Real Estate in Charleston
John G. Foscolos

Preparing Your Home for the Big Sale

Think of your home as a product or service. You need to “package” it attractively to create demand. Here are some fast, inexpensive changes that should make your home stand out among similarly-priced homes in your neighborhood:

Your yard and the exterior of your house are the first impressions that potential buyers have of your home.

Yard – Keep your lawn neat and well trimmed, with well-proportioned shrubs. Consider replanting flowers or creating a flowerbed to enhance the appearance of your yard. If it is the fall, make sure the lawn is raked at all times.

The Front Door – Make sure your door is tightly on its hinges! Furthermore, the door should be neat and clean. Paint or stain it if it needs it. If the door is in poor shape, consider replacing it. Finally, a holiday ornament on the door, like a wreath, ads a nice touch. Consider adding an inviting “welcome mat”.

Home Exterior – Check for flat-fitting roof shingles, straight lines on gutters, shutters, windows, and siding; solid caulking around roofs and seams. Apply fresh paint where it needs it. Also, make sure the windows are crystal clear; potential buyers often peer through the windows.

The Interior
Lights – During the evening, or whenever you have potential buyers in the home, make sure ALL of the lights are on. This makes rooms look more inviting and spacious. Also, make sure curtains are always up to let as much sunlight in as possible.

Smell – I recommend using a vanilla air freshener that applies directly to your air filter. This gives your home that “new model home” aroma.

Remove Excess Furniture – Remove as much furniture as possible. This can make your rooms look dramatically larger.

The Living Room – Strive for a lived-in, cozy feeling. Discard worn, chipped, frayed furniture. Add lamps if it is dark. Open curtains. Set out fresh flowers.

The Kitchen – Many buyers judge the house keeping by the oven and stove. Appliances should be spotless and everything should work perfectly. Replace or repair anything that sticks, squeaks or drips. Clear clutter from countertops and sinks.

The Master Bedroom – After the kitchen, this is the second-most appealing room to a buyer. Remove excess furniture to make it appear larger. Show the true size of the closets by removing or packing items that can be stored elsewhere. Make the beds before you leave in the morning.

Bathrooms – Make sure bathrooms are always neat and clean. Remove clutter from sink countertops. Make sure showers are free of scum and tile grout. Most buyers pay close attention to this!

Bonus Room or Garage – Clear out as much clutter as possible (consider moving it into storage). If you have an extra sofa or loveseat and coffee table, consider creating a living area.

When You Let Potential Buyers in the Door
Make sure that the exterior and interior are both looking their best. Appeals to potential buyers’ senses are critical: Make sure the lights are on; the home has a pleasant aroma, and perhaps soft classical or jazz music playing on the stereo.

Pictures play a big role in attracting a buyer to your home. Digital photos work the best. After all, it will probably be one of the biggest investments you make, so you obviously want to get the highest return possible.

As your neighborhood real estate expert, I wrote this report to help educate you and help maximize the marketability of your home. These ideas are based on my collective experience. I hope you found them to be valuable. So lets get that house in order, on the market andSOLD for the highest price possible.