Once you have made the decision to sell, it is time to take a serious look at your property and find out exactly what it needs to make it more desirable. And this process need not start with a major and costly renovation. Start out by taking care of some of the smaller problems. That just may be all you need to do in order to get your home listed for a sale.  On the exterior, just make certain that your property looks good from all vantage points. Here are some other tips:


  • Look over the paint job and do touch ups if needed
  • Trim shrubs that have grown to cover the walkways or that block windows
  • Mow the lawn and pick weeds
  • Plant flowers
  • Scrub the driveway
  • Clean all rooms and consider renting a storage space for clutter
  • Replace old and outdated light fixtures
  • Have your drapes and carpets cleaned by a professional
  • De-clutter kitchen counters
  • Take all of the magnets off your refrigerator and clean out the inside
  • Empty out closets so they will look larger
  • Put away any family photos as a buyer will want to envision it as their own
  • Fix leaky faucets and toilets
  • Change out furnace filters so it will run more efficiently
  • Wash the outsides and insides of all windows
  • Clean all countertops, sinks, toilets and showers

Watch your house move with speed after following the decorating tips mentioned above. These normally come from professional interior decorators or home stagers— in addition, to prepare properly for an open house, you should do the following:


  • Turn on all lights
  • open curtains to let light in
  • Place fresh flowers in the entryway and throughout your home
  • Be sure no foul odors are present
  • Confine pets if you have them to one room or leave them outside

All of these tips are good for putting on your home's best face for an open house or to show a prospective buyer. You may just enjoy the new look yourself.

Showing Your Home To Potential Buyers

Most buyers will have an idea what it is your home has to offer before they ever visit in person.  A real estate agent will have already provided them with information about your neighborhood including what type and quality of schools are nearby, and if there are nice parks and retail stores available in the area.  So if you feel your home is in the right price range, is the correct size most buyers are seeking, and looks ideal on paper, how do you go about adding that extra appeal that seals a deal?

Make the Exterior Very Eye Catching

If the assumption is made that the curbs appeal, start with your entryway.  Take some freshly cut flowers and place them in view in your entryway.  You may also want to bake some cookies and make a pot of coffee so you can offer them to potential buyers.  Have some soft music playing in the background and stay with classical selections.  Keep any kids that you have busy outside playing so they will not be a distraction.


Before an appointment with a potential buyer, be sure that you clean up and remove anything that resembles clutter.  If your house is loaded in the furniture department, you may want to consider removing some of it to create a more open look and feel.  Do not display too many works of art and limit family photos.  You also do not want to have your fireplace mantle, tables, and walls looking like they are covered with photos and art.  Make sure to allow as much sunlight in as you possibly can by opening drapes and opening windows if the weather is fair.  If the time of year is right, light up the fireplace and use indoor lighting to create a friendly look and feel.  If you can honestly look around your home and say that is clearly says “welcome”— you're ready to show your home.


Home values are determined by five main things. First is the location, is it desirable? Next is the home itself, the design and condition. After that it is the market conditions, whether homes are selling at the moment or not. Your pricing strategy will play a big part in the salability of your home, as will the marketing methods. But of all these, it is location that is the major factor, not only as far as the neighborhood, city and province, but in the shape and orientation of the lot itself.


The shape of a lot can determine the price. Pie lots, particularly those with the big end of the pie being the backyard, can command more cash. The lots are usually larger, there is more space between your home and your neighbors, and if you are in a snow-belt, there is less sidewalk to be shoveled during the winter. Reverse pie lots are not as desirable, since most of your acreage will be in the front of your home.


How your lot is oriented could affect price. The most desirable lots have backyards that face west, south or in between. The sun will be shining on your back yard longer. Lots that are adjacent to open green space are often more expensive. They offer more privacy and the illusion of being more secluded. But be sure you check out covenant laws before you make your choice. If the laws state you have to put up a chain link fence, and that open green space sees a lot of traffic, there goes your privacy.


Corner lots could be a plus or a minus. If that lot is on a busy street, that’s a minus. There is also more sidewalk to shovel and maintain. But if your city takes care of the sidewalk, and the street is quiet, that corner lot could be a big plus. Other items that can affect the value of your home are overly restrictive covenants, lots on shallow or deep slopes and the nearness of large power lines.

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