|What you can do to make your house attractive to sellers.
Sometimes the decision to sell a home is a simple one. You have been transferred to a different part of the country. You may be experiencing a change in marital status. Maybe your family is growing and you need more space.
Maybe home values in your area have risen and you want to sell for a profit. If you are a seller in a seller's market, this strategy is a good idea, even if you haven't been living in your house for a long time.
Should you find a new home first, before putting your house on the market?
This will depend on the housing market in your region. If you know your home will sell quickly, wait until you have a ratified contract on the home you want to buy before listing your current home.
What if you are facing foreclosure?
Before you take action, talk with a local housing or credit counselor. There may be strategies you can use to work with your lender to avoid foreclosure and get back on track with your mortgage payments.
Prepare to sell your home without spending too much
Once you decide to sell your home, look around and decide on improvements that will get a better purchase price. Your real estate agent can make objective suggestions; listen to them. Here are some things you can do without spending too much money.
- Remove all clutter Clear off horizontal surfaces-tables, bookcases and chairs. Remove knick-knacks to make the house look bigger. Buyers love to open doors, and your closets will look much bigger with less inside. Begin to pack your personal items and you'll have less work when you move out
- De-personalize, or neutralize, your home When potential buyers walk through your home, make it easy for them to imagine their own things in the house. Remove pictures from mantels, refrigerator art, and cluttered bulletin boards.
- Make easy and inexpensive inside improvements A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color makes your house look bigger. Re-caulk around tub and bath, repair dripping faucets, hang decorative towels in bathrooms, spruce up the kitchen with new curtains or cabinet knobs.
- Create a sense of relaxation, warmth, and harmony in each room Use fresh fruit in the kitchen, newly cut flowers in the hallway, and a book and pillows on your favorite easy chair to show off your home. Aroma from fresh-baked bread or cookies, or potpourri, also can be very appealing, but don't overdo it with strong scents.
- Improve curb appeal by keeping your lawn edged and cut regularly, trimming hedges and pruning trees, cleaning gutters, keeping the garage door closed, applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
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