  5. Power wash the home’s exterior, driveway, walkway, patio and deck.
  6. If the house needs it, consider painting the exterior or at least the trim.
  7. Caulk around all doors and windows to give a tightly built appearance.
  8. Clean gutters and make sure all gutters and downspouts are attached.
  9. Paint the front door.
  10. Place potted plants near the door.
  11. Tighten and clean all door handles.
  12. Clean windows.
  13. Make sure your house numbers are easy to see.
  14. Buy a new welcome mat.
  15. If your shutters hardware has rusted, clean it up.
  16. Replace a dented/rusted mailbox.
  17. Plant seasonal flowers for extra color.
  18. Decorate gently during the holidays.
  19. Roof stains can be easily washed off and give a “new roof” appearance.
  20. Update outdoor lights or at least make sure the light bulbs work.