Pam Osborne

MANY FACTORS AFFECT how quickly your home will sell and how to set its value. Let's look at a few of the more important aspects of selling a home:
What's the Condition of the Property? The better the home is presented the more successful the selling process will be. For instance, if the house needs a new roof or is peeling paint, taking care of these problems before you list your home for sale should speed along the eventual sale.
Price. Many times a home that is overpriced will sit on the market for many months while similar homes are being sold. The best way to price your home is by doing a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA). Your agent will provide this for you. 
Financing. If financing rates are too high or if the seller requires a larger down payment than is customary for the area, then the financing may delay the sale. A skilled agent will be able to help a seller in this often confusing process. 
Market Conditions. Timing also is a factor that affects the sale of your home. It may be a sellers' market or a buyers' market. No one can change market conditions at the time the property is for sale. An experienced agent knows the market environment and will advise you on the best strategy to sell the home based on current conditions. 
Competition. Every buyer makes his or her decision about which home to buy and how much it is worth by comparing it to similar property that's for sale in the area. The current competition always affects the buyer's opinion of your home and what it's worth. So, the question is, what other choices does a buyer have and how does your home compare to others that are for sale? 
Promotion. Promotion is the ability to bring buyers to your property. This includes traditional marketing methods such as advertising. Our strength is that we are constantly in touch with people who want to buy property.
It is important to note that even the very best promotion has its limitations, because promotion cannot overcome the first five factors if they are out of balance.
So, as you try to sell your home, it's important to first determine if... 
1. The home is presented well...
2. The price is set right...
3. The financing is handled correctly...
4. The market is buy or seller driven...
5. Your property compares favorably to others.
Has your local municipality signed off on your house?
Note: A new-house inspection is often more extensive because buyers expect the property to be in near-perfect condition. Resale-home buyers, on the other hand, usually overlook minor flaws that come with an older, previously lived-in home.
Be sure to document all items that need to be corrected before closing. If you have a professional home inspection, also make sure you do a final walk-through before closing to confirm that all items on the inspector's report have been corrected.
Preparing the Exterior
     THE CURBSIDE APPEAL of your home can be increased by focusing on a it's exterior. Your home's exterior is the first thing a potential buyer sees when visiting your home. The following tips will create a strong first impression to potential home buyers.
·         Replace missing slats, stakes and posts.
·         Repair broken hinges and paint or stain the fence if necessary.
·         Mow, trim and fertilize the lawn.
·         Weed flower beds and replace dead plants and trees.
Driveway, Garage, Carport
·         Clean up grease or oil spots on concrete surfaces.
·         Make sure the garage door opens freely and the automatic door opener is working.
·         Provide an unobstructed view of your home from the street by not   parking cars, boats or other vehicles in the driveway.
Front Entry
·         Polish door handles and door knockers.
·         Replace worn or broken items, such as an unsightly mailbox or rusty doorbell.
·         Be sure porch lights are working and add welcoming features such as a new door mat and flowering plants.
Siding and Trim
·         Consider painting the highlight features of your home, such as trim work, shutters, gutters, down spouts and railings.
·         If necessary, add a fresh coat of exterior paint to the exterior siding.
·         Remove debris such as tree branches and leaves.
·         Straighten the TV antenna.
·         Make any necessary repairs to worn shingles or cracked surfaces.
Patio, Deck
·         Flowering plants and outdoor furniture add appeal.
Remove any unnecessary items such as gardening equipment.
Tidy any visible items, such as an outdoor grill or barbecue.
Preparing the Interior
ADD HOUSEWARMING APPEAL to your homes interior. Experience shows that creating a house warming feeling inside your home increases it's desirability. View your home with a critical eye. Clean, complete minor repairs, and add finishing touches.
Doors and Windows
Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to your front door. 
Polish brass fixtures and be sure door locks work properly. 
Oil hinges to both doors and windows. 
Keep stairways tidy and secure handrail. 
Repair or replace bent or damaged screens and window glass. 
Cut back outdoor plants that restrict natural light. 
Keep windows clean and tidy with draperies firmly affixed and in proper working order. 
Floors and Carpets
Repair or replace missing or damaged tile, hardwood, vinyl and baseboards. 
Steam-clean or shampoo carpets. 
Secure loose carpeting and replace damaged areas. 
Be conscious of odors caused by dampness, high-traffic areas or pets. 
Closets and Storage Areas
Ample storage space increases the desirability of the home. 
Keep closets tidy. 
Discard any unnecessary items and consider storing those you do not use frequently. 
Bedrooms and Living Areas
Keep living areas clean and inviting. 
Arrange furniture to allow a spacious atmosphere. 
Make beds, arrange couch cushions, dust shelves, vacuum carpets and touch-up walls with paint or spackling as necessary. 
Wallpaper should be clean and adhere smoothly to the walls. 
Finishing touches such as flowers or candles add to the home's house warming appeal. 
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Clear counters, drawers and cabinets of unnecessary items. 
Clean soap dishes, mirrors, faucets and appliances (inside and out). 
Store cleaning supplies and hang freshly washed towels. 
Be conscious of odors caused by dampness, hampers, garbage. 
Counters and Cabinets
Store infrequently used counter-top items to allow a spacious look in the kitchen and bathroom. 
Keep drawers and cabinets tidy and organized. 
Garage or Workshop
Items should be neatly stored in shelving or wall units. 
Allow appropriate space for the home buyer to visualize their vehicle or workbench. 
Consider moving excess or over-sized items to mini-storage.