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Tips for Sellers

Fully preparing your home for sale can make a considerable difference in the time it takes to sell it. You can help eliminate buyer objections before they arise by making necessary repairs and improvements, some of which are suggested below:

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Make the Most of that First Impression

A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted - or at least freshly scrubbed - front door. Rake falling leaves and sweep off walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.
Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends
Here's your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your property. Prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look, "with a little work."
Check Faucets and Bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs leave prospects in the dark. Don't let little problems detract from what's right with your home.
Make Room for Space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They're looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and garage are clean and free of unnecessary items.
Don't Shut Out a Sale
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect's mind. Don't try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.
Think Safety
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.
Make Your Bathrooms Sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats and shower curtains.

Create Dream Bedrooms
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.

Open up in the Daytime
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.

Lighten up at Night
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.

Watch Your Pets
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.
Keep a Low Profile
Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But RE/MAX Sales Associates know buyers - what they need and what they want. Your RE/MAX Associate will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
Defer to Experience
When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your RE/MAX Sales Associate.

Keep in touch
Let Laura and Lee know if you run low on brochures or business cards. Let us know if any doors are left unlocked or windows are left open by agents showing the home.

A Pre-Marketing Checklist

Fully preparing your home for sale can make a considerable difference in the time it takes to sell it. You can help eliminate buyer objections before they arise by making necessary repairs and improvements, some of which are suggested below.

• Spruce up your garden and lawn; trim shrubbery and replace dead plants.

• Yard and patio should be neat; outdoor furniture should be clean and in good shape.

• Clean or paint your front door -remember first impressions last the longest!

• Manicure your front yard. Make sure your driveway and entryway are free of clutter.

• Check that house numbers, mailbox and exterior lighting are all in good condition.

• Touch up with fresh paint as needed.

• Inspect chimney for cracks.

• Repair loose trim, drain pipes and fencing.

• Clean stains and window screens.

• Remove clutter and tidy up the shelves.

• Clean the floor.

Living Areas
• Apply fresh paint as needed.

• Think about brightening your interiors with neutral-toned paint.

• Clean draperies and carpets.

• Replace burned out light bulbs.

• Clean the fireplace and remove smoke stains from the wall and mantle.

• Sinks, appliances and counter tops should sparkle; remove any clutter.

• Wax the floor.

• Clean the oven, range and other appliances.

• Clean tile and grout; replace if necessary.

• Repair any plumbing problems or broken appliances.
• Clean mirrors, glass, chrome and porcelain surfaces.

• Replace shower curtain if necessary.

• Fix any faucet drips or leaks.

• Doors and drawers should open and close easily.

• Remove clutter; tidy up shelves and racks.

• Shoes and clothes should be neatly arranged.

• Check the basics around the house. It takes just a minute to check all doors, windows and cabinets to make sure they don't stick, squeak or are too loose.

• Clean your furnace and water heater so buyers know they are looking at a house that has been well maintained.

Dealing with the Offer

Understanding the terms
Prior to showing your home, and after athe offer thorough evaluation with a realtor, you should have a realistic idea of the price, how low you'll settle and what terms you'll accept.

With this information, you are prepared. When an offer is presented, you'll be able to compare it to your initial guidelines. Your realtor will evaluate these offers and, hopefully, arrive at one that comes closest to your objectives.

At the same time, however, your realtor will likely exercise some leveraging power with any other negotiable items. A realtor works on your behalf, considering all the factors, you as a buyer, and the seller, to work at an agreement that is satisfactory for both parties. It comes down to persuasion and negotiation. Your professional realtor has specialized training in this important area.

Evaluating the offer
An interested buyer will present an offer to your Realtor through his or her agent. Your agent will discuss the offer with you, ensuring you understand all aspects. The offer is a legally binding contract which contains the following elements:

* The names of the potential purchaser.
* Your name.
* Property description
* Conditions of purchase including:
- price
- closing date
- conditions, easements, caveats
- survey
- home inspection
*An irrevocable date (you have until this date to accept, or sign back a counter offer).
*Mortgage details (such as assumable mortgage, sellerÕs buyback, or other arrangements)

Keep in mind that the purchase price is not the final price you will receive. That's because you will have additional fees to cover from the sale of the home including:
- lawyer
- real estate agent
- bank (for the balance of your mortgage and for any prepayment or discharge penalties)
- taxes (if there are any outstanding)

You and your agent should thoroughly review every detail. If there is anything you don't understand, ask!

Before you accept and sign the offer, it is a good idea to have your lawyer review the offer. This way, you can be confident nothing has been missed, everything is legally accurate, and your interests are protected. (see additional article - Seek legal representation)

Accepting the offer
When you are satisfied with the offer, you'll want to accept it. To secure this contract, your realtor will ask the buyer for a deposit. Your agent will hold the deposit. Upon closing, the deposit will be applied to the commission owed.

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