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Prepare to Sell - Great Tips to Get Ready!

Prepare to Sell! Once you have established your value and have decided to put your property on the market you should gather the following information Buyers will want to review.

First, Gather These Items:

Deed - You may have a copy of this or a Book and Page so that your agent can print a copy from the registry.

Copy of Plot Plan.

Copy of Septic Design. If you do not have a copy, this may be on record in the building dept at your town hall.

Water and Sewer Bills - Copy of last monthly bills as well as the location and source of municipal water supply.

Current Tax Bill - You will need to provide the total tax amount for the year and show the actual bills confirming the amount.

Current Status of Approval for the Development - If you have subdivision plan and approvals, copies should be provided.

Declarations of Covenants, Restrictions and Easements - This is usually attached to the deed and can be found at the registry as well.

Last 2 to 4 Months Utility & Fuel Bills - Most companies will provide an online summary of your average annual use.

List of Upgrades & Repairs Recently Completed - You can add this to the last page of the Seller Information Report which educates the Buyer about your property. This form is signed by both parties and becomes an integral part of the Purchase and Sales.

Copy of Condominium Bylaws and Condo Rules - You should also fill out a Condo Rider Form to the Sellers Information Report.

Copy of Park Rules - If in a manufactured housing park.

Road Maintenance or Road Agreement & Costs - If access is on a private road.

Itemized List of Property Features - This can be a brief paragraph of what you as the home owner appreciate about the site or the building. Is the location convenient for commuting or close to schools? Do you have specific wildlife or great sunset views? Is there abutting conservation land or easy access to nearby hospital and services?

What to do to the Property Prior to Selling and While on the Market You may not be able to finish the basement or remodel the kitchen, but you can improve the market value of your house. It is important to attract as many qualified Buyers as possible. In preparing your home for sale it is important to look at your home through "Buyers' Eyes." People buy what they see. So look at your home as if you were in the Buyers' shoes. Make your home as appealing and uncluttered as the home you would like to buy.

OUTSIDE YOUR HOME

o Cut the lawn every week during the marketing period o Edge the lawn - up the driveway and along the sidewalks (both front and back) for a finished appearance. o Trim all shrubbery away from the house and remove low lying tree limbs. o Rake leaves; remove dead plants, flowers and shrubs. o Fertilize your lawn to make your grass look lush and green. o Plant flowers in the front yard, dress up around shrubs and lamp post with large quartz stones, railroad ties, pine bark mulch, etc. o Replace downed shutters, gutters and downspouts. Remove debris from gutters and downspouts. o Paint any trim that is blistering. o Repaint or re-stain the front door to create a pleasant first impression. o Replace torn screens on windows and on front and back doors. o Check for broken roof shingles, straight lines on gutters, shutters, windows and siding. o Put away tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys and building materials neatly in the garage. o Clean windows and doors. o Seal or resurface driveway. o Clear patios or decks of planters, flower pots, charcoal and barbeques.

INSIDE YOUR HOME

In general, paint the rooms that really look worn, faded or finger printed. Have wall to wall carpeting and draperies cleaned. Fix any dripping faucets. Spray lubricant on all squeaking doors, windows, closets and cabinets. Place a solid deodorant in each room and closet. Pre-pack any items which may clutter your home.

CLEAN YOUR HOME FROM TOP TO BOTTOM!!!

Foyer

o Use a bright light bulb in foyer light fixture. o Turn on all lights in home in the evening to welcome potential Buyers. o Fill the house with the pleasant aroma of cinnamon or other fresh scent. o Spotlessly clean woodwork, carpeting, and windows throughout the house. o Clear window ledges of all objects to give a nice glimpse inside and out. o Repaint walls if necessary, in a neutral color such as antique white.

Living Room

o Discard worn furniture and move extra furniture to storage area. Too much furniture makes rooms look small. o Visit a model home to get decorating ideas. o Clear away all magazines, books, and unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. o Take down pictures that hide walls. Patch nail holes and paint. o Add lamps and lighting if dark. o Open curtains. o Set out fresh flowers.

Kitchen

o Professionally clean oven and stove. o Replace broken appliances, repair squeaks, drips or binds in cabinet drawers. o Clean all appliances inside and out until they are spotless. Wax and polish floors. o Fix any dripping faucets. Perhaps only a washer is needed. o Discard old food and leftovers from refrigerator. o Clean refrigerator front of messages, pictures and magnets. o Clear all magazines, small appliances and cookware from countertops. Expose maximum counterpace. o If it hasn't been used for months...put it away!

Family Room

o Clean fireplace. o Replace carpet if it's a loud color. (I know it costs money, but you'll get it back at settlement), o Remove all magazines, books, toys and worn furnishings that might influence a Buyers feeling about the room. o Create an easy-going relaxed atmosphere in your family room. This is where most families spend their time so make it look good!

Bathrooms

o Remove any unnecessary items from countertops, tubs and commode. Put as much away as possible and make each bathroom look like a "Guest Bathroom." o Fix leaky faucets, rust stains and faulty plumbing that may squeak or bind. o Caulk and grout tile. Bleach discolored grout. Replace old caulking around the bathtubs. This can be done with one tube of new caulking and a putty knife. o Replace or remove any wall paper that isn't "conservative." o Coordinate towels to one or two colors only. o Place softer bulbs in bathroom fixtures and scented flower arrangement on vanity top.

Master Bedroom

o This is the second most important-to-be-appealing room in a home (after the kitchen, before the family room and garage). o Define areas, sleeping, dressing and sitting by the furniture arrangement. Try to have the bedroom look as simply furnished as possible. o Be sure all clothes are hanging up, not lying out in room. o Make closets more appealing by storing off-season clothes elsewhere so they don't have a cluttered look. Go ahead and pack them up since you're moving anyway. o Remove items from the floors of walk-in closets so that prospects can have easy access.

Children's Bedrooms

o Here's a challenge: ask children and teenagers to help by thoroughly cleaning up their rooms, removing all posters and questionable photographs. Low lighting and clutter make bedrooms look smaller or darker than they are. o Paint and patch walls as necessary. o Open curtains. o Pack and store unnecessary toys and clutter.

Garage

o The perfect garage contains only cars. But if this is not possible, clean up, fix up, sell or toss out unneeded items. (This may be your only opportunity). o Clean and seal cement floor. o Neatly stack tools and clean up work bench. o Tidy up storage shelf areas. o Stack all items against the walls to show maximum floor space. o Vacuum the floor and rafters.

Basement

o A finished basement is great!! Just follow the same guidelines given for preparing the family room. o If unfinished, make sure concrete floor is well swept and clean. o Seal or paint concrete floors (battleship gray). o Clean water heater, change filters, and put strong light bulbs in fixtures. o Stack all items against the walls to show maximum floor space. o Vacuum rafters.

Q&A

Should we remodel or redecorate?

While redecorating can make a home look more attractive, it is difficult to anticipate what a new buyer may be looking for in your home. It's best to simply prepare your home with a clean, uncluttered appearance. If anything, you may want to invest in some fresh paint. Paint can go a long way in enhancing the appeal of your home. If your home is in need of paint or carpeting, it's better to invest the money and buy it ahead of time. Rather than hope a buyer has a vivid imagination of what your home will look like without spots on the carpet and chipped paint on the walls, make it look its best when they see it. You only have one chance to make a good first impression!

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