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The CHRIS COOKE Team
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Seller Resources, Preparing Your Home for Sale

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Preparing Your Home For Sale

One house will sell within days and another will remain on the market for months... Why?? In today's real estate market, too many sellers watch prospective buyers leave their homes without making an offer. As a seller, you must learn the secrets of making your house more saleable. More important, the longer a house is on the market, the less likely the seller is to receive a high offer. It's human nature to suspect the quality of merchandise that has been on the shelf for a long time. A slow-selling house makes prospective buyers nervous. Selling your home can be a painless and profitable experience - if you follow these tried-and-true guidelines.

Put yourself in the buyer's shoes!
When buyers arrive at your front door they are hoping to fall in love with your home. If you've prepared well, every room in your home will greet the customer with a pleasant surprise.

Ask yourself- What makes my home special?
Take a moment and try to remember your feeling the very first time YOU walked into your home. List your home's most positive features. Remember, the more personal, the better.

Ask your spouse and your children to add their own positive reactions. Your teenage daughter may remember how she fell in love with your home years ago because of a swing that hung from the oak tree in the backyard. Don't make the mistake of ignoring children's special impressions.

Tour every room, basement, the garage, and yard. Note at least one positive feature in each. Include the items that attracted you and any desirable features you have added.

Accentuate the Positive
A real estate agent will bring prospective buyers to your door, but don't rely on him or her to do the entire job of selling your home. In a highly saleable home, each room sends out a unique message to the customer. It is more effective to have the buyer's discover your home's special feature themselves than to have the owner or agent point them out like a tour guide.

Draw attention to your home's best asset with a little creativity: the coziness of a fire in the fireplace; a spotlight on a featured piece of artwork; a bright spot of fresh flowers all stimulate the buyer's imagination!

Eliminate the Negative
You can eliminate many of your home's negative features by transforming them into something visually pleasant. Inexpensive and creative disguises will minimize those drawbacks. Remember, no home is perfect, not even yours. List the negative features you can find. Be honest!


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Make Those Minor Repairs
All those little flaws in your otherwise beautifully maintained home will add up to on thing to the observant buyer: owner neglect. All signs of owner neglect must be eliminated.

Spring Cleaning - Any Time of Year
Those hours spent thoroughly cleaning your home will be hours well spent when the results pay off in an early and profitable sale. Clean windows a important -especially the window frames! Pay particular attention to your kitchen and bathrooms - they involve personal health and hygiene and are areas buyers scrutinize closely.

Create an Illusion of Space
Make your living space appear larger by eliminating unnecessary furniture
Rearrange to give the illusion of spaciousness. Most buyers want large bright, cheerful rooms.

Use Color and Lighting
Highlight a bay window with a colorful arrangement of flowers.
Color attracts.
Use lighting for emphasis.

Disguise Poor Views
Disguise a potentially offending view, but always let light into your rooms.
Replace heavy curtains with white sheers.
Don't apologize for a poor view.

Eliminate odors
Some people are more sensitive to odors than others. Smokers rarely notice the odor o tobacco that fills their homes, and pet owners may be oblivious to objectional doggy smells.
Use powdered products like "Love My Carpet" regularly.
Eliminate mildew odors such as comes from wet towels and old laundry

Avoid Eccentricities
Smart sellers play down individualistic touches that may express perfectly their taste an personality, but, at the same time, appeal to a minority of home buyers In selling, play the odds. If your rooms are painted flourescent oran and beaded curtains hang in every doorway, don't rely on your real estate agent to find the perfect buyer whose taste match yours. The average buyer will have a hard time looking beyond orange walls and eccentric decor. Two coats of white paint may be the best investment you ever made.

Other areas of possible offenses are politics and religion. Everyone is entitled to h own beliefs, but if you are trying to sell to the widest possible market, it is wise not to make your home look like campaign headquarters or a sacred temple.

Accessorizing
Notice the small details that make a room attractive and appealing - a vase of flowers, a basket of knitting yarn. Accessories can make or break a room. A few well-placed items make a home look lived-in and enjoyed while too much clutter detracts.

Display Photos of your Home in Other Seasons
Go through your photo albums and select pictures of your home use and yard during all four seasons. If hung at eye level in a well lighted area, the pictures will speak for themselves and give you ye another selling edge.


The View from the Curb...
No matter how lovely your home may be behind the front door, a buyer will be turned off by crumbling front steps, a doorbell that doesn't work, creaky hinges, or chipping paint on porch columns. Give special attention to your home's front entry.

A buyer approaches a home with curiosity aroused. They want to have a positive feeling about your home. First impressions are likely to color the remainder of the house tour. Make that first impression positive by:

Opening the curtains to sparkling clean windows
Opening the front door in warm weather
Inviting the buyer to enter with a feature that sets your home apart from others on the block such as:

A front door painted an attractive and complementary colour
Hanging baskets of flowers
A new doormat that says "welcome."
Take advantage of the nostalgia created by a wide front porch or deck.
Set the stage and stimulate imagination!

The Importance of the Entry
Study your entry hall and ask yourself what kind of statement it makes about your home. This area should say "Welcome, your house hunting days are over." Dried flowers can make a striking focal point on a hall table any time of the year. Imagin cat-tails, a bunch of orange Chinese lanterns, or wheat stalks in a glowing copper planter.

Mirrors Add Square Footage!
Virtually any entry hall, will benefit from a well placed mirror (enlarges the area). Clea regularly!

Improve the Appearance of the Floor
Your entry hall flooring is observed carefully by the prospective buyer fro quality and cleanliness - make a good first impression!

Clean Out the Coat Closet
The entry hall closet is the first one inspected - make it appear roomy. Add a few extra hangers. Hang a bag of cedar chips or a potpourri ball to give a pleasant, fresh scent.

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Chris Cooke Seller Resources, Preparing Your Home for Sale Chris Cooke
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Real Estate Professional
Realtor ®
Office:    (410) 814-2408
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The CHRIS COOKE Team
RE/MAX Sails
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Baltimore, MD 21231
Seller Resources, Preparing Your Home for Sale
Cities Served in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area
Baltimore | Glen Arm | Nottingham | Parkville | Perry Hall | Rosedale | Towson | White Marsh

Maryland Counties in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area:
Anne Arundel County | Baltimore County | Carroll County | Harford County | Howard County


Seller Resources, Preparing Your Home for Sale
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