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Gearing Up For A Top Dollar Sale
Ten Do's and Don'ts When Selling, Most of it won't cost a cent!

1. Clean
Buyers are turned off by other people's dirt - clean everything including the windows. Kitchen and baths especially need to sparkle. Wipe down the baseboards, vacuum in the corners, and by ALL means, clean the carpet - a filthy carpet stretching out in all directions makes the entire property look dirty.

2. Streamline
Buyers need to see your HOUSE, not your stuff. Put the doll collection away, remove excessive knickknacks, make sure counter and tabletops have nothing more than a vase of flowers or a few small appliances on top. Piles of stuff all over the place, like unopened mail, books, etc., should be cleared out. Organize closets and shelves, too. Buyers look everywhere.

3. Lights on
Turn them ALL on, open the shades and blinds, and lose the "cave" effect. Buyers look for bright, airy rooms, and the brighter they are, the bigger they look. Don't skimp on the AC in hot weather.

4. Retire some furniture
Rooms need to look spacious and traffic needs to flow freely. Remove pieces and rearrange to make rooms look as open and uncluttered as possible.

5. De-odor-ize!
Every house has its own "smell", however subtle, not to mention the more obvious pet and smoke stinks. Open windows, turn your whole-house fan ON, and change furnace filters before doing so. Food odors, especially garlic and curry, are HUGE turnoffs, with cigarette smoke topping the list. Use the fan and open windows when cooking. Smoke outside! Cleaning carpets and washing draperies and bedding will also help to eliminate your house "smell".

6. De-personalize
I can't tell you how many times I find myself and my buyers gazing at the family photographs that grace the walls in homes for sale. It's a distraction from what you want to see - the HOUSE. Remove portraits, awards, certifications and the like.

7. Music Please
SOFT music in the background creates a warm ambiance and is proven to psychologically prime the buyer to BUY. Smooth jazz, classical, or very light "rock: is preferred. Avoid hip-hop, country, heavy metal, or anything turned up too loud.

8. Leave a present
Everyone likes a gift! A plate of fresh-baked cookies, wafting cinnamon potpourri (a good smell, proven to increase sales), or a photo album of your house and yard in different seasons, are nice ways to "give" and show you love your home - and the buyer will too.

9. Curb appeal
Spend a few bucks on fresh mulch, colorful flowers, and a coat of fresh paint for the front door. (Remember the HOA rules, thought, and make sure the color is the original builder color.) Power-wash the deck if necessary.

10. Get out during showings
Buyers HATE to have the seller hovering and following them while they try to view the house. They feel self-conscious and uncomfortable discussing the pros and cons of the home in the presence of the owners. They also tend to rush through. Best bet? LEAVE!

Article provided by Chris Centineo and Susan Gargon,
of Frederick Real Estate Group 301-695-3333





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