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Ready, Set, Sell: Checklist for Home Sellers

When home buyers drive your neighborhood, or when Realtors are previewing for their clients, what do they see? You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure your home has the The Wow Factor: Seven Quick Curb Appeal Tips that makes people go “wow.” Take a walk around your property right now—front to back. Pretend you’re a prospective buyer. Do you like what you see?

Here are eight quick tips for creating a visual impression that makes them want to see more.

  1. Start at the door. Get out your paintbrush and spruce up the front door. A bright color will attract attention from the street, if that fits with your overall exterior. Replace doorknobs and hinges with something new and shiny. A seasonal wreath on the door adds a welcoming touch. If your screen door squeaks or sags, get a new one or just remove it to make an attractive door more visible.
  2. Under pressure. Rent or buy a pressure washer and go over the entire exterior, top to bottom. Pay special attention to any white or light-colored areas, which tend to collect dust and dirt. Use it on porches, stairs and decks. And by the way, power washing is equally effective on concrete, and can really lighten up sidewalks and driveways.
  3. Spit and polish. Anything that’s metal on the outside of your home should sparkle and shine. Start with the house numbers. A good metal polish might work, but if not, replacing them is relatively inexpensive. Exterior light fixtures should all be working order and should shine brightly, both in daylight and dark. Check for burned-out bulbs while you’re at it. How’s your mailbox? New owners might appreciate one of the new models with a security lock.
  4. Hide the kids and dogs. You want your home to have the broadest possible appeal. Not all prospective buyers have children so if you do, it’s best to keep the evidence out of sight. Put away the bikes and balls. If you have play equipment such as swings or a basketball goal, remove what you can or move items to where they are less visible. Be sure someone in the family is assigned to pick up after Fido and Fluffy too.
  5. Plant a garden. You don’t have to have a green thumb to add seasonal color to the outside of your home. Think containers. Placing a few colorful pots on the front steps or by the door is a great place to start. Visit your local nursery and buy whatever is in season. Replace as needed—nothing dead or dying, please! Keep the grass mowed and edged too.
  6. Light up your life. Good exterior lighting improves both appearance and security. In-ground spots can accent landscape elements or the house itself. Make sure the front walkway and drive are well lit. If wiring is not an option, solar fixtures are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, although they may not be as bright as wired fixtures.
  7. Look out the window. Or in, which is what your prospective buyers will be doing. While you’re power washing, make sure the windows get their share. Use an inexpensive vinegar and water spray, and wipe down with old newspapers. Give them the same treatment on the inside and the whole house will sparkle.
  8. Shutters are a plus. Shutters add a cozy feel, so if you don’t already have them, you might consider installing some. If you have shutters, reattach anything that looks saggy. Make sure they are freshly painted. Depending on your home’s exterior, choose a contrasting color that stands out. Dark green looks great with yellow or cream. Black is great on stone or brick, and white is almost always a good choice.

As you plan your exterior makeover, keep in mind your neighborhood, competing homes that are on the market, and your budget. Most of these How To Maximize Your Selling Price With Low-Cost Cosmetics and DIY. And even if you have to spend a few dollars for professional help, the investment will pay off by attracting more buyers more quickly.

John Warner

John Warner

I am a Real Estate professional and understand that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: it’s a life-changing experience. That’s why I provide exceptional, personalized service for all my clients. I take great pride om the relationships I build and always work relentlessly on the client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals. In my role as a Realtor® Consultant, I will listen to your requirements and develop a plan of action based on your time frame and needs. I have experience selling new construction homes, single-family homes, duplexes/villas, multi-family homes, (pre-foreclosure) short-sale homes, investment properties, and First-Time home buyers! As a Realtor, I will consult and provide market evaluations of any of your Real Estate inquiries. I will utilize social media & Internet Marketing to find your next property and sell to gain the most exposure. Working as a team, we can achieve your goals, and working together will make the process as seamless as possible. As a Realtor, I will successfully guide you as a home buyer or seller through selling and purchasing properties. Here are a few items that I will be performing as your Realtor to keep you in compliance with laws and regulations. Generate lists of properties compatible with buyers' needs and financial resources. Coordinate appointments to show homes to you as a prospective buyer or arrange appointments to show your home as the seller. To establish a positive flow of communication with other agents, buyers, sellers, mortgage officers, title personnel, and attorneys involved in the home buying and selling process. Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration and negotiates contracts on your behalf. Coordinated property closings, overseeing the signing of documents and disbursement of funds with the Closing agent. Over the last ten years, I have continued to learn with each transaction and professional education training through the National Realtor Association and our local Greater Tampa Realtor association to give you the best service! I know the following designations or certifications: ABR® The Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®) designation is for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home-buying process. AHWD At Home With Diversity® (AHWD) is a NAR certification program designed to present a picture of the changing face of the real estate industry. Since 1998, the At Home With Diversity® program has prepared over 20,000 REALTORS® to work effectively with and within today's increasingly diverse pool of homebuyers. GRI Earning the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation is a way to stand out to prospective home buyers and sellers as a REALTOR® who has gained in-depth market knowledge, increased proficiency in a broad array of subjects to enhance professionalism and business success. MRP The Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification is for real estate professionals working with current and former military service members. SFR The Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®) certification are for REALTORS® who want to hone the skills that will allow them to help buyers and sellers of distressed properties. SRES The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation is for REALTORS® who want to be able to meet the special needs of maturing Americans (Active Adults) when selling, buying, relocating, or refinancing residential or investment properties. SRS The Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation is the premier credential in seller representation. It is designed to elevate professional standards and enhance personal performance. Staying up to date with the most current information available and earning my Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) from the National Association of REALTORS® empowers REALTORS® to evaluate, enhance and showcase their highest levels of professionalism. It's not a course, class, or designation—it's an Endorsement that REALTORS® Earned can promote when serving clients and other REALTORS®. I love to explore new restaurants and communities in the area. Since I have moved here from Grand Island, NY, the growth in the Tampa Bay area has simply been amazing and truly named correctly as the Sunshine State.I look forward to working with you as your Realtor® in the Tampa Bay area. I support several local charities.
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