Featuring Annekee Brahver-Keely, Broker Sales-Associate, Russo Real Estate
ASK THE REALTOR®: What should I do to prepare my house for sale?
ABK: More often than not, sellers are focusing on the wrong things.
Most important is always to declutter:
· Less furniture and properly positioned furniture (not blocking the way in passing) give a better open feeling all around and shows that even a small room can work well.
· Clean surfaces are next. Remove piles of books and papers and clear kitchen counters of infrequently used toaster ovens, drying racks, etc. Showing that there is plenty of counter space left for cooking and preparing is key.
· Closet organizers are great. Nothing is worse than opening a closet (and Buyers should be able to) and out tumble bags and shoes and the closet thereafter is impossible to close!
· Touch up painting is a great idea, if needed. A house which is already in good shape with furniture in it gives a great impression and would hardly need to be painted. Same with the floors: do not put a rug over a worn piece of flooring or a mat on the cracked bathroom floor: fix it if you can or otherwise the rug will be moved at some point and a buyer will suspect that there are more things a seller was trying to hide, even if this is not the case.
· First impressions are very important. Look for loose railings, inside and out and have the stoop pointed if that is needed. If the front door is worn, give it a fresh coat of paint. Make the home look inviting, not sadly neglected. Have the chimney and gutters cleaned before marketing. It will invariably come up in an inspection and therefore one less thing to worry about.
· If there is an underground oil tank in use, make sure to have it checked for leakage and get tank insurance before marketing.
· Once ready, it is a good idea to put a flowering hanging basket or flower pot on the front stoop. Just do not forget to water it during the process of marketing, as a dead plant looks dismal and uninviting!
In short. get as organized early on as possible and ask a Realtor® for a complimentary consultation to see what is and is not important to address.
ASK THE REALTOR®: How do I get started de-cluttering?
ABK: Start by getting rid of things you do not want to move with or never use. Even if this year is not the year you want to put your house up for sale, start early and do it in stages.
To begin, pick one place/room to start. Go through that room and put things you want to keep (but do not need all the time) in boxes. It will make the room look larger. Find a place like a garage, a storage room or even a small part of a basement, or ideally rent a unit in a storage facility and put your extra items in there.
I do not believe that a house should be so empty and neat that it becomes cold and feels like it is not lived in. However, I do think too many photos on the refrigerator and mantel look like clutter. Having a photo here and there of the family or a dear one shows warmth and creates a homey feeling.
ASK THE REALTOR®: My house is currently for sale and I have just purchased my next home. Should I move my furniture into the new home? Will my present home show well without furniture?
ABK: This completely depends on the circumstances of course but in general, an empty home is not very warm or inviting although an empty home can show off space really well and a buyer can perhaps start to imagine his/her own furniture there. Especially when a house is not too large to begin with of course, it will appear larger without anything in it.
Annekee Brahver-Keely has been selling real estate in Teaneck and its surrounding towns for almost thirty years. She has been the top producer at Russo for many years. Annekee is a longtime Teaneck resident where she resides with her husband, Harry, and where she raised her two daughters. She is fluent in English, French, Dutch and German.
Russo Real Estate is a family owned business that has been servicing the northern Bergen County area of New Jersey for over 40 years. Please visit Russo Real Estate online at www.RussoRealEstate.com or call us directly at (201) 837-8800. You can contact Annekee Brahver-Keely @ (201) 314-2125 or [email protected]