free for sale by owner
FHA Secure Mortgage Guidelines

Hope for Homeowners Program

How To Prepare Your Home For Sale By Owner

You know the feeling well. You see a beautiful house, and you just know that you'd like to live there. That's what you want prospective buyers to feel when they see your home. The deciding factor in most home sales is the "Curb Appeal" and attractiveness of the house.

Do the repairs that are necessary in order to make your home look it's best. Be careful not to invest in overly expensive or large scale improvements like room additions and new plumbing systems. Making these major repairs will only return you a fraction of their cost. It would be much better to disclose the problem and adjust the sales price accordingly.

Instead, you should invest your improvement dollars and energy into cleaning and painting. You will definitely realize more cash at closing time then you will have spent for the cleaning and painting supplies!

Be as objective about your property's appearance as a buyer will be. Does that little crack in the wall really need to be fixed? Yes! It may cause doubts about how well built the house is. How your home is decorated is not as much a factor as being clean, neat and in good repair.

The first look a prospect will have at your home is when they pull up in the driveway. Be sure the landscaping and general appearance is attractive and neat. A trimmed lawn, cut shrubbery, trees free of dead limbs, weeded flower beds, a swept and stain free driveway, clear sidewalks and gutters etc. will assure a pleasant first impression. Put in plenty of flowering plants. It's the easiest, least expensive way to beautify the exterior of your house.

As they approach the front door, little things will mean a lot. A clean freshly painted front door, polished door knob and knocker, clean surrounding windows, screens and widow sills will all be noticed. Once inside, the senses take over. The prospective buyer will notice odors and light. If possible, open curtains, drapes, blinds, and windows to brighten and freshen the house.

In winter a fireplace and bread in the oven lends warmth to your home. Fresh cut flowers add colors and appeal. If the interior of your home needs painting, consider white or a light, neutral color making the house appear larger, open and bright.

Make sure all rooms are clean and neat. Fingerprints, cracked plaster and clutter should be eliminated everywhere. Fresh paint and polished woodwork will always improve the look and value. Kitchen and bathrooms are the rooms that can really sell a house - or turn a buyer off. Make them sparkle. Fresh plush towels, flowers or silk flower arrangements, new shower curtains etc. will add luxury and glamour to the most ordinary bathrooms. To make dining room, living room and bedrooms look big and airy, remove some furniture. Also consider putting away the cluttering nick-naks, collections, toys, and other unnecessary items. They just draw attention away from your home's other features and make the house appear smaller and messy.

Put away dishes and store counter-top appliances. Have carpets cleaned. Remove throw rugs and area carpets if possible. Visit a local model home tour for other ideas. Do everything possible to make your home look its very best. It really doesn't take much money, just your time and energy. Get rid of the junk and everything you have stored in closets and garage. Have a garage sale if necessary or give the stuff away to your friends or charity. You will probably be glad you did it now rather than having to move it all to your new home! To add warmth and charm to your home when buyers visit, play soft romantic music. Turn on all lamps and chandeliers to make the house glow even in daytime. Also whenever possible, pets and children should not be around. An important point to remember is to never have to apologize for the appearance of your home. Keep it "ready to show" all the time!

How to Hold a Successful Open House

Best days: Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-4:00.

  • Use a guest list to register all those who look at your home.
  • Turn on lights in all rooms and open blinds to let as much light into home as possible.
  • Have soft background music playing wherever a radio is available.
  • Light fireplace for warm and homey feeling.
  • Use open house signs and flags to draw as much attention to the home as possible and make it easy to find.
  • Make sure home is neat and clean inside and out. Fresh paint and clean carpets go a long way.
  • Park cars away from your home and out of garage. It will make garage look larger than if cars are inside. Cleaning garage can also help.
  • Put all toys away, inside and out.
  • Water the lawn, front and back, just prior to open house starting.
  • Put a drop of vanilla on the oven rack and turn oven to 350 degrees for a great smell or bake a batch of cookies during the open house.
  • Keep pets secured - don't scare off the prospects.

When showing your property...
Beware of thieves. You don't know the people viewing your home in most cases. Make sure your valuables are safely stored away or even placed in another location such as a safety deposit box or with a close family member. Some people don't worry about this. Some are really worried.

Financing options flyer...
This gives potential buyers an idea of what income will be required by the lender, what the mortgage payments will be including the taxes and insurance etc., and of course what loan programs are available and the current interest rates.

Filling out documents...
If you don't understand completely, don't sign! Get a professional. Some Realtors will do it for you for a flat fee or you may want to work with a real estate attorney.

Guest register...
Have potential buyers fill it out and keep it handy so you can contact them if you change your selling terms.



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