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Home Sellers: Why Buyers Love Model Homes –And How To Make Your House Show Like One…

Posted by Pete Sabine on November 15, 2007

Now let’s go inside.

Go through room by room and pack up 30% of the accessories. If you doubt the wisdom of this, go back to those model homes and compare their countertops with yours, their coffee tables and end tables with yours. See what I mean? The cardinal rule is this: “The way you live in a home and the way you sell a home are two different things.” I know this will take some time and may seem like a nuisance, but remember you are in competition with other properties. He who wins the Good Housekeeping Award probably sells his house first… and for the highest dollar. Also look at it this way, you are going to be moving anyway, so just consider this advance packing.By the way, label the moving boxes and stack them easily in the garage – floor to ceiling. Specifically, pack any collections and family photos you have displayed. Too much of your personality in evidence does not allow for the potential buyer to “mentally move in.” Pack everything from the cabinets and all closets that you do not need on a routine basis. You want to create the perception of roominess. In the linen closet, remove everything but a week’s worth of linens. Fold them neatly and color coordinate them. I’m not kidding; this is the stuff sales are made of. In the clothes closets, remove out-of-season clothes. Pack them away and put them inthe garage. Arrange your shoes neatly. Hang your clothes by category: all blouses together, all shirts together and so on. 

Now take another walk around the house. Are there rooms that are cluttered with too much furniture? Remove extra chairs, side tables and maybe even the 100″ sofa which is really too big for the room. (Notice how decorators use small pieces of furniture.) Minor redecorating is recommended. If your carpet and vinyl are outdated colors or style, change them. Off-white carpet and vinyl are best; this makes the rooms look larger and cleaner. If the existing carpet padding is 5/8″ thick or more and is not worn down, reuse it (unless the pets have done a number of it). If replacing the pad, select a very thick one and then install just a modest grade of carpeting. The feel will be plush and expensive but it’s not.If carpeting is in good condition and neutral in color, have it cleaned. If your vinyl flooring is worn or outdated, replace it with off-white vinyl. If the vinyl is in good condition and light colored, scrub it thoroughly paying special attention to buildup of dirt or wax around the baseboards and in corners. Off-white painted walls are best. If painting is required, use flat latex except in kitchens and baths where you will use semi-gloss latex. If walls are dirty, experiment to see if scrubbing them is easier than painting. If you have wallpaper, make sure it is clean and up to date. If not, strip it. (Hint: some wallpaper is easy to strip if first sprayed with window cleaner.) After stripping it, either paint or re-wallpaper, depending on the condition of the walls. Sponge  painting is also an easy, attractive alternative. Repair badly cracked plaster, loose door knobs and crooked light fixtures. Correct faulty plumbing. Leaky faucets can discolor porcelain and call attention to plumbing defects. To remove mineral stains from such leaks, pour hydrogen peroxide on the stain, then sprinkle with cream of tartar. Leave this for 30 minutes before scrubbing. Bad stains may require 2 or 3 applications. 

Stayed tuned for our final post in this series where we’ll have a real estate tip – “How a 25 Cent Upgrade Could Earn You $500 – $1000 More When You Sell”

Questions/comments, please post to the blog, call me at 925-407-0606 or visit www.GetRealEstateHelp.com 

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