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Hey, you're in the real estate zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Selling Your House Category

Real Estate :

Preparing your house to be sold on the market, some things to consider.


When you are in the market to sell your first or next house, there are many aspects of house selling to consider.  One of the major aspects of selling a house on the market is making sure it is ready to be sold on the market with a chance of being sold in a reasonable amount of time. With this in mind, the following are some things you should consider doing in preparing to put your house on the market:

  • Take an open-eye perspective and plan accordingly.  Try to look at your house that is about to be put on the market from the perspective of a prospective house buyer


    to see "what works and what doesn't" in the way your house looks; invite family and close friends to give you their invaluable insight into this "what works and what doesn't" house appearance, too.  Note your observations and those of your family and friends.  Then, if it is possible, check out your closest competition: Go to an open house that is near your house to see what houses on the market in your area generally offer, whether furniture is included as part of the house purchase, whether the houses are complemented by gorgeous, bountiful flower gardens, etc.  Further, consider reviewing house designer/home decoration magazines for additional ideas.  From there, with the observations of your own house, those of competing comparable houses already on the for-sale market and what you have found in house magazines, plan on how you will enhance the appearance and marketability of your house, incorporating improvement ideas obtained from such observations.  Be sure to plan on making your house look the best it can be the first time around on the market, as first impressions are everything--people tend to quickly make up their minds about a house in a short time span.

  • Front appearance sets the tone.  This should already be a part of your appearance enhancement plan introduced above, though because it is so important, it deserves its own point here:  Make sure that the entrance to the house is welcoming, particularly the door.  If the door has deteriorated in appearance over the years, consider repainting it or eve replacing it altogether with a more contemporary door. Remove weeds and littered garbage found around your house, suffice it to say.  Plant flowers or other complementary vegetation in front of your house to make it have more of an enlivened look.

  • The most important room:  the kitchen.  As noted below, keep the kitchen, including its floors, cabinets and countertops clean; if need be, see whether restoring the cabinetry's outside appearance is something you want to on your own, through a contractor, or not at all.  For more information, see the cabinetry/shelving section.

  • Repainting, a usual must.  You should repaint the inside of your house especially if you've lived at that house for over a year, since the interior walls seem to always just get tarnished a bit here and there.  The paint you use should be of a neutral, light color to help instill a freshened, spacious and enlivened appearance.

  • Maintain cleanliness in general.  Make sure you do not leave any clutter around in any room of your house, including in the closets and countertops; a clean countertop will make your kitchen look instantly better and bigger.  If possible, start removing some of your belongings from the house, reducing the amount of family photos left in the house and definitely taking away any item, whether religious, political or sexual in nature, that may be found to be distracting or even offensive to prospective house buyers.  Definitely wipe away dust from all the areas of the house where it usually accumulates.  Pick up all pet feces, especially before every open house.  Add fresheners to the house, if need be, especially before its showing, though make sure the freshener is not applied too strongly.

  • Make all necessary repairs, but don't go overboard if you are willing to sacrifice.  Make the small repairs you've been planning to do before you decided to put your house on the market, but what you had not had a chance to accomplish yet.  This may be a clogged drain in your second bathroom that needs to be unclogged or a chipped bathtub tile that needs to be replaced.  In a nutshell, do all the repairs you can afford to do that make your house presentable.  However, if there are relatively monumental tasks of repair or replacement at hand--like replacing your central air conditioning system--consider taking one of two options:  1) Utilize your for-sale-preparation budget to pay for such a repair or replacement so as not to add to any negative aspects of your house, if any; or 2) Make the deliberate decision of not having made such a repair or replacement and be willing to sacrifice a bit in the reduction of the originally thought asking price of the house in turn when you disclose to the house buyer your outstanding in-need-of-repair/replacement situation.  However, especially in a buyer's market, you'd probably want to decide on option 1, since more and more home buyers visualize moving into their newly purchased house right away without having to encounter major problems/inconveniences as a result of a previous owner's having previously put off a much-needed repair or replacement.

The above are just some of the things you should consider doing in preparing to put your house on the market.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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