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  • Writer's pictureJess and Julie Lyda

Best Tips to Prepare to Sell for Maximum Results!

A home that shows exceptionally well helps arouse the prospects’ emotional desire to buy more quickly and at a better price.

Think about it... Builders will spend thousands of dollars to “stage” a model home properly. They do this for good reason.

Buyers buy the “perceived value” of the property... the image and feeling that they get from experiencing the property.

It’s often said that Buyers “buy on emotion” AND IT’S TRUE!

“We tell our clients that with a minimal investment of a couple hundred of dollars and elbow grease the payoff will be in the $1,000’s of dollars!”

“We never want to see a seller “dump a bunch of money” into their home just before they sell. Our suggestions here are low cost, quick fix and designed for maximum return”


Stand across the street and look at your home from a potential buyer's viewpoint.

How does it look?

o Make sure the lawn is trimmed & edged.

o Flower beds cultivated/fresh bark.

o Remove clutter from yards & porches.

o Set out fresh flowers and/or potted plants.

o Make sure the front door looks clean or put on a fresh coat of paint.

o A new/clean “Welcome Mat”.

o Hose down the house to remove dirt and cobwebs.


The emotions you’re trying to stimulate are triggered by sensory experiences. Aim for the senses, especially touch, smell & sight. Clean, uncluttered, fresh smelling homes will sell faster!

o One of the best recommendations is to rent a storage locker and remove any clutter and extra furniture. Too much furniture - store it away. Buyers usually need more space.

o Take things out of closets & cabinets that are not essential to your life and pack them away.

o Remove unnecessary accumulated stuff in basements/utility & storage areas.

o Dated wallpaper should be removed and walls brightened with a fresh coat of paint

o Make sure all light bulbs work - even using a higher wattage will make your home lighter & brighter.

Clean all light fixtures. Sometimes it's best to replace an older out-dated fixture.

o Clean all windows.

o Appliances should be squeaky clean.

o Cheerful curtains & window coverings will add warmth to rooms.

o Counters, sinks should be uncluttered and clean.

o Bathrooms that sparkle sells homes & the opposite is true... dirty bathrooms can turn off a buyer. New towels are an excellent investment, and you can take them to your new home.

o Carpets that are dirty should be cleaned; dated and worn carpets should be replaced. If you decide to replace the carpets be sure to select neutral colors.


Correcting small items will allow a potential buyer to concentrate on how much they like the home and how little they need to do to it when they move in.

Remove any possible objections now - or count on them to become objections later when the buyer has a “professional home inspection”.

o Sweep and clean the roof & gutters.

o Have the furnace serviced and filters changed.

o Repair dripping faucets & running toilets.

o Repair or replace any needed caulking.

o Repair loose doorknobs and sticking doors.

o Make sure appliances are in working order.

o Make sure any dirt or bark is 3" - 6" inches away from contact with any wood siding.

o Have you checked in your crawl space? Make sure there is visqueen covering any exposed dirt areas and that the visqueen is dry. Water on top of the visqueen could be a sign of water problems.

Also remove any debris from under the house. Never use the crawl space as storage as it attracts unwanted insects.

o Check for any evidence of insects, pests or rodents and treat accordingly.

Major Improvements Don’t...


Many major expenditures, though needed, may not be economically sound when selling your home. The decision to make these kind of expenditures should be determined on a case by case basis.

o new appliances

o new kitchen cabinets

o new roof

o new exterior paint

o new carpets

Consulting with a professional Realtor before spending money on these items is a must.


o Check the temperature... Cool in summer, toasty warm in the winter.

o Fresh cut flowers.

o Make an odor check... remember the old wise real estate adage “If you can smell it... you can’t sell it! Get those animal smells out. And most importantly if you smoke, stop smoking in the home. Smoke smell can be a huge objection to overcome with buyers.

o Turn on all the lights.

o A kettle of cider, kept on the range with cinnamon sticks is an easy way to give your home that apple pie smell. All you have to do is warm it up before a showing.

Go next door, for a walk, whatever. Don’t hang around pointing out nifty little features. Buyers feel uncomfortable when they are invading a seller’s private space. They won’t thoroughly look at your home and will actually hurry through so as not to bother you.

o Turn on soft music.

o Turn off the television.

o Pets underfoot? Keep them out of the way, preferably out of the house.

o During the cold winter months, if you have a fireplace or wood stove, build a fire.

o Open all the windows shades, drapes and curtains.

o Remember the Golden Rule... Treat your prospective buyers the way you would like to be treated. Most people feel they are imposing on you when looking at your home. Make them feel welcome, invite them in and then step back and let the agent show your home. Important features to you may not be important features to the buyer. The Realtor knows what features the buyer is looking for and what to point out.

Give us a call today for your FREE market valuation!

Jess & Julie Lyda

RE/MAX Northwest Realtors



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