Real Estate Sellers Guide

Showing your Home

Sellers should be aware that same-day and even last minute requests for showings are common, so keep your home organized and clean.
Pets should be out of the house during showings, especially large dogs, since many people are afraid of them.
Because most people are not aware of odors in their own home, you may want to keep the pets outside or in a controlled area, or maybe use an air purifier or freshener.

Stay or go?

When agents are showing your home to a prospective buyer, sellers may want to stay because they think agents and buyers won't be able to find everything, or will miss important features. Truthfully, many want to stay to see buyer reactions. Sellers should be aware that buyers may feel uncomfortable when they are present, and that it can actually kill a sale. Buyers often won't open closet or cabinet doors when the seller is home, and when they cannot view a house comfortably, they'll hurry up and move on to the next one. It is therefore usually best to leave when an agent is showing the home. If you must be home during a showing, perhaps just go outside, take the dog for a walk, or stay put in one location. Do not wander around with the agent and buyer.

Preparing your Home

When it comes to buying a house, first impression is everything! One of the easiest and most dramatic ways to enhance that first impression is through paint. Fresh paint makes your house look clean, bright, and inviting. Painting your house's exterior and interior before you put it on the market give the biggest bang for your fix-up buck. If nothing else, paint at least the door, door frame, and foyer or first room the buyers would see. Use fresh, neutral colors.

Passing your Home Inspection

Don't wait for inspection for inspection day to assess the condition of your home and make repairs. Small problems can turn into big headaches, requiring a chunk of cash to fix and perhaps lowering the home's market value.
Mildew stains and odors scare buyers. Chances are you won't even get an acceptable offer if mold and mildew are present, so take care of this problem immediately.
Deteriorated shingles or other roof coverings are one of the first things home buyers or inspectors notice. If the elements under the shingles are moist or rotted, you can bet repairs will be requested.
Clean the gutters and make sure downspouts force water to run away from the house.
Flashing, mortar, and bricks should be in good condition.
Also check plumbing, heating/cooling, septic systems, and appliances for good working order.
Bottom line - do everything you can to get the house in good condition before you attempt to sell it.


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