Century 21 At Your Service is located at 805 Don Knotts Blvd. right in the Wharf District!


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Version: 2.1

Tips For Sellers

How do you Get Thousands More for Your Home? Since the goal for all home sellers is to generate maximum buyer interest, sellers must pay attention to everything to make their home desirable.  Usually you will only get one chance to make a good impression. Here are some home selling tips to show buyers how elegant your house can look while leaving them sufficient space to imagine where they can put their things.  While some projects may cost thousands of dollars, there are some simple things a seller can do for little or no cost that will greatly increase the overall desirability of their home.

  • Clean, Clean, Clean: All floors and counter-tops should be cleaned. Any windows with excess build-up should be cleaned as well. The stove top should be cleaned. All bathroom surfaces should be squeaky clean.  Look for cobwebs in the chandeliers and ceiling fans. Dust bookshelves and armoires. Remember, potential buyers may be looking at your home at all hours of the day (not just open houses)  so you must remain vigilant the entire time your home is listed for sale.
  • Clear All Surfaces: Try to remove all non-essential items from all countertops and tables.  Kitchen countertops should only have major appliances, a few high-end appliances and perhaps a few other "homey" touches (Spice rack, stainless steel kitchen tool rack, a set of jars). Any appliances that will be sold with the house should be cleaned thoroughly. Remove all items from the outside of the refrigerator.  In the bathrooms, all toiletry items should be stored away. In the home office, all paper work and other items should be boxed up and put away. Tile countertops can be rubbed with mineral oil to make it gleam like new.
  • Smells: You should endeavor to have your house smell as fresh as possible. Any unusual odors will immediately turn off potential buyers.  This includes any food odors, cigarette odors or pet odors. Fresh paint odor is actually not bad as long as it is not over-powering.  Most odors can be removed by having the carpets and drapes cleaned or simply by airing out the house on a regular basis.
  • Light and Bright: Very few buyers want a home that seems dark and thus you should endeavor to brighten up your home as much as possible.  Accomplishing this may be as simple as making sure all of the window coverings are opened and the appropriate lights are left on.  This is especially critical in the living, dining and family rooms.  Additionally, if there is a tree or bush blocking out light, you may want to look into having that tree or bush trimmed back. Make sure all light fixtures are clean and bulbs replaced. Use higher wattage bulbs than normal.
  • Closets: While you may be tempted to store your excess stuff in here, it is better to put it all in the garage or rent a storage space. Buyers will open every closet door and while it is fine to have some things in your closets, you don’t want the closets to seem overflowing. This conveys the message that there is not enough storage in this house.
  • Curb Appeal: The first impression potential buyers will have of your house is when they get out of the car and walk up your walkway. Thus the lawn should be freshly mowed on a regular basis, any weeds or dead plants should be pulled, all shrubbery or ground cover should be trimmed.   Also, if possible, plant a few flowering plants in the front yard.  The same should be done to your backyard as well.
  • Exterior of the House: While painting the outside of your house is almost always a good idea, if you want to avoid that expense you should at the very least look to have the outside of your home power-washed. This should give your home a fresher look for a fraction of the cost of repainting. Also you should look to have your driveway and walkways power washed as well. You may also want to consider repainting any fences.
  • Switch and Electrical Plates and Air Registers: Since you may have to remove all of these if you decide to paint the interior,  you might as well replace all of these items. Avoid buying any overly decorative looking plates. Upgrading to dimmer switches may be worthwhile as well. New plates can make your home see more contemporary.
  • Doors and Cabinets: You should check every built in door, cabinet or drawer to make sure they work properly ( open and close easily and are aligned). A poorly working door or drawer will indicate to the buyer that there may be some shoddy workmanship involved with your home. Often some simple sand paper or some oil to the hinges can rehabilitate a malfunctioning door or drawer.  It is especially important that your front door work properly.
  • Children’s Rooms: It is very important that you convey to your children how important it for them to have their bedrooms and bathrooms cleaned up everyday during the listing period. You may want to give your children a checklist of things that need to be done everyday before they leave the house. Their beds should be made up and their toys put away. A couple of stuffed animals on top of the bed is a nice touch.
  • Doors and Windows: All door and window screens should be cleaned and damaged ones replaced. You should polish or replace all the hardware. You should pay special attention to the front door making sure it looks good and works properly.  Also check that the lock work easily.
  • Walls: The walls should be clean of smudges, dirt and fingerprints. Avoid leaving anything on the walls other than framed art (no posters).  You should repair and paint over damaged walls.
  • Electrical: All lights and electrical appliances should be in good working order.  Consider replacing older light bulbs with high wattage bulbs.  Make sure the doorbell works as well.
  • Furniture: Try to minimize the amount of furniture in your home.  Too much furniture can convey the feeling that the house is small.  Remember, when you see a model home, often the furniture is smaller than normal so that the living space seems larger.  You might consider putting a queen bed in the master bedroom instead of a king. Also any worn or old furniture should be stored elsewhere.
  • Flooring: Carpets and rugs should be steam cleaned and hardwood floors waxed.
  • Bathrooms: In addition to being clean, all tub and shower caulking should be fixed. Any glass enclosures need to be cleaned regularly.
  • Plumbing: All leaky faucets and toilets should be fixed or replaced.