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Suit Yourself™ International Magazine #67 How To Sell A House 2: Use Checklists

  

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Suit Yourself™ International Magazine #67

 

 

HOW TO SELL A HOUSE 2: USE CHECKLISTS

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Previous articles can be found in our Library: https://suityourself.international/libraryindex.html
and in the Magazine Archives: https://suityourself.international/appanage/index.php?_a=newsletter

Upon request, reprint permission and an addendum of substantiating resources are available for all articles. When requesting reprint permission or addenda, please include the issue date and full issue title. All articles are copyright © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself ™ International. All rights reserved. ISSN 2474-820X.
 

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 I hope this is enjoyable and useful to you!

Debra Spencer

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This issue continues the series to help you sell your house for the best price in the least amount of time. 

For your convenience, at the end of this issue of the magazine are brief house checklists, extracted from the more detailed articles on how to handle the various parts of your home.

Remember: think like a buyer and have a critical eye.

Recall the the key points from the introduction to this series:
Minimize Clutter 
Clean
Repair
Neutralize
Dramatize
and then, Open House!

 

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HOW TO SELL A HOUSE 2: USE CHECKLISTS

 

Some parts of your home will be more challenging  than others;

 

which parts are challenging will depend on the type of dwelling you have, and how you've used it.

 

Homes with unusual configurations,

or in challenging locations,

 

or selling out of season, or substantially remodelled, may need extra attention to detail to compete.

 

This is why I provide each part of your home with a specialized checklist for it,  in detail in each of the upcoming issues, and each checklist applies these same five important points to package each part of your house for sale. 

Even if you can't get to every detail, the checklists will help you to keep the basics in mind and to stay organized. When you're ready to begin work, print out and use each of the checklists, adding your own "To Do" lists to each one.  

If you can remember only one "take-away" rule from this entire series, it's REDUCE CLUTTER. One person's "Pride And Joy" is just clutter to someone else. There is no accounting for taste. Clutter blocks people from visualizing themselves living in your home.

 

Think "hotel room" and "theatre", and pack and store away all non- essentials and anything personal.

 

Your buyers are considering buying your home from the front row of an intimate theatre, not from the rear of the cinema or behind a Rock n'Roll concert crowd. Once your home is for sale, think of your home as a hotel where you're staying until the home sells; in your mind, you've already moved out. 

 

Remember, to compete successfully and sell, your house must stand out from the competition as memorable in some way other than price.

 

No matter how fine the neighborhood, that cannot offset a dilapidated ill-kept dwelling in poor repair.

 

At the same time, your home has to encourage buyers to picture themselves living within it. Advertising and publicity can't do this for you; they just announce your house is for sale. 


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PRINT OUT & USE THESE CHECKLISTS !

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Exterior and Curb Appeal, Garden and Lawn, Backyard and Pool

Minimize Clutter:  
Lawn and Garden: mow, trim, weed, water, pick up.
Pet areas: clean up, re-sod spots as needed.
Extra vehicles: remove them from the curb view. 

Clean: 
Carefully sweep the front porch.
Windows: wash them inside and out.
Walk and driveway: sweep and remove stains.
Siding (brick, wood shingling, stucco):  hose down.

Repair:
Doors and windows: repair screens, glass, and door hardware
Siding: repair or paint as needed.
Fences: repair or paint as needed.
Gates: Be sure they're working well and smoothly.
Sidewalks and driveways: repair or paint as needed. 
Be sure the mailbox looks inviting.
Be sure the doorbell is in working order.

Neutralize:
Lawn areas: remove any distracting decorations. No pink flamingos.
If you have a pool, remove any distracting decorations.

Dramatize:
Add new house numbers and / or a shiny brass door fixture.
Polish the front door hardware.
Add potted or hanging flowers to the deck or porch.
Add a large plant, wreath, and / or welcome doormat at the entrance.
Borrow or rent nice lawn furniture, and arrange it appropriately.
Add a fresh layer of rock or bark if needed.

                      

 

Kitchen
Minimize Clutter:
Counters: clear extra appliances, accessories, etc.
Cupboards: remove and pack away extra dishes and food.
Memo areas: straighten and remove papers. 

Clean:
Cupboards:  wipe inside, and polish cabinets.
Vents and exhaust hoods: clean and deodorize.
Appliances: clean thoroughly, inside and out.
Sinks: polish and clean, remove stains.
Floors and walls: scrub and wax floors.
Garbage, produce areas: clean and deodorize.

Repair:
Faucets: repair leaks.
Appliances: check bulbs, replace parts.
Wall and ceiling cracks: patch, and paint.

Neutralize:
Walls: use neutral paint and wallpaper.

Dramatize:
Clean or replace reflector plates.
Add a new simple throw rug.
Add green or flowering plants.
Consider using a lutrin (a small book or plate support) to leave an open cookbook set on a counter.


 

 

Bathrooms
Minimize Clutter:
Counters: clean, pack, and store.
Vanities, medicine cabinets, and linen closets: organize, pack, and store.

Clean:
Vanities: clean inside, scrub and polish outside.
Sinks, tub and shower: remove stains and mold. Clean and scrub grouting.
Mirrors and chrome: polish to a sparkle, wipe surfaces.
Floors and walls: scrub clean and deodorize.

Repair:
Toilets, sinks, baths: make any needed repairs.
Plumbing: make any needed repairs.
Grout and caulking: patch as needed.
Wall and ceiling cracks: patch and paint as needed.

Neutralize:
Walls: use a neutral paint and wallpaper.
Shower curtains and towels: use basic colors.

Dramatize:
Add simply scented soap or a candle.
Purchase or borrow "show" towels and accessories.


 

 

Entryway Foyer
Minimize Clutter:
Furniture: rearrange for openness, remove and store as needed.
Plants: remove extra, unruly, or unhealthy plants.
Coats, hats, shoes: Carefully arrange or pack and store.

Incidentally, foyer, which is French for entryway, is pronounced "foy-YEAH" to rhyme with "hay".

Clean:
Carpet: spot clean, and consider a professional service.
Furniture and woodwork: polish.
Lighting fixtures: clean and polish to a sparkle. Wipe surfaces.
Hardwood floors: wash and shine.

Repair:
Wall and ceiling cracks: repair and paint.

Neutralize:
Walls: use a neutral paint and wallpaper.

Dramatize:
Use real flowers and fresh potpourri.
Consider renting appropriate furniture.


 

Living & Dining Room ~ Family Room
Minimize Clutter:
Coffee and end tables: remove papers, etc.
Furniture: rearrange for openness, remove and store as needed.
Bookshelves and office areas: straighten, pack, and store.
Plants: remove extra, unruly, or unhealthy plants.

Clean:
Carpet: spot clean, and consider a professional service.
Lighting fixtures: clean and polish to a sparkle. Wipe surfaces.
Furniture and woodwork: polish.
Hardwood floors: wash and shine.

Repair:
Wall and ceiling cracks: repair and paint.

Neutralize:
Walls: use a neutral paint and wallpaper.
Consider adding neutral colored pillows to the sofa or couch.

Dramatize:
In the family room, leave out a project or a game.
Use logs and fireplace accessories.
Set the table. Put linens on the table and the server.
Use real flowers and fresh potpourri.
Drape an elegantly simple fine fabric afghan over a chair or couch. 
Rearrange pictures to highlight special areas.

 

 

Bedrooms ~ Adult & Guests
Minimize Clutter:
Closets: straighten, box, and store.
Furniture: remove any extra items and rearrange to enhance and open up the space.

Clean:
Carpet: clean and deodorize.
Drapes and curtains: take them down and wash them or dry clean them, before putting them back up.
Lighting fixtures: wash and clean the crystals and the bulbs. Be sure all the bulbs are working.

Repair:
Wall and ceiling cracks: repair as needed.

Neutralize:
Walls: use a neutral paint and wallpaper. 
Consider using fresh new neutral color throw rugs and decorative pillows.
Bedspreads: use basic colors and patterns.
General decor: remove anything distracting or highly personal, such as posters, etc. 

Dramatize:
Rearrange pictures to highlight special areas.
Open a book and leave it open on a nightstand.
Add a fresh, flowering plant.
Add curtains or valances to rooms without them.
Arrange decorative pillows or shams on the bed.
Display an organized project in the work and sitting areas.

 

 

Bedrooms ~ Children & Nursery
Minimize Clutter:
Children's play areas: straighten and store extra toys.
Closets: straighten, box, and store.
Furniture: remove any extra items and rearrange to enhance and open up the space.

Clean:
Carpet: clean and deodorize in the nursery.
Drapes and curtains: take them down and wash them or dry clean them, before putting them back up.
Lighting fixtures: wash and clean the bulbs. Be sure all the bulbs are working.

Repair:
Wall and ceiling cracks: repair as needed.

Neutralize:
Walls: use a neutral paint and wallpaper. Consider using new wall decals in the children's room, and using fresh new neutral color throw rugs.
Bedspreads: use basic colors and patterns.
General decor: remove anything distracting or highly personal, such as posters, etc. 

Dramatize:
Rearrange pictures to highlight special areas.
Arrange children's room toys to look fun and inviting (think "toy store display').
Open a book and leave it open on a nightstand.
Add a fresh, flowering plant.
Add curtains or valances to rooms without them.
Arrange decorative pillows or shams on the bed.
Arrange games in the play areas.
Display an organized project in the work and sitting areas.

 

 

Basement ~ Garage ~ Laundry
Minimize Clutter:
Tool, shop, and laundry areas: straighten, box, and store.
Recreation room: straighten play areas and store extra toys.
Garage: store the lawn and garden tools and equipment.
 
Clean:
Walls and ceiling: remove any cobwebs.
Floors: sweep and clean the grease spots and marks.
Windows: clean inside and out.
Pet areas: thoroughly clean and deodorize.
Store any chemicals and partly filled containers.
Empty all trash cans.

Repair:
Repair what you can. Do not depend on using duct tape or electrical tape.
Appliances - be sure the furnace, water heater, etc. are in working order.jpg
Pipes and laundry connections: check and make repairs as needed.
Be sure garage doors, air conditioners, and other electrical and appliances are in good working order.

Neutralize:
Walls and floors: consider spray painting walls in neutral colors.

Dramatize:
Arrange laundry supplies to suggest ease of work.
Display an organized project in the work and hobby areas.


 

 

Open House is Showtime!  

Just before an open house, walk through the house, and walk around the property outside the house, 
to make a final check of all the details that will make your house memorable. 
Check that family members have done the ongoing tasks assigned to them.
Plan a fun activity for your family away from your house during Open House Showtime.
Basically, once your home is for sale, you should think of your home as a hotel in which you're staying until the home sells; in your mind, you've already moved out. 

Inside:
Open the drapes and shades.
Open the windows to freshen the air in all the rooms (even temporarily, if the weather's bad).
Arrange fresh flowers throughout.
To make the home feel warm and bright, turn on the lights.
If you have a fireplace, build a fire.
Set out a game, book, or hobby project in the living room, family rooms, and bed rooms.
Set tables with linens and fresh flowers.
Make sure the beds are made with "show" linens and new toss pillows.
Set out "show" towels in the bathrooms and kitchen.
Make sure all the rugs and carpets are clean, bright, and fresh-smelling.
Empty all wastebaskets.
Pick up and remove any dirty clothes.
Clean and deodorize the pet areas. 
Store pet food bowls and water bowls; tidy the pet beds.
Store pets.
Play soft music.
Turn off the television. 
You want to minimize distracting sounds, inside and out.
Set a comfortable temperature.
Do a last minute "once-over" cleaning, e.g. vacuum, sweep, and dust. Then check what you've done.
Finally, walk through and check every room again, just before the open house begins.
Make sure the home smells as good as it looks.

Many home owners bake cookies in the oven before leaving the home to the open house, just so the aroma of freshly baked cookies still permeates their kitchen. Others brew some coffee. These rich aromas help buyers feel right at home.


Outside:
Pick up, and store, any lawn tools and toys.
Pick up after pets.
Top off any bird feeders.
If your area is prone to sprouting wild mushrooms, remove them.
If you're selling in the spring and summer seasons, and there are any vines or shrubs anywhere in your neighborhood, check for poison ivy as it blooms and proliferates quickly.
Remove obstructions from the curb view.
Clean driveways and walk ways.
Check and empty the mailbox.
Check that the doorbell is in working order.
If you have a pool, remove any distracting decorations.

 

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Thanks for reading and I hope this series is enjoyable and helpful to you!
 
Best Wishes,
Debra Spencer


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