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Kandice Rienstra

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Preparing Your House for Peak Showing Condition

First Impressions Are Lasting!

When potential buyers approach in their cars, they make their first decision: whether or not to STOP and look inside. Therefore, a neat, attractive yard entices a buyer to view your home. Please carefully evaluate every aspect of your yard.

A Few Suggestions:

Keep your yard mowed, raked, fertilized, and watered.

Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash items, debris, etc., from your yard.

Trees and shrubs should be pruned and trimmed. Lawns and gardens should be weeded regularly.

All hoses and garden equipment should be out of sight.

Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if needed. Stack firewood out of sight.

Walkways and driveways should be clear of debris. In the winter, clear off snow and ice. (You don't want a potential buyer to slip and fall!) At other times of the year, make sure that walkways, driveways, and curbsides are trimmed with edge trimmers.

Paint your mailbox if needed. Ensure that your street number is legible.

Put Your Property's Best Face Forward!

Is the outside of your house as attractive as the inside?

Items to Evaluate:

Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios, and other extensions should be uncluttered, swept, and in good condition.

Paint all entrance doors. It is at this point that potential buyers form an opinion of the house.

Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace them if the color has faded. Remove windsocks, chimes, etc.

Keep trash cans deodorized, covered, and out of sight.

Gates, fences, sheds, and other outer buildings should be cleaned, repaired, and painted.

Clean and shine all metal accessories (door knobs, door knockers, lamps, mailboxes, street numbers, etc.).

Clean, repair, and paint all gutters and downspouts.

All loose roof shingles, tiles, and the like should be secured or replaced. If the roof leaks, fix it! Remove all traces of prior water damage to the ceiling inside your home.

Make sure that the garage door opens easily. Repair and paint it if needed.

Paint the chimney vents. Inspect and repair any loose bricks or stones. Caulk where the chimney meets the roof.

Investing in painting your house can make the difference between "turning on" the buyer and sending up a "red flag" about your home's condition. You may lose buyers due to what you consider an insignificant issue.

Now... Evaluate the Inside of Your Property

Through the Critical Eyes of the Buyer!

Wash all windows, inside and out, adding to the overall impression and to help your property show in a nice, bright light. Curtains should be clean and attractive.

Remove all smoke, pet, and hobby odours from the property.

Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures, and chandeliers.

Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them daily. If the carpet does not clean up well, replace it. Use a neutral colour, or remove the carpet if hardwood floors underneath are in good condition.

Clean everything in your house from top to bottom.

Remove all "junk" from the attic, basement, closets, garage, tool shed, and especially from the storage area if your property has one. Rent a storage area for those items that need to be cleared out of these areas.

Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors. Putty and paint any holes that result from nails or other mishaps.

Clean or paint the basement walls and floor.

Remove all cobwebs.

Ensure that the doorbell is in good working order.

Make sure that all entrance doors-front door, storm door, screen door-are in excellent condition. If not, replace them. Again, this is the first impression the buyer has of the property. Lighting and cleanliness are especially important.

If the basement shows any sign of water or structural damage, it may be necessary to obtain a report from a foundation specialist.

Replace toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean. It is a minimal expense and makes a big difference.

Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.

Improve the plumbing to increase water pressure. Buyers will check this every time. Replace the washers in the faucets and remove rust stains.

Ensure That Your Property Shows at Its Very Best!

Your house is being "interviewed" by the potential buyer. Use these tips to ensure that your home's best features are displayed.

Open the draperies, pull up the shades, and let in the sunlight. Rooms bathed in sunlight appear bigger and make a positive impact on buyers.

Install higher wattage light bulbs to show your property brightly-in its best light. Turn on all lights.

Remove all "clutter" from each room. Remove things such as coats, shoes, clothing, pet toys, pet-food bowls, trash cans, toys, child-safety barriers, playpens, and the like. Keep all nonessential items off the floor so that the room doesn't appear cluttered. Uncluttered rooms appear bigger.

Make sure that beds are made with bedspreads smoothed out. Also, linens and curtains should be fresh and clean. Keep laundry out of sight.

Organize closets. Remove unnecessary items and put them in storage. Large closets sell houses and a well-organized closet looks much bigger than one crammed with clutter.

Dust and vacuum floors often. Don't leave soiled towels lying around. Wipe showers after each use. Re-caulk the shower or bathtub if the current caulk is not spotless.

Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights-day or night. Open the curtains during the day. If it is cold outside, keep a comfortable level of heat. If it's summertime, keep your property cool.

Open doors to areas you want the buyer to see, such as walk-in closets, pantries, etc. Make sure that those areas are neat and clean. Place a subtle air freshener inside closets. Close all other closet doors and cabinets.

Remove excess extension cords, especially those in walkways.

Keep pets out of the way-preferably out of the house.

Keep in mind, we have worked closely with countless buyers and know how to present your property in the best light, skillfully answering questions. Please arrange to be absent during the showing of your property. Buyers are more comfortable and candid if the owners are not present.

Avoid having guests over during a showing. The buyer will feel like an intruder in your house and will hurry through the tour.

Finally, play soft music during the showing of the property. Turn off television sets.

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