Monday, July 2, 2012

10 Ways to Prepare your house for Sale

The moral of the story with preparing a house for sale is:  Use fresh eyes to critically look at the details of EVERYTHING! ...Just pretend your mother-in-law is coming for a visit!! :)

Preparing or “staging” is an incredible way to promote your home and get it sold quickly.  Well-staged homes show a 6.9% increase in sales price and are listed on the market for 50% less time.

Staging is particularly important in your Mexico home because it gives Buyers the mental impression that this home has been well cared for and provides very valuable (literally) peace of mind.

While these general rules apply to the homes we sell back home, they are especially important here. Remember that potential buyers are often Mexico-newbies. So, if it looks like there is going to be a lot of work, it is going to be especially daunting. They will either not be interested or really want a big price cut. Potential Buyers -- especially when buying a second home -- want to spend their time vacationing, not in over their heads with repairs.

Immaculately clean and well maintained homes provide this impression and will go a long way in selling your home faster & at the best price possible.

Here are 10 ways you can prepare your house for sale:

  1. Disassociate -  It is now a house, not your home.
    Make the mental decision to “let go” and look toward the future with your plans after the sale
  2. De-Personalize
    You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living there.”  Packing up personal photographs/effects will allow buyers to imagine themselves in ownership more easily
  3. De-Clutter…LESS IS MORE!!!
    Clean everything off of kitchen counters
    Neaten shelves and displays
    Downsize everything to essentials
    Place personal items from bedrooms/bathrooms in baskets, which can be stowed for a showing.
  4. Arrange Closets, Cabinets, Pantries, Cupboards 
    Again, De-Clutter!
    Neatly organize pantries and dishes
    Give buyers the impression that there is plenty of space for everything.
    Stuffed pantries, closets, and bodegas leave a negative impression that there is not enough storage.
  5. Remove (or Replace) Favorite Items
    Most houses here sell fully furnished. If there is something that is not selling with the house, REMOVE IT NOW.  If you want your curtains; take them down. If you want the great chandelier in your dining room; replace it. If a buyer never sees it, he/she won’t want it. It absolutely never fails: If an item is out but on an "excluded" list, the buyers inevitably want it. Avoid the issue with prevention!
  6. Make Repairs 
    Buyers are much more likely to buy properties that are immaculately maintained!  Especially when they are purchasing a second home in Mexico. The thought of remodels or extensive maintenance is daunting to new buyers! Deferring maintenance can make buyers concerned about a proverbial "can of worms". The whole notion of “the buyer can always change/fix that” will prevent many offers on your property.  So, make sure that it looks 'move-in happy'!

    Make your front door’s condition and operation perfect - It's their first impression!
    Replace/Repair/Clean Grout
    Replace Torn Screens
    Re-caulk around sinks, windows, and faucets
    Touch-up Paint Repair walls that have holes from artwork, are damaged, or have cracks
    Replace things that are rusted
    Fix leaks
    Adjust doors and drawers to close properly
    Consider painting in a neutral color if you have brightly colored or dingy walls
    Replace burned out light bulbs.
    Clean all indoor and outdoor light fixtures.
    Replace dingy linens/bedding
  7. Make Your House Sparkle!
    Clean Windows & Screens
    Pressure wash side walks
    Polish chrome faucets
    Clean Fridge
    Bleach grout
    Dust everything…Don’t forget fans, ceiling fans, A/Cs
    If you have pets, get rid of any sign they ever lived there
  8. Say Hola to Curb Appeal 
    Sidewalks clean and clear
    All corners, sheds, etc. clear of debris
    Lawn Mowed and Edged
    Paint in great condition
    Windows clean, paint free, maintained
    Give your landscaping a face lift.
    Trim, Fertilize, Pot/Plant Flowers -- Make it inviting!
  9. Scrutinize - Just when you think you have it perfect, go over it again. 
    Go to: for more info on staging your home.
    Go outside, inside, in every part of every room and GET PICKY!
    Smell everywhere and eliminate odors
    Arrange/Eliminate Furniture if necessary to make rooms more open and inviting.
    Straighten curtains and picture frames
    Find the worst/problem areas of your house and make them better
  10. Keep your staging going until it's sold!
    Buyers often stop by the office and want to see homes that day (because they are on a limited vacation time schedule), meaning that there is not much advanced notice.  So keeping it in showing condition will prevent you from the hassle and stress. Turn over the keys on closing day with the house in great shape.  Your buyers will be extremely pleased and confident in their decision to buy your gem!

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Amber Pierce-Schulz is the Broker/Owner of Mayan Riviera Properties, specializing in Puerto Morelos Real Estate and Puerto Morelos Vacation Rentals. We are members of AMPI and Federally Certified Realtors.