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Is Your House Show Ready?

You’ve done the initial decluttering and you’ve touched up the paint, repaired the obvious deferred maintenance and your house is on the market and ready for showings.  That’s an exciting feeling because now you know all your hard work will pay off!  You believe that now agents will want to schedule showings for their clients and multiple offers will be yours to sort through.

Before we get quite there, let’s review best practices to be ready for a showing.  First and foremost, you really need to keep the house sparkling clean and always ready.  If you work away from home, then you want to turn on strategic lights to highlight the best features in the house and make it feel welcoming.  If you are at home when a showing request comes in, then the best bet is to turn on every light in the house.  Not only does it create a feeling of airiness, but agents and their clients won’t feel the need to touch every light switch in your house!

If your views are awesome, don’t open all your blinds, curtains, etc.  Experience shows that buyers may be distracted by the views and have no memory of the house itself.  This can result in never getting an offer because the buyer doesn’t have any clear memory about what was outstanding about your house.

Do at least partially open blinds to let some light in.  However, if you have plantation shutters and they do not fold neatly against the walls, you may want to leave them closed against the window and just tilt the vanes a little.

Make sure the only odors are neutral.  That is, the prospective buyer should not be able to smell your pets or last night’s dinner.  Do not try to mask any odor with a different odor like candles or other scents.  That just makes it worse!

Here’s a great hint for you to make it easy to get in and out of your house.  If you like me, pull into your garage and then open the already unlocked door to go inside from there, it is more often than not that a showing results in that door being locked.  That has been a disaster for many sellers who are now locked out of their house.  I recommend if you don’t do it already that you make sure you always have access to a house key so you can avoid that common and often frustrating mistake.

Hope you have found these tips useful.   If you want more great ideas for getting your house to show in the best possible way, please call or text 661-375-7325 or email

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What Does “Showing Ready” Really Mean?

What Does “Showing Ready” Really Mean?

I have already written about starting the decluttering process in order to get your home ready to sell.  Once you’ve gotten rid of the stuff you didn’t want to move, it’s time to take a super critical look at what deferred maintenance or other conditions detract from your home showing at its best.

Let’s start with the easy things, also known as the Elephant Approach.  You’ve all heard the quote, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!” That’s the same way you get your house showing ready.  One step at a time!

Wall Painting If you have chosen bold, or multiple wall colors, you will need to paint.  Your bold colors and accent walls are great when it comes to expressing your personality but not so great when it comes to showing your house to potential buyers.

Bold colors and / or accent walls attract the eye.  You want the buyer looking at the layout of the house and not paying attention to the colors at all.  So, paint the walls a neutral color.  If you have some walls painted a neutral color, and some that are bold or accent colors, you are ahead of the curve.  You can simply use the same neutral color and paint over the accent walls.  Much better than having to paint everything!

Touch-up Painting Check all the baseboards, door and other trim.  Make sure the paint is not chipped or dirty.  If it is, then touch-up and clean to make sure it looks fresh and well-maintained.

Appearances are everything when it comes to having a buyer fall in love with your house.  Make sure it appears to have been meticulously maintained at all times!  Replace or repair anything that would make a buyer think otherwise.

Is a lightswitch plate or outlet cracked or chipped?  Replace it! Hard water stains or buildup that you can’t remove from a faucet?  If soaking in vinegar doesn’t take care of it, replace it!  Most of the deferred maintenance like this can be addressed for very little cash outlay but bears dividends in the speed and quality of the offer you will get.

Clean! As I’ve said often enough, the best thing you can do to get your house ready for showing is to make sure that it is as clean as can be.  It’s surprising to many of us, just how much dirt gets overlooked in our day-to-day living.  It’s also the kind of subliminal message that a buyer picks up without even realizing it.  Most buyers equate the presence of dirt with lack of maintenance. Don’t let them make that association in your house!

One of the services I provide clients is a Room-By-Room Review and consultation to identify the least expensive way to get the highest dollar for the house.  And of course, if doing this in the shortest period of time with the least amount of stress while dealing with high levels of complexity is what you want, then why not call 661-375-7325 and schedule your own no-obligation consultation today?


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Getting Ready to Sell Your Home?

Are you getting ready to sell your home?  If you have lived in the same place for a long time the task may seem even more daunting but take heart it can be comparatively stress free with a few simple steps.

Most of us have boxes of “stuff” that we have put away somewhere to “deal with later.”  If this sounds familiar to you, I can relate!  In fact, I have a bunch of those boxes myself and a whole lot of “stuff” that really no longer has a place in my life.  Because I’m getting ready to sell my own home I thought my experience might be useful to you.

Set aside time each day to work through the stuff you may not even have looked at in years.  How much time?  That depends on your timeline, and how much time you can make available between work, family, social obligations, etc.  When I decided to start this project, I started with an hour a day.  As I get closer to my active listing date, I’m spending more time each day.

Keep or toss?  Sometimes it is an easy choice, sometimes not.  For the more difficult decisions, I think about whether or not this is something I really need to keep.  If I don’t actually need it and I haven’t had it on display but I may want to retain the memory, I either scan it (paper) or photograph it (objects) and then set it into the toss pile.

Can’t decide whether or not you really want to keep something?  Set it aside and keep moving!  It’s easy to get bogged down with indecision.  If you still can’t decide later, box it up and put it in the garage.  If you still haven’t done anything with it in six months, let it go.

Yard sale, estate sale, or donate?  My choice is estate sale.  It may seem like I won’t realize as much profit as if I did a yard sale because I have to pay a portion of the sale proceeds to the Estate Sale company.

Think about this: time is money.  When I thought about doing a yard sale on my own, having to gather everything together, get it priced and setup, then deal with bunches of strangers in and around my house, I found that thought horrifying.  Way more time and effort than I want to put in to it.  Not to mention that they do all the advertising and have multiple people on site to assist the buyers.  Oh and I also have little idea of how to price “stuff” so I would likely either give it away for too little, or price it too high so that it never sells.  So it makes much more sense for me to hire a professional!

That last sentence bears repeating when it comes to many things, including selling your home and why it’s important to hire a professional.  Oftentimes, I hear about people that try to sell their home on their own because they believe they can save money by not having to pay a commission.  The truth is they almost always end up selling for less than they could have gotten with the help of the right Real Estate Consultant, having it take longer, and enduring way more stress than should be necessary.

Even though I’m deep in the throes of decluttering to get my house on the market, I still have time to talk to you about getting your home sold.  If selling your home for the best price and terms possible, in a timeframe that works for you is what you want, and doing it with as little stress as possible when dealing with high levels of complexity, then let’s talk about your next best steps!

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5 Tips to make your house more sellable

Are you wondering whether now is a good time to sell your home?  Maybe you are thinking about downsizing because all the kids have moved away or upsizing as your family grows?  Either way there are several things that are truly important when it comes to getting your home sold quickly.

1. Clean, clean, clean!

There’s a huge difference in living in a clean house and in living in a house that has been cleaned to sell.  When looking at a home, all the corners where that tiny bit of dust has accumulated on the baseboard, the edge of the wall the dog leans against, the slight water stain on the shower door are some of the things that will subconsciously lead a buyer to think that the home has not been well-maintained.

The key here is that these tiny things create a subliminal message to a buyer that they don’t even notice.  Will a buyer purchase a house that is not spotlessly clean?  Of course they will but it will take longer to get it sold and the house will sell for less money.

2. Paint

Customized rooms with extremely bright or dark colored paint, wallpaper, or wall fixtures can make a house feel like a home for the current homeowner, but often can be a turn off for home buyers.  You want a buyer focused on the house itself, so painting in neutral colors will keep them from focusing on the decor and direct them instead to the floor plan and room sizes.  An added benefit is that fresh paint makes the house look clean and well-maintained.

If you already have a single neutral wall color, consider painting the trim to freshen the look.  Doorways tend to show paint wear faster than other areas because of the higher traffic.

3. Budget Minded Kitchen Updates

Maybe you always planned to overhaul the kitchen or bathroom with a major remodel but never found the time.   There are some small, inexpensive changes that can be done.  Replacing the hardware on cabinets, upgrading light switches, and changing outlet covers are a few examples.  Let’s go a little further and change out the beat-up looking trash compactor for a pull-out trash drawer or a wine fridge. Do you have a giant fluorescent light fixture in the ceiling framed in oak? Take a look under the diffuser panels and see how easy it would be to remove that and turn it into an interesting and updated light fixture.

4. Bathroom Updates

Like the kitchen, simple updates make a difference.  Light switches, cabinet hardware, and light fixtures can change the entire feel of the space.

5. Curb Appeal

Remember to take a close look at the outside of the house too.  Here’s another opportunity to clean it up!  Even if the paint is in good condition, make sure that it is also clean.  Wash the house to remove dust from the siding.  Make the windows sparkling clean both inside and out, tidy up the landscaping and draw the buyer to the front door.

These are just a few ideas that make it easier to sell your home faster for more money.  If you want more specifics for your own home, just call 661-375-7325 for an expert no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

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