For Sale: 4BR/3BA Single Family House in Claremore, OK, $295,000

For Sale: 4BR/3BA Single Family House in Claremore, OK, $295,000.

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I Want My House to Sell in Three Days – Three Hours Would Work!

Recently my builder wanted to show my house to some potential customers of hers and since she has worked so hard to get multiple houses ready for me to show, I did the same for her. Now, there are only two little people who live in our house and it’s only a few years old so nothing major but I did have to pay attention because, remember, the way we live in our homes and the way we market and sell our houses are two completely different things. Here are some things I did:

  1. Vacuum (obvious)
  2. Dust (obvious)
  3. Clean bathrooms (obvious) – put toilet seats down (maybe kinda obvious)
  4. Polish granite (maybe not so obvious)
  5. Wiped all the fingerprints from the cabinet doors with Old English polish which also makes them look alive.
  6. Scrubbed the sink drain thing-a-majig with S.O.S. pad (shiny)
  7. I have a black granite sink so I polished the sink and made sure it didn’t have any water spots.
  8. Inside every dishwasher around the edges is yuk where the dishwasher door seals, and although the inside of the dishwasher is clean, the edges are not, so I cleaned the edges.
  9. People always look at the corner cabinets for a “lazy susan” which I do have so I wiped down the shelves and made sure it didn’t look completely unorganized.
  10. People almost always look in the refrigerator so I made sure it didn’t have drips of anything that needed to be wiped.
  11. My pantry floor was covered with stuff; i.e., bottled water, 2 liter bottles of soda, small appliances, you know – just overflow stuff that two people can’t live without. Uncluttered the pantry – especially the floor.
  12. I also have an island that has a couple of places where there are a few nicks in the paint so I used the walnut Old English to mask the nicks.
  13. Polished the stainless steel appliances.
  14. Wiped out the oven and made sure the top of the range was clean.
  15. We all keep too much stuff out on our counters so I eliminated all the small appliances except the coffee pot. I added a pitcher, a couple of matching coffee mugs in place of a toaster oven. I hid my hand soap, dish soap and hand lotion under my sink. I also hid my napkin holder and added a large bowl full of fruit.
  16. Put away laundry.
  17. Arranged throw pillows – in every room
  18. Straightened master bedroom closet and cleared the vanities of everything that wasn’t really pretty.
  19. Baseboards clean? –  check
  20. Light bulbs functional? – check
  21. 21.   Windows reasonably clean? – check
  22. No cob webs (at least not that I can see)? – check
  23. Desk organized? – check
  24. Decor dusted? – check

Of course, this list varies with every house. Over the top? I think not. The competition is fierce. I kept thinking, “If my house was actually on the market for sale, I would be in competition with new construction”. People like new construction so what could I do to make my house more desirable than new construction? I spent two to three hours getting the house prepared for the showing. Then I lit a fire in the fireplace, turned on some soft music in a couple of rooms, turned on all the lights that would make the house look its best and I left. It looked good, it smelled good and I have no doubt when shown, the buyers would have a warm fuzzy feeling (what I’m always going for since buyers buy on emotion). I know I sure did. Where do I sign?

Buying Up in a Down Market

So you want to – or need to – sell your home in a down market. You are probably concerned that –

  • Your home won’t sell at all.
  • You’ll end up getting much less than it’s worth.
  • You might miss many other less-than-market-price houses while waiting for your property to sell.

I hear people say, all the time, they need a bigger house but they are going to “stay put” until the market values go up again; then they will sell their house so they can net more and have more to put down on the bigger and more expensive house.  Let’s think about this plan.  I’m located in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, and in the last year we have seen a decrease of about 2% of market values.  So, for the sake of my market area, that is the figure I will use.  I have kids and grandkids and we like to play pretend so let’s pretend I have a house that is valued at about $100,000.  Well, that’s easy.  2% of $100,000 is $2,000.  So, hypothetically I would realize $98,000.  Okay, let’s say I’m going to purchase a house that is valued at $175,000 (2% of $175,000 is $3,500) which means I would purchase the house at a reduced price of $171,500.  In a down market, I sold my house at a fair price, I purchased the house I wanted or needed and I did it at a gain of $1,500 over what I would have done in an up market.  This is, of course, just a hypothetical scenario but you get the idea.  So, just do it!  Call your Realtor, get your house ready, staged and go!

Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 1:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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For Sale: 3BR/2BA Single Family House in Claremore, OK, $149,800

For Sale: 3BR/2BA Single Family House in Claremore, OK, $149,800.

Dividing your “Treasures”

Preparing Your House to Sell – Tips #11

When I was preparing my own home to be on the market, I definitely practiced what I am blogging and it did pay off! I can also name countless others that I have helped with these exact same tips.  Don’t lose heart! I want to end the inside of the house today and begin the garage.  I will cover the outside of the house on my next blog.

We, that includes you, accumulate way more “stuff” than we ever intend to keep and moving is an excellent time to make a new start.  I recommend dividing your “treasures” into three or four (4th is optional) categories:

1.)    Garbage               2.)  Donate          3.)  Keep              4.)Sell

Where to put all the stuff removed from the house?

  1. RENT A STORAGE UNIT
  2. HAVE A GARAGE SALE
  3. GIVE IT TO CHARITY
  4. PUT IT IN THE ATTIC
  5. STORE IT IN THE CRAWL SPACE
  6. USE A PORTION OR CORNER OF THE BASEMENT
  7. USE PART OR ALL  OF THE GARAGE
  8. AS A LAST RESORT, SACRIFICE A 3RD OR 4TH BEDROOM

As you might imagine, after all the work to this point, #8) using one of the bedrooms to store excess “stuff” is truly an emergency last resort.

Carports must completely cleaned out.  Everything!

Garages should be swept out and organized.  If you have to use part or the entire garage for storage that’s fine, just keep it neat.  Always keep garage doors down while your home is on the market.

If you’re not using the garage for storage keep all cars in the garage and not in the driveway.  Move boats and RV’s to a storage facility or a neighbor’s home several homes away until your home sells.

Whew!  Finally!  I know you are feeling pretty good about your accomplishment by now and your house looks great inside and you are probably feeling better and better about getting a reasonable price without waiting forever on the market.  My next blog will cover the yard and curb appeal in “Preparing Your House to Sell”.

Published in: on November 8, 2009 at 2:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Getting the Closets Organized

Preparing Your House to Sell – Tips #10

Outgrown your house and need something bigger?  Well, your buyers may have outgrown their current home and your house is a move up.  With a little time and effort you can prepare your house to showcase its benefits and amenities such as spacious closets.

Make sure you can open the closet door freely without something falling out on a prospective buyer.  Nesting baskets are a great way to store lots of stuff that you use regularly and don’t want to pack and store.  They are inexpensive, can often be purchased at the Dollar store, Wal-Mart or Lowe’s, and will completely transform your cabinets and closets.  I used lots of them when I put my personal house on the market and I am enjoying the organization of the nesting baskets still in my new home.

Remove all the stuff that sits on the closet floor like excess luggage, shoes, blankets, games, etc.  Leave nothing at all on the floor of the closets.  Arrange and fold all the linens and blankets to look like a shelf in a department store displaying their goods.  If you have lots of bulky comforters and don’t want to pack and store them, you can purchase inexpensively those space bags that once filled; your vacuum will remove the air and squish the contents to a skinny little bag of goods that can easily fit in your closet or storage unit.

In my area, we don’t have many basements but we have some and they can be somewhat troublesome for people who aren’t accustomed to the nature of basements. Beware of smells, musty odors, and dampness.  Do your best to alleviate problems by repairing and cleaning problem areas.  Use a room de-humidifier to aid in removing the dampness and smell. If you use the basement for storage, condense the piles to one corner of one area of the basement. Repair cracks in ceilings and walls.  Clear all drains.

Wow!  You are so close to being done.  I promise I will still talk about curb appeal so don’t miss that important part of “Preparing Your House to Sell”.

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 4:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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