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For Sale by Owner Articles • - Home Selling Tips

Spring Into Selling

By Robert Irwin
Spring is traditionally the best time to sell a house. There are plenty of buyers hoping to get a home by the time school ends and then, move during the summer. In fact as many as 40 percent of the homes sold during the entire year may be sold in the springtime.
If you're considering selling "by owner" during the spring, it's very important that you get your home "ready to show." A house's presentation can mean the difference between a quick sale or a slow one, strong offers or low balls. Here are 5 ways that you can improve both the "curb appeal" and overall appearance of your home.
New Hardware - Every home makes impressions on the senses of would-be buyers. That's why many agents suggest brewing some cinnamon and spice on the stove to create an aroma appealing to a buyer's sense of smell. One sense often ignored is tactile. Buyers usually first "touch" your home when they open the front door. They look at and feel the handle. So why not put shiny new hardware on the face of your home? It will make the home see richer, newer, and more attractive.
New Paint - Unless your home has been painted within the last six months, get out a brush and roller and at the very least, paint the outside front and the entryway. You won't appreciate the difference this can make until you do it. Of course, also repaint any walls or doors that have marks on them. Avoid trying to wash walls - it usually only makes them look worse.
New Landscaping - Curb appeal, or that vital first look, comes from the front, so make sure the grass is full and mowed, the bushes trimmed, and that there are plenty of flowers. Most lawns that are in okay shape can be brought up to showing speed with a little fertilizer and extra water, particularly in the spring. Flowers can be bought inexpensively at Home Depot or Lowes and their colors add immensely to your home's appeal.
Clean Everything - Especially the carpeting. (If it looks really bad, replace it with inexpensive new carpeting.) Even if your home is 50 years old, it's new to buyers. And they expect it to look new. Anything in your home that looks dirty and dingy will turn buyers off.
Make Room - Clutter can lose a sale. You might have a large home, but if it's filled with furniture, nick-knacks, too many carpets, too full closets, and a garage choked with stored items, it will shut down a buyer. After all, if you have your home chock full of your stuff, how are the poor buyers supposed to see where their stuff will go? And remember, closets bursting with shoes and clothes tell the buyer that your home doesn't have enough storage space. Reduce everything by at least a third, often including furniture! Rent a storage space if you must. A home that looks sparse to you will probably look just right to a buyer.
Robert Irwin is the most prolific real estate writer in America having produced over 100 published books in the field. His TIPS & TRAPS McGraw-Hill series has sold well over a million copies and his FOR SALE BY OWNER KIT and FIND IT, BUY IT, FIX IT and other books have been strong sellers for Dearborn.
In addition Irwin writes a regular real estate column for The Wall Street Journal online and is introducing a new weekly column
Irwin has sold his own property "by owner" and during over 30 years in the business has been a broker and consultant to lenders, agents, buyers and sellers.
He can be reached through his website

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