Thursday, May 17, 2007

Selling Your Home in a Buyer's Market
Tips from the Pros on Getting the Price You Want in the Shortest Time

(ARA) - By now you’ve read the headlines announcing the current housing rut. Too many homes are on the market, causing slow sales and falling asking prices. While it’s the perfect time to buy a home, it is certainly more challenging to sell your home. But don’t despair. With tips from the pros you can sell your home in the shortest time and get the best return on your investment. Here’s how.

Do a Drive By

Drive down your street and view the front of your home. Does it look inviting? Well cared for? If not, do something to make your home more enticing from the curb.

According to Mary Lou McHenry, one of Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer’s Best of the Best and one of the top 5 percent of all realtors nationally, “Most sales are made or broken the second a prospective buyer pulls in front of your home.”

Make sure the outside is as attractive as the inside. Weed, cut the grass, edge the beds, trim the hedges and plant flowers. Next, paint or power-wash your siding to give it a fresh appearance. Home improvement expert Leslie Segrete, who has tackled thousands of projects on home-makeover shows such as “While You Were Out” and “Trading Spaces,” recommends adding exterior lighting on pathways and architectural features such as a trellis or archway to the landscaping. “This will add depth and dimension to the home,” she says.

One Foot in the Door

Once they open the door, how will the prospective buyer feel? In this business, appearances are everything, so McHenry advises sellers to make sure the entryway is impeccable. She says, “You’ll want to create a sense of excitement so they can envision themselves coming home and walking through that same door.”

There should be no shoes and no clutter. The front hall closet should have minimal hanging coats and jackets. All sports equipment and miscellaneous items should be removed or stored on shelves in attractive baskets. Segrete recommends purchasing an attractive rug or floor runner to draw the eye into the home.

She adds, “Walls should be freshly painted or at a minimum, the trim should be touched up and clean. Chipped and peeling paint, scratches and dings on the walls can make the home seem old and not well cared for.”

Realtor McHenry agrees, “Those are definite red flags for buyers who may not want to spend the time fixing the home up after they buy it.”

Touching Allowed

Once in the home, potential buyers will touch, turn and open everything. So ensure it is all in working order, especially when it comes to faucets and fixtures.

In the bathroom, look at the sink, faucets, bathtub and accessories. Do they look clean and up to date? Rust and water stains and leaks or drips will be a definite turn-off signaling the age of the home and potential problems to come in the future.

“Switch out or replace the faucet and accessories for a quick upgrade in your bathroom,” advises Segrete. “Go with a faucet that has sleek styling, like the single-handle Icon faucet from Moen.” The transitional style faucet blends with most bath décor and the matching accessories such as a towel ring, robe hooks and glass shelf will pull the room together for a coordinated look.

For the kitchen, you may want to update the faucet as well. If appliances will be included, be sure they are clean inside and out.

Nothing Personal

“While you may love your family photo wall, or your collection of antiques, the goal is for the prospective buyers to envision themselves in your home -- not see you still living there,” says McHenry. She recommends removing as many personal items as you can from your walls and shelves.

In the kitchen, clear the refrigerator of pictures, drawings and magnets. Then clean and organize your cabinets, drawers and closets, because the prospective buyers will look in there too. Even if it looks sparse, it will appear more spacious and open, which are key selling points.

“Be prepared to do the work on your home, before listing it,” says McHenry. A critical eye is your best tool. Walk through each room to be sure it appears clean and uncluttered. With these tips, you’ll beat the odds -- selling your home in the shortest amount of time without having to lower the asking price.

For more information on Moen’s Icon faucet visit For more information and helpful home improvement tips from Leslie Segrete visit or her radio show Web site,

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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