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David Winter
Tucson - Dove Mountain
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Mobile Phone:
(520) 990-3749
Winter@
LongRealty.com
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  Preparing Your House To Sell

                       

Preparing your house to sell is a great time to prepare yourself to move into another phase of your life.  All the memories that come rushing back as you pack the scrapbooks, hobbies, photos and stuffed toys can be bittersweet.

 

But, selling a house is also a time to focus on the financial aspects of the transaction.  Your house becomes "inventory" along with all the other houses for sale.  Your house must compete with all the other houses that buyers are considering when they make a decision.  People going to Open Houses on Sunday are no different from shoppers going to the mall as they search for the perfect "product".

 

With that in mind, it is important to make your house appealing to buyers.  There are two aspects to achieving that "appeal."  First is the emotional appeal - the "I'd love to live here!"

The other is the practical appeal - the "How good a shape is this place in?"  Sometimes one buyer responds emotionally and the other practically; in other cases, both respond emotionally at first and then begin looking at the practical issues as they sit down to make an offer.

 

We need to make sure that your house wins on both counts!  Some features cannot be changed; in that case, the pricing of the house must be such that people still will consider it.

 

Overall, what you are trying to achieve is to make the house have the following characteristics to give the impression of Pride of Ownership.  Remember, you never have a second chance to make a first impression!

 

Exterior first impressions

Many people who now have internet access and many realtors who see many houses a week, simply "drive-by" to see whether they want to take their time to actually go in.  This is very unfair to both the house and the seller, but, it is a fact.  You must make sure that they like what they see when they take the first look.  Is everything tidy, painted, trimmed?

 

_____  Mail box upright with numbers readable.                     

_____  Driveway/Entry Area tidy with gravel replaced, if needed, landscaping trimmed.

_____  Structures, if any.  Removed if possible, or painted, cared for.

_____  Gates/Security Screens.  Latches that work, washed down, repainted

_____  Landscaping.  Trimmed.  All dead parts removed.  Gravel or ground cover fresh.

_____  Steps.  Patched, painted/refinished.

_____  Handrail smooth, painted/ refinished.

_____  Front door/doorstep clean/refinished

            

Interior First Impressions

Is it neat, tidy, fresh, clean, shiny, uncluttered, well-cared for? Can I just "move-in" or am I looking at lots of problems and high costs to fix them? 

 

Overall

_____  Windows washed.

_____  Carpets cleaned

_____  Floor tile cleaned and shined .  Grout repaired.

_____  Wood trim/doors painted or cleaned;  any gashes or missing pieces repaired

_____  Walls painted or touched up

_____  Cracks in walls and ceilings patched and painted (if the problem has been corrected. If

           not, correct the problem, i.e. if there is a leak, fix it.)

_____  Handrails clean, smooth, refinished/painted.

_____  Sliding doors repaired (rollers replaced) so that they slide easily

_____  Hinges oiled so doors open easily

_____  Latches on doors, gates, oiled so they move easily

_____  Steps  patched/repaired and painted or carpeted.

_____  Cabinet doors/shelving, polished with a clean/shine product

_____  Light bulbs working in rooms and closets

_____  Blinds dusted.  On windows that face views, pull up or leave open for showing

_____  Closets neat, floors vacuumed.

_____  All clutter (boxes, old magazines, excessive knickknacks, lots of notes on fridge or

           bulletin board) removed.  Allow people to focus on the house, not on all your

           memorabilia.

_____  All surfaces and items cleaned/dusted/shined.

_____  All sources of odor removed.  (Old paint cans, old dog blankets or baskets, musty

            books, bedding in seldom used rooms, etc.)

_____  Items that would not be ordinarily in use in a certain type of room should be removed.

           (If a bedroom has been used as a hobby space, remove any thing that would prevent

           a buyer from seeing this as a "bedroom.")

 

Living Room, Great Room, Family Room

_____  All overstuffed furniture vacuumed and/or cleaned.

_____  All tables cleared off and polished.

_____  All lampshades repaired (or remove the lamp from the room)

_____  Fireplace area washed down.  Any stacked wood removed.

 

Kitchen/Baths

_____  Virtually all items removed from surfaces except toaster, canister sets, an item or two

_____  Counter tops, sinks/showers scrubbed, resurfaced if possible.

_____  Cook top cleaned.  If aluminum trays under burners, replace with new ones.

_____  All faucet leaks fixed .

_____  All faucets shined.  If in terrible shape, consider replacing.

_____  Replace torn shower curtains, even with just a fresh liner.

_____  Wash all mirrors/ glass panels in doors.

_____  Remove beat up trash cans or laundry hampers.

 

Pool area/back or side yards 

_____  Pool as clean as possible.  Consider having it professionally cleaned.  Repair

           the filter system, treat the water.  Must look inviting enough to "jump in."

_____  Decking/patios repaired/refinished.

_____  Foundation areas that are cracked or peeling painted .  Repair first if a problem exists.

_____  Ceiling of patio roof washed down/repainted.

_____  Patio surfaces washed down/ major stains removed.  Uneven surfaces addressed

_____  Landscaping trimmed/tidied.  Dead plants/limbs taken out. Get all plants, tree limbs

           as far away from house as possible.

_____  Leaking hose bibs repaired.

_____  Weathered awnings, patio furniture, removed.

_____  Trash, debris, anything unsightly removed.

_____  Fences, structures repaired/painted or removed (if not required by code).

 

General Maintenance 

_____  Roof checked.  If it needs repair, consider having it done before the inspection.

           (Note the warranty on your SPDS*, especially if an older home.)

_____  Termites or other pests such as pack rats checked out.  Have the condition treated and

           note on your SPDS.

_____  Flashings repaired/replaced/repainted if they need it.

_____  Garages, storage rooms, etc. cleaned out, painted or washed down.

_____  Air conditioning/evaporative cooling and heating units operational,

           wiped off, debris removed.  Water leaks fixed to eliminate any

           standing water.

 

*SPDS - Seller's Property Disclosure Statement