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Pre Market ToDo List


It’s Springtime! Traditionally a time for blooming dogwoods, redbuds and Home For Sale signs popping up like tulips.  If you are looking to market you home in the next weeks or so consider this “ToDo” List for getting your most important investment ready for market and get the best return on your investment.  Pouring a little sweat equity into your plans will benefit your bottom line in return.

  • Find a great real estate agent
    • Think you can sell your home yourself, and pocket the cash you would otherwise pay an agent? It can be tempting, especially in a hot market, but resist the urge.  Research has found that a "For Sale by Owner" transaction is almost always a disaster, leading you to sacrifice both money and time.  Research proves that listing with a agency cuts the time on the market and most get a better financial return working with a professional listing agent.
    • Do some research to find a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about your specific market, and then interview to find a good fit.  American Way has 53 to choose from... 
  • Consider your curb appeal
    • Make sure the first thing prospective buyers see of your home entices them to want to see more. Yes, for better or worse, buyers do tend to judge a book by its cover. By investing some effort in relatively easy fixes like planting colorful flowers and repainting your front door, the outside of your house can beckon them to come on in.
  • Declutter living areas
    • Less is so much More when it comes to getting your house ready to show.
    • Do a clean sweep all visible areas including counters, windowsills, tables.  Then tackle behind closed doors: closets, drawers, and cupboards—since virtually nothing is off-limits for curious buyers.
    • A house that is overflowing with stuff, tells the buyer that the house won’t have ample space for their own belongings.
    • Simplify.  Take the excess and donate or pack it up for a storage space. Or Sell it – Yard sales or online sales are a quick way to get some money to help offset costs of painting & maintenance fixes.  A storage space will clear your home of clutter and give you time to decide what to keep, sell or donate.
  • Depersonalize your space
    • The next step on the de-clutter list? You want to remove any distractions so the buyers can visualize themselves and their family living in the property.
    • Clearing out space includes personal items and family photos, as well as bold artwork and furniture that might make your home less appealing. The goal is to create a blank canvas on which house hunters can see themselves living there and loving it.
  • Repaint walls to neutral tones
    • You might love that orange accent wall, but if it’s your potential buyer’s least favorite color, that could be a turnoff.
    • You’re pretty safe with a neutral color because it's rare that someone hates it, but the other benefit is that a light color allows [buyers] to envision what the walls would look like with the color of their choice.  Know that you can keep your design, but realize it may take more time and home tours to more people to get that perfect person that loves your touches.  How fast do you need to sell?  Neutral sells faster.
  • Touch up any scuff marks
    • Even if you’re not doing a full-on repainting project, pay special attention to scrubbing and then touching up baseboards, walls, and doors to make the house sparkle and look cared-for.
  • Fix any loose handles
    • A small thing, sure, but you’d be surprised by the negative effect a loose handle or missing lightbulb can have on a buyer.  It can make them stop and think, what else is broken here?
  • Add some plants
    • Green is good, because plants create a more welcoming environment. If not a plant person a quick bouquet of flowers or bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or dining table warms up a room.
  • Conduct a smell test
    • Foul odors, even slight ones, can be a deal breaker, and the problem is that you might not even notice them. He recommends inviting an unbiased third party in to try to detect any pet smells or lingering odors from your kitchen.
    • If the smells are pervasive, you might need to do some deep cleaning, because many buyers are on to your “masking techniques” such as candles or plug-in room deodorizers.
  • Clean, clean, clean
    • And then clean some more. You want your property to look spotless. Take special care with the bathroom, making sure the tile, counters, shower, and floors shine.
  • Hide valuables
    • From art to jewelry, make sure that your treasures are out of sight, either locked up or stored offsite.
  • Consider staging
    • Does your house scream 1989? Nothing invigorates a house like some new furnishings or even just a perfectly placed mirror. The key is getting your home staged by a professional. Homestagers will evaluate the current condition and belongings in your house and determine what elements might raise the bar. They might recommend you buy or rent some items.  Tight on budget, ask a design talented friend to come give opinions or to just reorganize your decorative tchotchkes, collections and bookshelves.  You’ll be amazed at how staging can brighten and expand the perceived size of the rooms.

Call us and make an appointment with one of the talented American Way agents.  They are excellent at looking at your home with an experienced Market Focused eye.  They can create a Free Market Assessment and a List of any items they see that will put your home in the Best Spotlight for marketing.  We are here to make you look good.  Call us at 931.526.9581

American Way Real Estate Company
710 South Jefferson Ave.
Cookeville, TN 38501
Phone: 931-526-9581

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