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Adding Curb Appeal:

Fix ups to get your house sold

by Jeffrey D. Leiser

Your home is usually the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. The selling price you get for your home can vary by thousands of dollars, depending on various factors, and curb appeal is number one. Curb appeal is the first impression a buyer gets from your home's appearance, and it is vital that you do certain things to prepare your house before you show it. Here are some simple things that represent a small investment of time and money, but could greatly raise the real estate value of your home.


Interior decor

Two rules of thumb apply to the interior decor. Keep it neat and keep it simple. First, take a hard look at your home and how it would present itself to a buyer. Do the rooms contain excess clutter? Are there a lot of knick-knacks on shelves and table tops? Are the walls covered with paintings, posters or wall hangings? Do you have either a lot of furniture or big furniture pieces that make the rooms seem smaller than they really are? Is the refrigerator used to display the kids' artwork? Are your closets filled with clothes and other things, so much so that you would have to really dig to find the back of the closet? If you answered "YES" to any or all of these questions, join the club, because everyone (except those from Planet X) has the same problems as you. After all, when you have lived someplace for any length of time you create STUFF!!


Planning to sell your home? The You Can Sell Your House kit provides the information and forms you need. You could easily make $10,000, $20,000 or more from the sale of your home if you sell it yourself!


You need to get your stuff under control by thinning it out a bit, organizing or just plain storing it somewhere. Even though your stuff may be precious to you, it detracts from the house by hiding what the buyer really wants in a home...space. You'll improve the overall look of your home to potential buyers with a little effort. So, free up some of that closet space and store some of that furniture in the basement or garage, or have a yard sale.

To prepare your interior for showing, remember one word, NEUTRAL. If you plan to do any painting, replacing or remodeling, keep to neutral colors. And please don't wallpaper anything. Let the next owner do it, because the one thing you can't do is predict what the next owner will find appealing. So, use off-whites with some soft pastels to decorate. If you want to keep the cost down, cleaning, removing clutter and painting are the easiest, least expensive home improvement projects.

Walk through the house yourself, or ask a friend, and try to be objective. Check for loose railings, grease around the stove, broken tiles, chipped paint, cracks in the walls, stains in the carpet, damaged windows, drippy faucets, or damp odors in the basement. All of these can be fairly simple to fix, but can turn the head of a prospective buyer. If your kitchen or bathroom need updating, consider new knobs, curtains or towels for a quick update.

When a prospective buyer visits, keep the curtains open and cook an apple pie during the showing. Keep your home well lit and smelling wonderful. This helps build subtle advantages in the minds of the buyer.

Planning to sell your home? The You Can Sell Your House kit provides the information and forms you need. You could easily make $10,000, $20,000 or more from the sale of your home if you sell it yourself!



Exterior dress-up

First impressions are very important in any sales presentation. When you have your "House For Sale" sign on the front lawn, people driving up and down the street will judge whether or not to call based on that first impression. This is what realtors call "curb appeal," and it is to your advantage to enhance the look of your house. Studies have shown that for sale signs beat out newspaper ads and home magazines for bringing in prospective buyers.

Sprucing up the yard, both in the front and back, will go a long way in selling your house. Fresh paint, a neatly kept yard, and a few potted plants or flowers in the front of your home will increase curb appeal. Remove obstacles from the front and back yard that might hinder free movement on the property. Critically look for anything that someone else might see as unsightly. Get your lawn in good condition, with no bare spots. As with the inside, look around objectively at guttering, paint, concrete, landscaping and driveway. Move old cars away, if possible, until the house is sold. Power wash or paint the exterior, if needed. Pay special attention to the entry way. This would be a good time to paint the front door.

Your realtor may have other useful tips for you. If you are selling your house without a realtor, check out How To Sell Your House in Six Easy Steps. The most important thing to keep in mind when preparing your house is to be objective. Look at your house and yard as if you were a buyer, and determine curb appeal from that perspective. You may notice things you've spent years overlooking. By spending a little time fixing up your house, you could potentially add thousands to the selling price.

*****

Jeffrey D. Leiser is author of the “Home Buying Inspection Guide? and the "You Can Sell Your House: For Sale By Owner" guidebook, Read more articles on home and garden topics in the Home Style News email newsletter. Subscribe free at http://ParadoxPro.com/ezine.html

 

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Planning to sell your home? You could make $10,000, $20,000 or more from the sale of your home if you sell it yourself!

Planning to sell your home by owner? The You Can Sell Your House kit provides the information and forms you need. You could easily make $10,000, $20,000 or more from the sale of your home if you sell it yourself!

Other related items:

• Home mortgage loan options

• Tips for selling your home


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