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Selling Tips

Buying a home is an emotional experience. How people feel about the house you're selling can be as important as its location, size and features. This is one of life's most important purchases and how the house looks and feels are very important.

In order to maximize the eventual sale price, make an effort to view your house through the eyes of a prospective purchaser. Virtually every home can benefit from a pre-sale makeover and a Sellers Inspection. Presentation is enormously important.

Seller's Home Inspections




Often the key to preparing your home for sale is to align it with modern tastes and lifestyles. Modern buyers want clean, modern interiors in neutral colors. Space, storage and low-maintenance are important features.

Clean everything, in every room in and out of sight...


The kitchen is a good place to start removing clutter, because it is an easy place to start. First, get everything off the counters. Everything. Even the toaster. Put the toaster in a cabinet and take it out when you use it. Find a place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have cabinet space to put everything. Clean them out. The dishes, pots and pans that rarely get used? Put them in a box and put that box in storage, too.

You see, homebuyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their "stuff." If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space. The best way to do that is to have as much "empty space" as possible.

uncluttered kitchenFor that reason, if you have a "junk drawer," get rid of the junk. If you have a rarely used crock pot, put it in storage. Do this with every cabinet and drawer.

Create open space. If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them – especially canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and you don't want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway – or paying a mover to do so. Let what you have on the shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can.

Beneath the sink is very critical, too. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub the area down as well, and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water leaks that may cause a homebuyer to hesitate in buying your home.


Bedrooms and Living Areas

Garage or Workshop

Windows and Doors


Eliminate offensive odors. Many people are sensitive to odors and allergens. If your home smells like cigarettes, pet urine or musty mold, you will immediately rule out a significant number of potential buyers. You may not even realize your house has an odor if you have become accustomed to it. Ask several non-smoking people if they sense any odors in your home. If so, find the sources and eliminate them; do not attempt to cover them up. Masking odors is rarely successful and may cause problems for you later. Odors from mold, sewer gasses or pet urine will likely be reported as potential health and safety defects.

Curb AppealUncluttered bedroom

Un-cluttering the house is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it. Clutter collects on shelves, counter tops, drawers, closets, garages, attics, and basements.

Take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend help point out areas of clutter, as long as you can accept their views without getting defensive. Let your agent help you, too.



Closets are great for accumulating clutter, though you may not think of it as clutter. We are talking about extra clothes and shoes – things you rarely wear but cannot bear to be without. Do without these items for a couple of months by putting them in a box, because these items can make your closets look "crammed full." Sometimes there are shoeboxes full of "stuff" or other accumulated personal items, too.


Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms – not too much for your own personal living needs – but too much to give the illusion of space that a homebuyer would like to see. You may want to tour some builders' models to see how they place furniture in the model homes so you get some ideas on what to remove and what to leave in your house.

Storage Areas

Basements, garages, attics, and sheds accumulate not only clutter, but junk. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the space. Remove anything that is not essential and take it to the storage area, or have a garage sale. If you are unable to take on the clutter problem effectively, the next best way to avoid the problem (or at least delay it) is to put things into storage until you are ready to sort through them or move. On rare occasions, people get carried away with clutter reduction. If rooms are so barren that they feel cold, sterile or unlived in, prospective buyers will not be able to relate emotionally to them. Ironically, getting rid of clutter, while time consuming and emotionally difficult, is usually the only preparation that leaves you with more money than you started with! Whether you have a yard sale, have someone else conduct a sale at your home, or even donate it all to charity and take the tax deduction, you'll be surprised at how much money it's all worth. The most organized and disciplined home sellers often realize enough money from their yard sale to pay for many of the other improvements and spruceups necessary to get the home ready for sale.

De-Personalize the Property

You want buyers to view your home as their potential home. Therefore, put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box or a rented storage area for a few months.

Design Ideas

Often the key to preparing your home for sale is to align it with modern tastes and lifestyles. Modern buyers want clean, modern interiors in neutral colors. Space, storage and low-maintenance are important features.

Have a "Seller's Home Inspection"

There are two reasons why we recommend that sellers get their home inspected prior to putting it on the market for sale.

Create an attractive "HOME MANUAL"

Purchase an attractive 3-ring binder (at least 2") and a set of clear tabs, to create a "HOME MANUAL". The following are suggested sections in which you can provide information, manuals, instructions, warranties on appliances, schedules of maintenance, and those professionals who have serviced the property in the past. You could also include helpful sections regarding schools, libraries, neighborhood information and community items. Let Real Estate professionals know where your home manual will be left for viewing (not removal from the home). When your house is sold, this is something you could give to the buyers at closing as a gift from you.

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Andover, MA 01810

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Hampstead, NH 03841