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  Category: Articles » Miscellaneous » Article

Seven Rules to Make Your Home More Marketable

By Lee Keadle

On average buyers visit 19 homes before putting in an offer to buy. What does this finding mean for sellers? There is more competition on the market than there was even 10 years ago. If you want to sell your house, you need to make it look its best in order to compete in the housing market (especially in Charleston, South Carolina's market). I have 7 rules that I follow to help sellers give their homes a competitive edge on the real estate market.

1. Give potential buyers curb appeal. A buyer's first impression is extremely important. When a buyer visits your house, the first thing he or she sees is the front of the house. So, make your yard, front door stoop, and walkway inviting. Keep your lawn mowed, plant flowers, spread pine straw on any beds you have, and trim the bushes.

2. Make any needed repairs. Don't worry about minor repairs like a cracked tile. Instead, focus on more obvious problems, like torn screening on a porch or walls in need of a fresh coat of paint. Even though the buyer will make a repair list before closing, it is better to go ahead and fix problems in your house that could put off potential buyers. Buyers want a house that looks like it has been taken care of.

3. Clean your home inside and out! Steam clean carpet stains, clean the inside and outside of windows, and dust even those hard-to-reach areas. Believe me when I say that potential buyers like to inspect the homes they visit!

4. Organize clutter. People love pictures and collectibles, but these things can make a house appear small and cluttered. Having some accessories is good - the right decorations can make a house feel like a home. Just remember, you want to make your house look spacious, clean, and organized.

5. Make colors and styles neutral. Even though some colors are cute, neutral colors are the safest. I have seen so many buyers get turned off by hot pink rooms or excessive decorative themes. Buyers want to picture the houses they visit as their own. When you choose neutral colors and styles, they are more likely to imagine themselves in your house (and more likely to buy your house).

6. Check your lighting. This rule may seem trivial, but buyers do not like dark houses. So, open curtains to let in natural light, and check all the bulbs in your light fixtures.

7. Clean up after pets. Try to keep your pets outside while your house is on the market, especially if you know that there will be a showing on a certain day. If your pets are inside-only, try to keep them out of the way and to keep loose fur to a minimum. Also, if you think your home has even a faint pet smell, get the floors and furniture cleaned before you put your home on the market.

Following these 7 rules can help sellers make their homes more marketable. Before you put your home on the market, be sure you can check all of these tasks off your list. If your home is already on the market, it is not too late to implement these rules. For each rule ask yourself (or an honest friend with an outside perspective of your house), "Am I doing everything I can do on this list?"
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