Thinking of Selling Your Home?

Today's economic environment has motivated homeowners to get the most out of their homes. Whether they are selling a home or refinancing an existing mortgage loan, homeowners are looking for ways to squeeze as much equity out of their homes as they possibly can.

Good Curb Appeal is Money in the Bank

Real estate professionals know that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That's why curb appeal is so very important. Improving curb appeal can be as straightforward as fixing a broken window. Some improvements take planning, time and effort, but will be well worth it at sale or appraisal if you plan to refinance.

Start with the Yard

Prune trees and shrubs, making sure there are not branches near the roof line or outer walls of your home. Mow the lawn. Plant flowers for color . Fill in any bare spots in your garden with high foliage plants. If your area has drastic weather changes, take photos of the house when the flowers are in bloom and the yard looks great. Use these photos if you're showing your house during times when harsh weather sends your yard into dormancy.

Create a Grand Entrance

While agents work the lockbox for a key, buyers have idle time to notice details. Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and frame. Consider adding pots of flowering plants in the entryway if weather permits. Eliminate cobwebs and groom doorway area windows, porch light, or decorative glass.

Fix Everything

Take a walk around the house and note everything that's broken, out of alignment, or looks bad. Nail in loose shutters; fix or replace screen doors, fence boards, dripping faucets, etc. If you can't fix it, get rid of it. A window with no screen is better than a window with a ripped screen. It's better to have everything fixed before a prospective buyer sees the home, offers a lower price and still demands repairs be done before the sale.

Paint & Repair / Replace Siding

Fresh paint has the lowest cost and most dramatic improvement in the value of a home. Often a fresh coat of paint is easier than cleaning the outside of a home. And don't forget the inside. Repair and paint walls. Neutral colors are best in paint, flooring and window treatments.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Start with the carpeting and floors, walls, windows and furniture. A well-kept home gives a sign that everything has been kept up equally. That equates to a higher value. A messy home says "what else has been neglected?" Consider hiring a cleaning service to give the house a detailed cleaning. It will help add to the perceived value of the home.

Unclutter Your Surroundings

Inside and outside of the home, garage and outbuildings. Especially true on the inside, less clutter makes a home seem larger. Remember closets will be opened. Keep them clean and orderly. Have a garage sale, donate to charities or rent a storage unit. Just get rid of it!