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Getting Ready to Show

Real Estate in Westlake Village, Calabasas, Conejo Valley, Agoura Hills

There are a number of things you can do to make your Westlake Village real estate more salable. First impressions are always important, so we’ll first focus on the outside of your home. Pretend you are a potential buyer, walk out to your driveway, and try to inspect your property with fresh eyes. Ask a friend to help you look objectively at your house. What things stand out to you? Here are a few small, doable items you can do to improve the exterior of a home:

  • Clean and tidy lawns. Cut and water the grass regularly and make sure garden tools and kids’ toys are put away. Rake leaves or shovel show if necessary. Before potential buyers come, turn on the lawn sprinklers for 20 minutes.
  • Increase curb appeal. Install a new mailbox, clean your house numbers, place bright potted plants by the front door, put out a brand new doormat, polish or replace the front doorknob, and paint or stain your front door.
  • Tend the driveway. A new coat of asphalt or layer of gravel can contribute to a nice first impression. Patch any holes in the driveway if possible.
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts. Align them as well, if necessary.
  • Cut clutter. If you own extra vehicles, boats, or RVs, store them somewhere else while the house is being sold. Keep the garage door closed.
  • Remove unsightly use damage. Peeling paint? Damaged roof shingles? Loose siding? Fixing these things doesn’t take long, but will add a great deal to a potential buyer’s first impression.
  • Wash porches and decks. Assess if a new staining or coat of paint is necessary.
  • Check exterior lights. Are these lights operational? New fixtures can be an inexpensive way to freshen and update the look of a home.
  • Hang a wreath. Place a seasonal wreath on the front door and let potential buyers visualize your house as their home!

Now look at the inside of your home. It is always important to be strategic about which repairs and decorations to invest in. You could undertake a large project that might end up having little to no impact on the final sale price, or you could choose the right small projects and appeal to the perfect buyer. Here are a few tips to help you get the interior of your home ready for sale:

  • Maximize natural lighting. Wash windows and screens and trim down shrubbery so it doesn’t block light. Replace heavy window dressing with airy drapes to let in more light. Replace interior bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Warm lighting, instead of harsh or dim lighting, can create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.
  • Don’t underestimate odor. Clean and wash your carpets and drapes to get rid of any smoke, pet, or cooking odors that might exist. Avoid using heavy fragrance sprays – instead, opt for open windows to provide fresh air, potpourri and / or scented candles. Baking bread or cookies is another way to fill your home with appealing, natural fragrance.
  • De-clutter. Remember, buyers usually aren’t coming into your home to see what they could do with the place, they are judging it as is. Do you have piles of newspapers or magazines lying around? Trinkets that are important to you but take up unnecessary space and could be overwhelming for a viewer? Piles of old toys in the garage? Unworn clothes in the closets? Cards all over the refrigerator? Posters in the bedrooms? Cut down on clutter as much as you can. Some sellers rent storage units to put away many of their possessions while their home is on the market, effectively creating a sense of spaciousness and freshness in the house.
  • Make strategic purchases. It’s understandable that you don’t want to make a lot of unnecessary purchases, especially when you are getting ready to move, but a few tactical buys – such as new pillows on the sofas, new towels in the bathrooms, a new centerpiece on the kitchen table, and some interior potted plants – can make a big difference.
  • Clean, clean, clean. This goes without saying, of course, but it may be a good idea for you to consider hiring professional help to clean your home every couple of weeks while it is on the market – particularly if this is a busy or stressful time for you. Make sure that you pay attention to the little details: For example, check grout between ceramic tiles, the stove and refrigerator, the fireplace, and light switch plates, and other features.
  • Paint. It’s amazing what a difference a fresh coat of paint can make! Choose neutral shades or shades that suit the particular room you are working with. A good real estate agent can advise you as to which colors are the most effective!
  • Pay special attention to the kitchen. Many home buyers consider a good kitchen a make or break matter. Make sure to deep clean everything, including the exteriors of all appliances and cabinets. Little details such as new towels, new cabinet knobs, and a new coat of paint can effectively – and inexpensively – improve the look of your kitchen.
  • Don’t skimp on repairs. Sticky doors, dripping faucets, broken light fixtures, and ripped screens can create an overall impression of carelessness. Fixing these little things will go a long way to maintaining the atmosphere you want for buyers.

On the day of a showing or open house, little things can make your home irresistible to buyers. Don’t forget to do those last minute little things like taking out the trash, removing dirty laundry from the laundry room, turning off the TV, and getting your pets out from underfoot. You can also add a few extra touches before guests walk in the door. Put new guest soaps and clean towels in the bathrooms, place flowers – fresh or silk – in several of the rooms, light a fire in the fireplace if the weather is cold, set the table with fine china, and bake cookies or light candles to create a fresh, clean, homey scent.

Professional Help in Preparing and Marketing Your Home

Lydia Gable has helped sellers throughout Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Conejo Valley, and surrounding communities get their homes sold quickly. Experienced and savvy, Lydia has a professional’s eye when it comes to preparing and staging a home for sale, and she helps her clients by explaining “tricks of the trade” that make a genuine difference when it comes to a home’s presentation. If you are in the process of putting your home on the market, you need to work with a real estate agent who understands the community, the market, and the art involved in selling real estate. Don’t wait another minute – Call Lydia Gable Realty Group today and find out how we can help you!

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