Everyone always has advice to give. Bundle up. Respect your elders. Save for a rainy day. Eat your vegetables. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t eat yellow snow. We have heard them all. Sometimes we listen, sometimes we don’t.

I’m not here to tell you whether you should eat yellow snow or not (personally, I wouldn’t). I am here, however, to talk about what you may or may not want to do to get your home ready for sale.

It starts with curb appeal. For some buyers, the front of the home dictates the visit beyond the front door. Make sure your yard is tidy and kept up. Make sure the lawn is trimmed and power wash the outside of the home if possible. You may even volunteer to do the neighbor’s yard to make sure you look good (I’m sure they won’t mind). Think about how many cars are in front. If possible, keep the driveway clear of extra cars, boats, and trailers. 

When a buyer walks into a home, the senses take over. Smells come first, so make sure the home smells fresh. Nothing turns off a buyer faster than animal and smoke odors. Small plug-ins can help if they are not overpowering. Jasmine or apple seem to work the best but “no” smell is better than “a” smell if possible.

There is an old saying, “Music tames the savage beast.” I like it better as “Music tames the savage buyer!” Playing low, instrumental jazz is always a good idea. If you don’t have any, turn your TV on to your local cable station, choose a smooth jazz music station, and make sure it is not too loud. 

Make sure the home is kept up. Beds are made, dishes are out of the sink, and bathrooms are clean. It doesn’t need to be a model home, but an organized home is more appealing to a perspective buyer.

Pick and choose any improvement projects very carefully. Remember that you may not have the same taste as the new owner so pick neutral colors if you choose to paint. Dark accent walls may need to be lightened and dated carpet may need to be replaced. Talk to your realtor about your choices before deciding on any improvement to make sure it is money worth spending. A credit for certain things may be a better solution so you are not spending money on something that may be changed again as soon as escrow closes.

Ken Schrier is a licensed Realtor and owner of RE/MAX Marketplace and serves all of Sonoma County. He can be reached by cell at 707-529-4819, by email at KennethSchrier@gmail.com, by his website at www.KenSchrier.com.

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