Buckner Blog

Preparing Your Home

At Robert Buckner and Associates we will take you step-by-step through the home-selling process. Our agents will meet with you to prepare a comparable sales assessment which will give you an understanding of local pricing trends as you determine the asking price for your home. We will create a marketing plan for your home that meets your needs not only by displaying it on our website, advertise in traditional media outlets as well as in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Our agents and staff will be available to answer any questions you may have and will keep you informed about relevant market conditions. Additionally, we will handle all calls and requests for showings. It goes without saying that our team of experts will negotiate a fair price for all parties with expediency and as little stress as possible. Ultimately we will help you through the entire closing process and support after should you need it. We are here for you from beginning to end.

Our agents will complete every aspect of the home buying and selling process with accuracy, transparency and ease. This isn't just reassuring; it's truly good to know.

As you begin the preparation of selling your home here are a few things to consider:

What exactly does this mean? Essentially you want your home to look pleasing to a complete stranger by de-cluttering in all rooms (including the garage), toning down colors by making the home more neutral in its color scheme, and showcasing the highlights of your home such as hardwood floors, new tile in the master bath or your outdoor living area. Experts will tell you that a properly staged home can earn you 6 to 20 percent more on the selling price and will help the home to sell faster.

Staging is accomplished by, and here is the uncomfortable part, taking things down that make the home look like it is yours. Remove family pictures, religious symbols, magnets on the refrigerator, old artificial plants, nick knacks in bathrooms, bedrooms and on tables as well as the removal of unnecessary pieces of furniture.

Clean and refresh! Clean the entire home and property then consider doing it again. Windows should be clean and there should be no dust or mold in the bathrooms. Paint the front door, refresh potted plants, clear the walkway and driveway and add a wreath to the newly painted front door. Tidy up the pool area and get rid of old furniture or pool toys. Move furniture around to open up the floor space and eliminate unnecessary pieces that clutter up a room. Fix all broken lights, doors, leaky faucets, clean carpets, pressure wash, you get the idea.

Last but not least neutralize the color scheme and get rid of the bold paint colors. If beige isn’t your color then try off-white. Purchase some new towels to display and a few other things that will lighten and brighten up your home.

Many homeowners have pets and we love them dearly and often times consider them part of our family. Having said that it is important to know that not everyone feels that way and some people are allergic to animal dander.

It is important to minimize any evidence of pets living in your home by keeping litter boxes clean and hidden, food bowls clean and out of the way, eliminate odors, stains and pet toys and repair any damages that may be a result of the pet. Carpets and pads may need to be replaced, furniture and floors kept clean. Often times we become used to the smell of our home and our pet and while a potential buyer may like pets, they likely will not wish to inherit the odors and stains left behind from your pet.

Likewise, it is important to keep pets out of the home when the home is being shown. One never knows how the pet will react to new faces in the home. Snakes, spiders, and other small animals and reptiles should be removed if at all possible. Many people are frightened by reptiles and small animals.

Keeping your home as tidy and clean as possible will go a long way when it comes to attracting buyers. Remember, a potential buyer could call at any moment so staying on top of things is helpful and will pay off in the long run.

Making your home look good from the outside is a good thing to do regardless of whether you are selling your house or not. This is the first impression prospective buyers will have of the personality of the home and it will affect the selling price.

Landscape architect Billy Goodnick of California suggests that “What you see from the street needs to be coherent.”

  • Thinning overgrown bushes and creating groupings of plants might be a good thing to do if you have too many plants and varieties.
  • Remove or trim overgrown or old trees.
  • If you don’t have much now, consider adding one or two containers that will work with the style of your home.
  • Add perennials or annuals to bring in color.
  • Fix broken walkways and paint the mailbox.
  • Trim any bushes that crowd the sidewalk.
  • Add a new rug or wreathe at the front door

If your roof has had a few small leaks or your air conditioner has been giving you some trouble you might want to consider replacing these items. Typically this would need to be disclosed to a potential buyer anyway and they will likely want the selling price adjusted downward to compensate for that. The better suggestion would be to replace the roof and the air conditioner and have a nice selling point that they are new. This will give the buyer some piece of mind that he/she will not have to worry about this expense in the near future. Try to make sure whoever installs these items has a warranty that will transfer over to the new owner.

This can be a stressful time so you may want to get a start on it. The more you do ahead of time the less stressful the move will be. Here are some thoughts

  • Hold a yard sale to get rid of items you no longer need. This will help to generate extra money that will offset the moving costs.
  • Start collecting boxes and containers to pack items in.
  • Locate movers; learn about them and their fees by asking, researching through the Better Business Bureau and asking for references.
  • Notify utilities and cable companies of your dates and change of address
  • Give postal service, credit card companies, magazines, etc. your forwarding address
  • When you find a moving company obtain a binding agreement but know what is and is not in the quote. Often times extra charges such as parking fees, tolls, storage costs are not in the quote. Additionally you should pay for insurance and know who is responsible for breakage of items that you packed.
Sources http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell

Tampa Bay Times, Sunday, June 8, 2014 “Set the Stage in Your Home”

Tampa Bay Times, Sunday, May 31, 2015 “Warm Welcome”