Tips for Sellers | Francine Swarts


Hire a Real Estate Agent

Studies show that home sellers who use a real estate agent to represent them generally get a better price than those who sell the home themselves.  Real estate agents are up-to-date on critical processes and can help keep you out of trouble.  They can also help you get your home sold at the best price in the right time frame.  Equally as important, real estate agents add objectivity to an inherently emotional transaction:  the sale of your home.

Before Your Home is Listed

It's important to have your home in good showing condition before buyers start going through it.  Here are some steps to take:


  • Clear all unnecessary object from the furniture, and thin out excess furniture where possible.  (Fewer items in a room gives the feeling of more space).  Consider putting excess furniture and belongings in storage.
  • Always have your home neat and tidy, beds made, dishes washed, etc.
  • Give special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms as these rooms sell more houses than anything else.
  • Clear the front of the refrigerator.
  • Keep only essential cosmetics on vanity tops in the bathrooms.
  • Coordinate towels, and use only one or two colors.
  • Use decorative baskets to help organize open shelves.
  • Fix leaky faucets, loose door knobs, stuck drawers and warped cabinet doors.
  • Clean floors and carpets, and paint walls where necessary, don't forget the windows.
  • Turn on lights in dark rooms and raise shades midway, to give a light bright feeling.
  • Have soft music playing during the day for all showings, no TV.
  • Keep stairways/doorways clear to avoid cluttered appearance and possible accidents.
  • Depending on the season, have fire in fireplace or outdoor drill ready to use.  Create the impression of relaxed family enjoyment.
  • Be aware of orders - this very seriously influences buyers.   Eliminate evidence of pets and smoking.


  • Move garbage cans into the garage, close garage door.
  • Remove all unnecessary material from garage, utilize rooms and closets, to show off their full storage and utility space.
  • Clean gutters, sweep the roof, and check roof for rot and mildew.
  • Prune bushes and trees for a clearer view of the house.
  • Clear patio and porches of unnecessary items, have porch furniture attractively placed.
  • If the season is suitable, have flower beds cultivated and flowers blooming.
  • Consider the value of a quick coat of exterior paint.
  • Work for high "curb appeal" on the outside.

Consider have a pre-listing inspection performed.  Buyers will be hiring professional inspectors; here's your chance to address problems in advance.

Consider engaging a professional stager to give your home the right emotional appeal.       

During the Listing Periord                                                                        

When potential buyers visit your home, either be absent or make yourself as inconspicuous as possible!

Have the lights turned on, have fresh flowers in the entryway.  It makes for a friendly introduction into your home.  If offers are made that don't match your hoped-for price, don't reject them offhand.  Pay attention to your agent's advice.  Consider dropping the price if several months go by with few or no offers, but if you and your agent have priced your home properly from the start, this shouldn't be necessary.  Don't get discouraged.  In buyer's markets markets, homes take longer to sell than during boom times.