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Old 08-17-2009, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
577 posts, read 1,786,024 times
Reputation: 299

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I'm not a real estate agent but here's what I have to say from my experience with buying and selling, going to open houses, and my current obsession with watching the real estate shows on HGTV. I figured I'd share since a few people have posted recently about selling their homes.

1. Clean, clean clean. That includes baseboards, light fixtures, fingerprints on doors, air vents, windowsills, oven door, stove top, etc.

2. Get a storage unit and clear out a bunch of stuff. We did that when we sold our townhome and I think it made a big difference. We got a storage unit from Boxcart, which is like PODS where a storage box is delivered to your house, you fill it up, then they take it away. I was fortunate enough that my realtor covered the cost of that. Ask whatever realtor you choose if they will do it. Anyway, remove most of your closet items, knick-knacks, boxes of holiday decorations, etc. If you have many books, pack them up now and put them in storage - you'll have to pack them later, anyway, and putting them away now helps to declutter your house. We even packed most of our CDs and put them in storage so that our CD tower wasn't out to take up valuable space.

3.
Do all repairs you can. We had a bathroom light fixture that was getting a bit rusty and so we replaced it (I even got a free new one from Freecycle.org). Patch any holes in walls, fix leaky faucets, re-caulk around the shower and tub, and whatever else. Replace your a/c filters.

4.
Did I mention cleaning absolutely everything? Fridge, cabinet fronts, counter backsplashes, shower doors should sparkle and have not mildew. Get a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and clean the scuff marks off your walls - be sure to wipe afterward with a wet rag so the eraser doesn't leave any residue.

5.
Dress up your house. That "staging" stuff really works. Even though someone isn't buying your stuff, just your house, they still get a first impression based on what your stuff looks like. Kind of dumb, but true. So put away the family photos and put up some neutral artwork. The HomeGoods store took a lot of my money but I made it up with the sale of my house and using the things I bought in my current place. Curtains made a big difference in our townhome, too.

6.
The cookie baking thing really works, too. Or the smell of most anything baking. Plus it can cover any odd odors your house may have from cooking that bacon the other day. I didn't bake entire batches of cookies but instead bought a roll of dough at the grocery and sliced off a few "cookies" to bake in the toaster oven on weekend mornings or any other time I thought people might be coming by to view the house. Then I set them out on a plate for potential buyers to eat. You could put out fresh flowers, too.

7.
Have a very competitive price. We went and looked through other homes for sale in our area to see what our competition looked like before we priced our home. One house had crayon marks on the walls and the glass front of the oven door was missing! What they were thinking, I'll never know.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,753,604 times
Reputation: 316
The listing agent we worked with in Nebraska actually paid for a stager. He does it for all his listings. Great, great, great idea - we had a contract in 10 days, in a place where the real estate market was NOT hot. It totally works.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,306 posts, read 1,361,174 times
Reputation: 949
I think this would be better in the Real Estate forum.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
577 posts, read 1,786,024 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by twinmma View Post
I think this would be better in the Real Estate forum.
Agreed! Where is it?

*** Nevermind - I just found it. ***
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,306 posts, read 1,361,174 times
Reputation: 949
Glad you found it! A lot of people will actually look for tips on that forum so it should be good there.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
577 posts, read 1,786,024 times
Reputation: 299
The City-Data Northern Virginia forum popped up for me on a Google search. I never backtracked to the basic City Data Forum to see what else was there - I figured it was all state by state info. Now I have a new forum to be addicted to. Swell.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:13 PM
 
2,728 posts, read 7,354,051 times
Reputation: 1062
I went into a house one time, good price and it was in a good community. I was in the house for about 15 minutes, I found dirty hand prints all over the walls, the carpets were black like nobody was taking off their shoes, and then after opening the dishwasher there was thick crust around it. For that price, i was not about to clean up someones mess..I told my Realtor lets get out of here fast.no way Jose.
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