Quick Sale Secrets

Prepare Your Central Oregon Home To Be Sold Quickly

The real estate agents at CENTURY 21 Lifestyles Realty Bend want you to be able to sell your home at the best possible price in the shortest amount of time. Promoting all the best features of your house is pivotal for those sellers who wish to sell their house close to the asking price and in as little time as possible.


Home Staging

Home staging is the process of preparing your home for sale. The guidelines provided here will assist you in planning on how to best highlight your home's outstanding features in ways that are most appealing to a protential home buyer’s collective senses and emotions. We also provide helpful interior design guidence and simple / easy to do home improvement ideas. Staged homes are seen as livable, attractive, comfortable and maintained well. Staged homes have also been shown to sell sooner, and for more money. Taking the time to stage your home has been proven to be well worth the time, effort and expense during all market conditions - but it is especially worthwhile in a down market such as we are now experiencing.


A First Impression of Your Home Is Hard To Break

A majority of property buyers will develop an opinion about your house within the first few seconds of touring your home for the first time. They will usually spend less than 15 minutes taking a walk around your home. They will also see several other homes with similar amenities and features within a short time of having seen yours.

Since you have but one chance for a first impression; let your house be the one a home buyer remembers. Do it by giving them a compelling first impression.


The Outdoors: "Instant Curb Appeal”

How a home is viewed from a street-side position honestly can make or break the sale of your home. A substantial percentage of qualified home buyers will decide to tour or not to tour the inside a home; based entirely on its initial curb appeal.

There is however good news! You can greatly impact your home’s curb appeal by taking a bit of time to freshen up the curb-side appearance for a great first impression.

How should you get started?

Start by personally going curb-side and look at your home from a buyer's drive-by view. Ask yourself - What is my first impression of the home? Determine th best and worst features? Then, determine how you can easily enhance, improve or minimize each of them? 


The Outdoors: Attention To The Hard Surfaces

Making sure the sidewalk and front walkways are cleared of any debris is a great start. Make a clean sweep of the drive / walkways to remove any weeds that may be living between cracks. Remove any grease and/or oil spots, additionally fill-in large cracks in your driveway. If your driveway is asphalt, you may want to consider having it sealed for a fresh, crisp, clean, new look. If your walkway or driveway is made of cement, it may benefit substantially from being pressure washed - this will brighten it up, remove dark spots and make it look almost new again.


The Outdoors: Landscape Paradise! Or, Not So Much?

Sometimes adding elements to your landscaping will help with your home's curb appeal, but more often than not, removing items is even more effective. Keep the grass mowed, rake bark dust and keep the weeds pulled. Trim trees and bushes back. Plant or place flowers to add spot color here and there. Yellow and red flowers can be most inviting colors.


The Outdoors: Give the House a Face-Lift

Does the house have a dull look and lack a visual punch? Sometimes, new coat of paint or a pressure wash can give a home that much needed face lift.

On the subject of paint, with property constructed prior to 1978, there are some new laws that the federal govenrment has enacted to allow a buyer with the right to request an inspection for lead paint. If you know that there is the potential that you'd test positive for lead, then it would be advised to do the inspection prior to going on the market. this way you can make any required fixes - before you try to sell. Additionally, repair loose roof shingles and/or siding. One of the most simple but powerful things you can do for your home is to clean the windows. Do it both inside and out to let the sun shine through! Other nice dressings to add are shutters, if applicable, and window boxes with colorful flowers (when winter weather is approaching, use silk flowers instead) to brighten up the frontside view of the house. Fix a weather-worn mailbox, and add visual interest by positioning rocks and/or potted plants near by the mailbox.


The Outdoors: At The Front Door

Continue your curb appeal campaign with an inviting front door. Restore its prior luster with a new coat of varnish or spice it up with a fresh, new accent color. Test to make sure your doorbell works. Fix any torn or worn window/door screens. Clean light fixtures – both outside and inside, change any dead bulbs, clean off outdoor ledges.

Now take a moment, from the front door - take a long and slow look around - all around both at the door and farther away – take note and repair or adjust anything that stands out to you – it is best you do this before a buyer does, because they will see things you do not, unless you look closely.  


The Outdoors: Don't Forget The Rear View

When doing a drive-by, a buyer will do their best to get a peek into your backyard. If there is no fence – getting a good look is very easy. Often times with a fence your backyard may be easly seen from another street, driveway or even someone's backyard - so thebackyard should be a part of a total “curb appeal” initiative. Apply the same level of detail by keeping the grass cut, the weeds pulled and the shrubs/bushes/trees cut back. Imagine your backyard as another living space in your house. Store excess furniture to keep only the essentials and… as best one can, try to put away all the kids' toys.   


The Indoors: Make An Entrance

Congratulations, you have made a great 1st impression on the outside prior to them even walking through the doorway – now it’s time for the first impression inside your home. You want to start with how your home smells, as this will be the very 1st sense they encounter as they come through the door - this is your opportunity to make an impression, in an instant, with the smell of fresh baked cookies, or pumpkin pie or any other fragrance you care to surrond them with as they enter the foyer. Then you want to make them visually comfortable and warm by presenting a natural arrangement and repeat this theme with smaller arrangements located throughout your house. A soft and inviting music track playing in the background would also be good, as this will also help create the desired mood.

What you want to aviod is having your guest overwhelmed by any cooking, pet and/or tobacco odors or visual chaos on entry or at any time during their tour of your home.


The Indoors: Living Room & Dining Room

Clean and straighten-up all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls, counters and ceilings. Clear virtually all items from tables, countertops and bookcase tops. Clear out all non-essential items and/or furniture to make your lifing and dining rooms feel open and spacious. Spice up rooms with a fresh coat of paint. Colors used should be neutral shades of white, off-white, beige, or a light pastel that will coordinate with most decors. Keep away from vivid colors that will limit the new owner's color selection for their furniture. Leave your house with a bright, open and airy feel by drawing back the drapes and raising the blinds.

When leaving the house before a tour - turn on all the lights prior to the tour, as it will brighten things up remarkably.


The Indoors: Kitchen & Bathrooms

Kitchens must be absolutely spotless and cleared of any excess kitchen items. All the appliances that are visiable need to work properly. The oven needs to be clean. Even if it is not part of the part of the sale, pay special attention to the refrigerator, both inside and out, remove any family articles and magnets from the door of the refrigerator. Your kitchen should be seen as open, inviting and organized.


Bathrooms can be as important as the kitchen. Some buyers consider the bathroom as more important. Clear all counter-tops of personal items, clean all stains and soap residue from bathroom fixtures, repair all dripping faucets, clean mirrors, and clean water-marks from chrome and/or brass parts. Add chlorinated tablets to toilet tanks and keep lower all lids. Clean and fluff bathroom rugs, mats, plus hang and straighten clean towels. Put in fresh potpourri, fill sented oil jars and place scented soaps to create a fresh fragrance in the air.


The Indoors: Bedrooms & Closets

Apply the same principle for bedrooms and closets in your home. Clear out excess furniture and put on a fresh coat of a white, off-white, beige, or a light pastel that will coordinate with just about any decor. Do not use vivid colors here that would limit your buyers color choices or that would make the room seem dark. Maintain closets as organized and uncluttered. Clear out and box up any excess hangers, clothing, shoes or articles and keep just the clothing most often used. Box up and put away all out of season, seldom used or holiday clothing and articles to make your closets look roomy and spacious.


The Indoors: Basement & Garage

Garages and/or basements are important because they give a buyer more storage space for their excess articles – if the garage and/or basement is stuffed to capacity – it is hard for them to see their stuff fitting in there too. As you work on making your entire house organized and uncluttered, the moving boxes you pack up will get put in one of these two spaces (garage and/or basement). While considering this, it is critical to keep these two places organized, clean and tidy. It is essential that all stowed items be stacked neatly and put out of the potential owner's way give them suffecient space to move about the room easily. If you can, try to make space for a vehical in the garage - free of boxes and furniture to provide a potential buyer with the ability to see their own car in the garage. It would be easier if you considered putting these excess articles, furniture and boxes into a temporary storage unit to give you the optimal image of an organized, bright, airy and open feel for your entire house.


Final Comment

Your professional Century 21 Lifestyles Realty broker will provide additional tips and suggestions on setting up your house for a great 1st impression and a quick sale.

Additionally, it is in your best interest to let your broker do the tours of your house. Since they know the market, business and potential buyer, they will present your house to your absolute best advantage. Also since most potential home buyers feel more at ease to ask a question or make a comment when the seller is not present, it is best to let your broker do the showing of your home.

Remember that you only get one opportunity - to make a great first impression.