To a prospective buyer, the total value of your home is not limited to the price paid. Buyers today are concerned with whether the property will serve their needs comfortably, will they be proud to invite family and friends, can they envision themselves happy in the property for many years to come. Today the average buyer considers 78 homes and inspects the interiors of more than 10 before all before making an offer. In his process 41% begin their search on-line and over 90% use the Internet in their search which lasts an average of ten weeks. Usually buyers look at 3 or more houses during a house hunting day. First impressions are extremely important. Seventy-five percent of their decision is made before they step inside. The house with the on-line photos, best curb appeal that appears to be the most spacious, the most cheerful and well-kept will be the one your buyers remember and want to see again. With a little effort and a few inexpensive changes, a fast sale at top dollar is possible even in difficult markets like we face today.
1. Start with the mailbox; remove all signs of deterioration, repaint, and install new numbers.
2. If there are flowers around the mailbox make them look as fresh as possible.
3. Fix the Front Door Bell!
4. Invest in a new doormat.
5. Make sure the front door, storm door, screen door, etc. work wonderfully!
6. Replace dated or tarnished outdoor hardware and light fixtures, install new bulbs.
7. Keep the yard mowed, raked, fertilized, and watered at all times!
8. Keep flowerbeds weed-free, pick up dead branches, trim trees, and shrubbery.
9. Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, trash, etc. from the yard.
10. Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkways, and patio.
11. All hoses and garden equipment should be neatly out of sight.
12. Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios, and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept, and in good condition.
13. Outdoor furniture should be kept clean and/or repainted if necessary.
14. Firewood should be neatly stacked or out of sight.
15. Make all those minor repairs to the exterior.
16. Repair any cracks in the driveway and walkways, remove any mud or weeds.
17. Make any repairs to fences on the property that appear run down, sagging or squeaking gates, missing pickets, rusty latches, or peeling paint.
18. Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace if the color has faded. Remove windsocks.
19. Clean, repair, and paint all gutters and downspouts.
20. All roof shingles, tiles, etc. should be secured or replaced. If the roof leaks - Fix It!
21. Shutters and trim should be in perfect condition.
22. Clean all windows and screens inside and out.
23. Make sure all doors open easily and keys and locks work smoothly.
24. Paint all entry doors.
25. If the exterior has not been painted in the past 3 years, consider repainting you will recover this expense.
26. Have the roof in good condition, missing shingles, curling, leaves and debris, and discoloration bring fear and apprehension.
27. Clean and polish all accessories: doorknobs, knockers, lamps, address numbers, etc.
28. Remove mud daubers and wasps nests.
29. Open the draperies, pull up the shades, and let in the sunlight.
30. Clean every room thoroughly. Give your home a "ready to move in look".
31. Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights, day or night. Open the curtains during the day.
32. Install higher wattage light bulbs to show your home brightly-in its best light. Turn on all lights.
33. Remove all clutter from each room to visually enlarge them.
34. Create the illusion of spaciousness.
35. Play soft music in the background when your home is scheduled for a showing.
36. If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating.
37. Keep your home dusted and vacuumed at all times.
38. Have a family emergency "game plan" to get the home in order quickly if necessary.
39. Air out your home one-half hour before the showing if possible.
40. Lightly spray the room with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse and air before the buyer arrives.
41. Microwave a small dish of vanilla twenty minutes before the showing and place it in an out of the way place in the kitchen.
42. Create a master "suite" effect in your decorating.
43. Make sure that beds are made and the linens and curtains are fresh and clean.
44. Clean out and organize your closets, remove all unnecessary items, and put them in storage.
45. Remove some of your clothes if necessary to eliminate that sardined look.
46. In a home office, clear your desk, organize your paper, empty your trash make the space seem efficient, identify extra electric, phone lines, or separate wiring for computer use.
47. Bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean.
48. Straighten the items in vanities, medicine cabinets, and linen closets. Throw out what you don't use.
49. Do not leave towels around and wipe down the shower areas after each use.
50. Recaulk if the caulking is not sparkling white!
51. Put out fresh towels and decorative soap for showings.
52. Set the scene by setting the table! Highlight the potential of your dining room by setting a grand dining table!
53. The kitchen should always be kept spotlessly clean. Buyers judge overall housekeeping by how clean the kitchen is. Don't give them a reason to turn up their noses.
54. Remove all grease from range hoods, ovens, stovetops, walls, etc.
55. Expand your counter space by removing small appliances.
56. Highlight an eat-in area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
57. Fix dripping faucets, repair, or replace damaged fixtures.
58. Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them daily.
59. If the carpet does not clean up well you should Replace It!
60. Improve traffic flow through every room and create a feeling of spaciousness in every room by removing unnecessary furniture, knick-knacks, hobby items, children's items, etc.
61. However, try to avoid creating a "sterile" looking environment.
62. Clean rubbish out of the fireplace and keep it clean in the winter.
63. If you have numerous family photos put them away until your home is under contract. Prospective buyers will feel more like it can be their home if they aren’t aware of your family photo memories.
64. Remove all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, tool shed, and especially from the storage area if you have one.
65. Rent a storage area for these items or have a yard sale. Today companies like PODS, PackRat will deliver and remove portable storage units. No need to load a truck and take to a mini-warehouse, call me if you need a discount code.
66. Straighten, tidy, and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Put unnecessary items in storage.
67. Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorating accents, mirrors, rugs, etc. and by removing all unnecessary clutter.
68. Regardless of the season, tackle spring-cleaning. Clean everything in your home from top to bottom, from the attic to the basement!
69. Clean or paint the basement walls and floor.
70. Remove clutter from the garage, make it seem as though there is room to easily park any size car or truck.
71. Curtains should be fresh, clean, and attractive.
72. Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures, and chandeliers to brighten the home.
73. Remove all smoke odors; pet odors, and odors resulting from hobbies.
74. Put out unobtrusive dishes or baskets of potpourri.
75. Straighten, tidy, and remove unnecessary items from all closets. Create the feeling of spacious closets. Put all unnecessary items in storage or invest in under-the-bed storage boxes.
76. Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors and putty any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps.
77. Depersonalize teenagers' rooms and decorate in a neutral temperament.
78. Paint all inside walls with off-white paint. Use two or more coats to cover bold, bright or dark walls. Many people do not like to live around strong or bright colors.
79. All walls should be painted, not just washed. This will brighten the home and make it look bigger.
80. Repair or replace all doors, closet doors, and/or windows and screens so that they open with ease.
81. Repair or replace damaged banisters and handrails.
82. Quiet any annoying squeaks on the stairs or floors.
83. Repair or replace broken tiles on walls, floors, or in showers/tubs.
84. Repair or replace loose or dangling wallpaper.
85. If the basement shows any signs of water or structural damage, it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer's report.
86. Replace all toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean.
87. Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.
88. Replace the washers in faucets and remove rust stains from basins.
89. Water and prune all indoor plants.
90. Use plants in transitional areas of your home between inside and out.
91. Either get rid of dying plants or keep them out of sight.
92. Remove any excess extension cords and exposed wires.
93. Open doors to areas you want the potential buyer to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attic, basement, etc.
94. Close all other closet doors and cabinets.
95. Make the most of your attic's potential.
96. Make the attic as pleasant as possible by airing it out, and decorating if possible.
97. Add visual appeal to stairways, especially in unfinished stairways to the basement.
98. Create an outside living/dining area with furniture and plants.
99. Highlight your pool area, water garden, etc. with lighting, benches, planters, flowering plants, etc.
100. Take nighttime photos of decorative yard lighting systems.
101. Take pictures of your flowering mature landscaping now if you are planning to sell your home later in the season.
102. Display these photos in your home in the wintertime.
103. Make sure the garage door opens easily. Fix and paint the garage door if necessary.
104. Paint chimney and replace broken bricks or stones.
105. An investment in painting your home can really make the difference between “turning on" the buyer and sending up a red flag about the condition of the home.
Some final things you can do to help your home sell quickly!
106. Arrive at an equitable asking price considering both your broker's opinion of value and using a certified and objective 3rdparty appraisal.
107. Have a home inspection completed by an ASHI certified inspector; complete recommended repairs and provide a copy to the buyers.
108. Offer the buyer a color brochure on your home and a disk with a 360-degree home tour.
109. Offer a one-year warranty on the HVAC, plumbing, electric, and appliances.
110. Don't be afraid to accept the first offer.
111. Never volunteer unfavorable information about your situation.
112. Obtain a floor plan of your home if possible.
113. Assemble house records, appliance instructions, and warranties for buyer perusal.
114. Have copies of the utility bills if favorable for the buyer to inspect.
115. Provide a map of the area and highlight special interest items.
116. Identify special features such as central vac, security system, built-ins, attic fan, extra insulation, recent improvements, outside motion lights, anything custom that makes your home is distinctive.
117. Obtain or have your REALTOR obtain high-quality wide-angle photos and videos of your home to post online. The use of a professional photographer is recommended and required on larger properties.
118. Once you have committed to quickly getting the top price for your home, call 404-978-2281 to tell Bruce you are ready to implement Metro Atlanta's most aggressive real estate marketing plan.
BRUCE AILION's CREDENTIALS
Bruce has been a full-time REALTOR and broker in Metro Atlanta for over 33 years. Bruce holds the National Association of REALTOR and professional designations;
Certified Residential Specialist "CRS"
Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager "CRB"
Accredited Buyer Representative "ABR"
Certified Distressed Property Expert “CDPE”
Certified Investment Agent Specialist “CIAS”
Certified Internet Professional “e-PRO”
Bruce earned a Master of Science Degree in Real Estate and Urban Affairs and a Juris Doctor Degree from Georgia State University and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Emory University.
Bruce is a licensed attorney in Georgia.
Bruce has been involved in over 4,000 real estate transactions as a broker or sales agent.