Mike Harutunyan
CalBRE# 01353419
Property Search

Preparing your home for sale
Here's How:
  1. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
  2. Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.
  3. Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
  4. Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
  5. Say goodbye to every room.
  6. Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.
  7. De-Personalize.
    Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask,"I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."
  8. De-Clutter!
    People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
  9. If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
  10. Remove all books from bookcases.
  11. Pack up those knickknacks.
  12. Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
  13. Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
  14. Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
  15. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
    Buyers love to snoopand will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
  16. Alphabetize spice jars.
  17. Neatly stack dishes.
  18. Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
  19. Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
  20. Line up shoes.
  21. Rent a Storage Unit.
    Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying,"What is this room used for?"
  22. Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
    If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
  23. Make Minor Repairs.
  24. Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  25. Patch holes in walls.
  26. Fix leaky faucets.
  27. Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  28. Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
    (Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
  29. Replace burned-out light bulbs.
  30. If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
  31. Make the House Sparkle!
  32. Wash windows inside and out.
  33. Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  34. Clean out cobwebs.
  35. Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  36. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  37. Clean out the refrigerator.
  38. Vacuum daily.
  39. Wax floors.
  40. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  41. Bleach dingy grout.
  42. Replace worn rugs.
  43. Hang up fresh towels.
  44. Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
  45. Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
  46. Scrutinize.
  47. Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
  48. Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  49. Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
  50. Make sure window coverings hang level.
  51. Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
  52. Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished.
  53. Check Curb Appeal.
    If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.
  54. Keep the sidewalks cleared.
  55. Mow the lawn.
  56. Paint faded window trim.
  57. Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.
  58. Trim your bushes.
  59. Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.

Quick fixes before selling a home always pay off, but which repairs bring the biggest return? Specific answers to this often-asked question largely depend on a variety of factors such as:
  • Time of year
  • Location of the home
  • Market temperature
  • Competing inventory
There is no hard and fast rule. But there are general guidelines that apply to most homes. For example, the National Association of Realtors publishes each year the Cost vs. Value Reportwith Remodeling Magazine, which features various home project costs and returns in four regions, including a national average.
Flooring Fixes
In my neighborhood, most of the homes were built in the late 1940s, which means the floors are original, hardwood oak. Wood floors are a hot item today, but preferences over the years have changed. Carpeting became popular -- like with lots of consumer products -- after somebody figured out how to get the government to pay for it. When vets returned home from WWII, housing was at a shortage. Homes were sold with newly installed carpeting because the cost for the carpeting could be rolled into government-insured (VA) loans.
Then carpeting became vogue in the 1960s. Some homes today, sadly, still sport '60's shag carpeting. The final movement away from hardwood happened when installing hardwood floors became too expensive. Plywood was easier to obtain and faster to install. Plus choices in carpeting were plenty. It's still relatively inexpensive to install carpeting.
  • Hardwood Floors
    If your home has hardwood floors, that's what buyers want, and it would pay to have the carpeting removed and the floors refinished.
  • Carpeting
    If your sub-floor is plywood, then replace the carpeting with light tan. Neutral carpeting is your best bet for resale.
  • Ceramic
    Replace chipped or cracked tiles. Clean or replace the grout. But don't install ceramic (it's too expensive) unless it's for aesthetic reasons in an entry way.
Paint Ceilings & Walls
Buyers spend more time than you would think staring at ceilings. They are looking for signs of a leaky roof, but what you don't want them to see are stains from grease or smoke and ceiling cracks. Ditto for walls. Nothing says freshness like new paint, and it's the most cost effective improvement. Use fiberglass tape on large cracks, cover with joint compound and sand. Paint a neutral color such as light tan - think of coffee with cream.
  • Wallpaper
    It's not that all buyers hate wallpaper. They hate your wallpaper - because it's your personal choice, not theirs. And they hate all dated wallpaper. Get rid of it. The easiest way is to steam it off by using an inexpensive wallpaper remover steamer.
  • Wood paneling
    Even if your wood paneling is not real wood but composite, you can paint it. Dated paneling must go. Older wood paneling such as walnut, mahogany, cedar and pine, it's all gone out of style. Paint it a neutral and soft color after priming it.
  • Textured ceilings
    Older popcorn ceilings with the "sparkles" often contain asbestos and if disturbed are health hazards. Say goodbye to it. But even recently sprayed ceilings turn off buyers. It's not expensive but it is time consuming to remove. Lay down drop cloths and scrape it off. You will need to repaint.
Kitchen Improvements
Appliances and cabinets are typically the most expensive items to replace in a kitchen. If you don't have to replace them, you'll save a ton of money. However, if your cabinets are dated and beat-up, your house might not sell if the cabinets aren't replaced.
Kitchen remodels return nearly 100%. According to Remodeling Magazine, the high-end kitchens don't return as much as the mid-range or minor kitchen remodels. Most buyers won't pay extra for a built-in Sub Zero refrigerator, professional 8-burner stove, undermount sink or travertine floors. If you live in the Midwest, your return will be less than for those who live in other parts of the country.
  • Cabinets
    Resurfacing is your best option. This involves attaching a thin veneer to the surface of the cabinets and replacing the doors and hardware . If your cabinets are painted, add a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.
  • Counter tops, sinks & faucets
    Granite counters are not necessary. Simple laminates, newer faucets and sparkling sinks sell. Buyers don't want leaky faucets or stained sinks. California broker, california homes, homes for sale, listing search, real estate listings
The national average of recouped cost is more than 100% for bathrooms. New floors, fixtures and lights payoff.
Roofs & Exterior
If your home needs a new roof, bite the bullet and do it. Even though most roofing tear-off jobs take one to two days, buyers shy away from buying a home if the roof needs to be replaced.
  • Patch cement cracks in sidewalks
  • Resurface asphalt driveways
  • Plant flowers
  • Caulk windows and doors
  • Replace doorknobs and locks
  • Fix or paint fences
Overall, buyers want to buy a home that has no deferred maintenance, newer appliances, updated plumbing, electrical and heating (including a/c), modern conveniences and is ready to occupy.

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