November 2014

Found 40 blog entries for November 2014.

You’re a friendly person – but when you’re selling your house it’s time to be a bit stand-offish.

If at all possible, you shouldn’t even meet the people who come to view your house –  even after they’ve submitted an offer. The same goes for the buyer’s agent, unless they come along with me to present an offer.

Why? For 4 good reasons:

  • Your answer to an innocent question can give them a negotiating edge.
  • You could “talk them out of the purchase.”
  • When taken by surprise, you could verbally agree to something that’s not in your best interests.
  • A personality conflict could kill your sale.

As your agent, one of my jobs is to protect your interests – and one of the ways I do that is by acting as an intermediary between you and your

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Before we can get an offer on your house, buyers have to get in to see it.

And, since we don’t know which buyer will think “This is the one,” we need to making showing your house as easy as possible for all the agents who might be bringing buyers.

While it would be best if you could say yes to every showing appointment request, we realize that there are those times when you simply cannot. Should that happen, please be prepared to offer an alternative time.

All buyer agents attempt to set appointments at least a day in advance, but sometimes it isn’t possible. Buyers change their minds about the location or style of homes they want to see, or they see your home on line and ask to add it to a day’s schedule.

Please do attempt to let these agents

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The primary goal in getting your house ready for market is to evoke positive emotions in buyers from the minute they arrive - and to keep reinforcing those positive emotions as they tour your home.

One way of creating positive emotions within the house is through the use of light. That’s why we advise leaving lights on for evening showings, and why you should open all the drapes, curtains and blinds for daytime showings.

Sunshine streaming in creates a feeling of spaciousness and good cheer – while heavily draped, dark rooms can make a room feel small and uninviting to many would-be buyers.

So clean and polish those windows and let the light shine in!              

P.S. For those hard-to-reach exterior windows, try a product that attaches to

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You may have read an article or two about getting your house ready for a showing and making a positive first impression. Most of those articles have good ideas, but one I’ve seen lately promotes a bad idea: Leaving candles burning to create atmosphere.

Lighting a candle and letting it burn for a few minutes before you leave is fine. It helps clear the air and leaves a soft scent. But leaving candles burning when you’re out of the house is a fire hazard.

Buyers or an agent could inadvertently knock one over – or even get a sleeve in the flame.

So please keep your house and your visitors safe: snuff the candles before you leave.

As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns, please do get in touch.

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You probably already know that people buy with emotion and justify their decisions with logic.

That’s why you’re doing everything possible to set the right stage when buyers tour your home. You want them to feel that this is the house for them.

And that’s one reason why curb appeal is so important.

That first impression sets the tone – and creates the expectation for what those buyers will find when they get inside. If the exterior of the house says “wow” they’re going to expect more “wow” when they go in – and that’s what they’ll be looking for.

However, if things on the exterior are a bit shabby, messy, or dirty, they’ll go in expecting to see signs of deferred maintenance, or worse. And that’s what they’ll be looking for.

Of course, the

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You‘ve heard it before: You don’t sell a house the same way you live in a house. And that is true.

Unless you have a full-time maid or a family member dedicated to house cleaning, your usual lifestyle probably doesn’t include keeping your home in “show-ready” condition at all times.

But now that the house is on the market and buyers could show up on short notice, that’s exactly what it needs to be. You’ll need to train yourself and those who share your home to be “neatnicks” for the next little while.

What does that mean?

  • Making beds as soon as you arise.
  • Cleaning the kitchen immediately after every meal.
  • Hanging up clothes that don’t go in the hamper.
  • Folding and putting away the laundry as it comes from the dryer.
  • Vacuuming
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Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect. It’s made up of people both good and bad – both honest and dishonest. Also unfortunately, buyers’ agents don’t always know which of their clients fits into which category.

Most people viewing your house are good honest people looking for a home. But you need to be aware that not all people have honorable intentions. Crooks have been known to pose as home buyers in order to gain access to homes.

That means you as a seller need to take some simple precautions.

First, never leave any cash, credit cards, or checkbooks laying out. If you can,  put them inside a locked drawer or safe. Otherwise, take them with you when you leave the house.

Put your bills and other mail or documents containing account numbers

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When you look at homes for sale, you assume that every fixture in the house is included in the sale. And you should. Legally, anything attached to the house with nails or screws is a part of the real property and stays with the home.

What does that mean to you as a seller?

It means that if there is any fixture in your home that you don’t wish to sell as a part of the house, you should remove it immediately. I can make notes in the Multiple Listing entry, but not all buyers’ agents pay attention – so your potential buyers may not know that the dining room chandelier belonged to your Grandmother and will be leaving with you.

I know you love living with your special belongings, but now is the time to take them down and store them securely. If it’s a

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When buyers arrive to view your home, their first impression is of your yard. As you know, it should be neat and tidy, with no toys, no fliers blowing around, and no trash cans in sight.

Fences should be standing tall and walks swept. Window and door trim should be free from cracked or peeling paint – and the front door should be clean. In fact, it should be freshly painted. But once that’s done, don’t forget about it.

I have no idea why, but entry doors seem to need touch-up cleaning often. If you have pets, it’s understandable. They scratch with muddy paws or rub against the door and door frame.

But even if you don’t have pets, doors get dirty. Often fingerprints are the culprit. Why do so many people use the edge of the door instead of the

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We’ve come to the end of my “short course” on selling your home. There’s more to know, of course, and if my messages have sparked questions for you, please do get in touch. I’ll be glad to answer.

One piece of the home selling process that I didn’t cover in depth is marketing – because while it is important, marketing is your agent’s job. And, each agent has his or her own methods.

I’ll be more than happy to share my marketing plan with you. And as I have said before, I’ll be happy to prepare a market analysis of your home – at no obligation, of course.

The on-line market analysis programs are a starting place. But the truth is, nothing can take the place of a true market analysis prepared by an agent who knows your neighborhood and who has

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