Edmonds Real Estate News: How do I show my home in the best light?

By Carl Brecht

Welcome to Edmonds Real Estate News. Each week we will cover a topic of importance to either buyers or sellers of real estate. Please make comments and suggest topics for discussion.

Our fourth article focuses on When selling, how do I show my home in the best light?

Light is the key word in selling your home. Take curtains away if they are old. Open up the house to let a lot of light in. Burned- out bulbs need to be replaced. Dark painted walls make a room look smaller.

Trimming overgrown bushes around the house to let more light in is helpful. If you happen to live on a busy street, you will need to weigh the pluses and minuses — to trim or not to trim. A fence may be the answer to not only having more privacy, but also lessening street noise.

Most Realtors will tread lightly when it comes to asking a seller to make certain changes around the house so as not to offend the owners, yet this is the time to make honest assessments. Most items on the kitchen counter should be removed. Your kitchen counter will look spacious, not to mention much cleaner. All the little collectables that make up the atmosphere in your home — commonly referred to as clutter — need to be limited.

Having valuables around that can easily walk away when a house is listed, makes me nervous. Extra furniture in the house, or oversized furniture, would best be removed and stored. If you have a room with a large bed, and the room has always been too small to walk around it, consider making a change to a smaller bed. If the room is not needed as a bedroom, remove the large bed altogether.

Having a home on the market when your home usually is not clean can be a lot of work. Your children need to make their beds every morning. Vacuum your carpets and sweep floors often. Bathrooms need to be spotless. If you know there is a showing, after you shower please open a window so the bathroom does not become a steam room.

Oh yes, there is the matter of your loving pets. If someone can enter your home and there is no evidence that a pet lives there, that would be a perfect world. (Having been the owner of two cats, four dogs, 12 horses, 256 sheep and seven llamas, plus ducks, geese, guineas and turkeys, I am a pet lover, so don’t get upset with me.) If a carpet has pet stains, a buyer is thinking “How much will new carpet cost, and have the stains gone past the pad?” In addition, some potential buyers may also be allergic to animals.

Then there are the family pictures on the wall with all the relatives dating back three centuries. Do you realize that buyers can spend more time looking at those pictures than even the house? Buyers want to know all about the seller, and why they are selling. I have been selling real estate since 1977 — yes, a long time. I mention this only because as a Realtor, I do not want to give a buyer a reason not to consider your home. Let me cut to the chase here. Pictures on a wall will tell a buyer, a lot about your race, cultural background, your religion, what sports team you support, your political party, and I could go on. Let us not give buyers unimportant reasons why they should not buy your home. This is a good time to carefully wrap up all those cherished photos.

Next week: Why would a Realtor ask me to have a home inspection?

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