A Facelift For Your Home

By: Fort Lauderdale Broker Gary Lanham

Just as a student prepares for a test, you should prepare your home before putting it up for sale. Garish colors, carpet stains, or the tape measure on the wall that keeps track of your children's growth can turn a buyer away.

Stash away some personal items that identify the home as yours. Buyers want to see a reflection of themselves living in your home. Put flower arrangements or pretty accessories around the room. That painting over the sofa is artsy to you, but might be offensive to a buyer.

A sharp realtor will give you valuable advice about do's and don'ts, so listen up!

Realtors will be more enthusiastic about bringing a potential buyer to your domicile when a minimum amount of touch up is necessary.

Just as a buyer often hires a qualified home inspector to survey a home, a seller can hire a licensed inspector to discover what structural, electrical, plumbing or other changes are necessary to bring your home into what is acceptable code. The Full Disclosure law says these findings have to be revealed to the buyer. If you choose not to have some, or all, of the items modified, the buyer might still be interested in negotiating an adjustment in the asking price, if you, the seller are amenable. Having this information puts a seller in a stronger negotiating position.

A seller cannot hold back information. The more your home is buyer friendly, the easier it will be to sell. Many first time buyers want to buy a home without having to make many changes. Let your house answer their need as much as possible.

Start your facelift at the beginning of your property. Flowers add color and say, Welcome. Confederate Jasmine close to the entry exudes a wonderful fragrance and Rosemary trees release an aromatic scent. Mist the trees with water to produce a fragrant scent. Trimmed hedges and a manicured lawn also are introductions to what lies behind the front door. A simple water fountain in the garden area is incredibly soothing and produces a relaxing atmosphere.  Here is a landscape designer we recommend:  Luis Llenza Garden Designs.

Does your front door look tired and worn? If it does wash it with a cleaning agent, apply fresh paint, wash off fingerprints, etc. If the door is beyond a facelift, buy a new door that adds an interesting dimension to the house.

Find out what you are allowed to do to update your front door if you are selling your condominium apartment.

Your kitchen is an important part of the selling process. Some buyers want a kitchen to reflect their own culinary needs. When doing a walk-through, I often remark, This kitchen is just waiting for your own touch! And, it probably is!

If you have an awkward space or no furniture in the for sale home, the interior will lack eye appeal. To overcome this, I have worked with Urban Interiors, a creative firm that provides vignettes for living rooms, dining rooms, foyers and kitchens. They turn ho-hum into WOW with ease. A home sells faster when it has inviting furnishings and accessories and. Candice Hillier, a Poinsettia Heights resident and owner of Urban Interiors, can really jazz up spaces that cry out for help.

Some basic things to keep in mind when you want to sell: Make sure light bulbs work. Open your blinds. Get dirty dishes out of the sink.

Vacuum the carpeting. Repair runny toilets and drippy faucets. Get rid of mold and mildew. Get the clutter out of the closets. Don't let cigarette smoke taint the atmosphere. Take your pet for a walk when your home is being shown.

Always give the prospective buyer and realtor privacy. Your realtor will have answers to basic questions a buyer asks. If a sale is not made the realtor can review objections that were mentioned. This can be a valuable tool for you to consider addressing.

Remember, as important as curb appeal is ¦so is your home's personality. Let it shine through. Your realtor's job is to help you show your home to its best advantage.

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