Seller's Guide

Preparing Your Home

Of all the things homeowners control when selling their home, the condition of the property is one of the most important.


Think Like a Buyer

People always want the best for themselves, and your home should represent the buyer’s answer to this goal. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes! They arrive at your front door wanting to find the right home. Don’t make them search somewhere else for it. Every room in your home should create a desire for the buyer to stay. Also, remember that you are not just selling a house, but a shelter, lifestyle, and dreams.


Make a List

Look at both the outside and inside of your house through the critical eyes of the buyer. Start writing down anything that needs painting, repairing, replacing, cleaning, or updating .Ask everyone in your family or close friends to take a look as well for a fresh perspective.
Complete all your repairs, improvements, and enhancements prior to your first showing. Remember, your best showing come early in the listing period. Be ready!


First Impressions Are Lasting

Buyers generally decide if they want to view the inside of your house within 20 seconds of viewing the external attractiveness of your property. No matter how amazing the inside may be, buyers may pass on viewing it if the curb appeal isn’t inviting. Remember: Exteriors attract, interiors sell.
Make sure the front door is fresh and clean .Paint it if needed along with any exterior siding and trim. Make sure the driveway, walkways, stairs, decks and/or porches are clean, uncluttered and in good repair. Pressure wash, if needed, and remove all unnecessary items. Make sure all exterior lights work and replace missing shingles from the roof.



Keep lawn and bushes trimmed, edged and free of trash or clutter. Plant grass seed or fresh annuals ahead of time if needed and prune away any trees that obstruct the view of your home. Remove and replace any dead or dying shrubs and use flower pots, green plants or hanging plants on the deck or front porch to create a favorable impression. Don’t forget to put new mulch in the flowerbeds or around shrubbery and tree bases, if needed.

The Right Improvements Will Increase the Odds of Selling Your House Quickly and for Top Dollar. Keep in Mind the 4 Up’s:


Pick It Up – Less Clutter Will Make Your House Appear Larger

You can arrange furniture to enhance this effect. In addition, potential prospects need to be able to picture their furnishings in your property. What you can live without, pack or get rid of. It will also be easier for you to clean once you do this and it will make moving to your new home simpler and faster.
Remove all unnecessary articles from every room, closet, cabinet and counter. Don’t forget the laundry room garage, attic or other utility spaces. Clear items blocking access to furnace, electrical box. or any entrances/exits.
Pack pictures, knickknacks, collectibles (this will also protect them), excess furniture, unnecessary clothing (such as off season) and any boxes that are not going to be needed into storage. You may need to rent storage.
Throw away or recycle anything that you won’t use such as old prescriptions and expired medicines in the medicine cabinet, magazines, newspapers, old electronics, books, etc…


Clean It Up – People Are Turned Off By An Unclean Home

The idea is to make every area of the house sparkle and shine.
Clean and replace caulking in bathtubs and showers. Demineralize faucets and sinks. Scrub walls, window sills door frames, skylights and fixtures. Wipe or dust surfaces including windows and screens, counters, the top of fridge, ceiling fans, desks, electronics, and appliances. Steam and vacuum carpets. Sweep and mop floors.


Fix It Up – Repairs Can Make A Big Difference

Loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet doors and other minor flaws detract from the home’s value. Have them fixed. You can repair dings on trim or cabinet with products from the hardware store.
Dripping water discolors sinks and suggests faulty plumbing, as well as slow draining sinks, tubs and toilets. Make sure they are working optimally.
Fix or replace hardware like doorstops, hinges, doorknobs, shower rods, and switch guards that have become worn discolored or damaged, gutters and downspouts, screens, storm windows, and cracked or missing tiles. Fix nail pops, ceiling stains and leaks.
Change light bulbs to the highest wattage acceptable to fixture and have the furnace and air conditioner checked, serviced, and cleaned prior to inspection.


Touch It Up – Increase The Appeal Of Your House

Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal. Why tell the prospect how your home could look, when you can show him by redecorating? A fresh coat of paint on the floor and walls can make a huge difference.
However, keep it on the neutral side as bold colors may distract.
Paint everything else that needs painting: cabinets, doors, trimming and baseboards that are scratched, chipped or cannot be cleaned. Don’t forget the exterior, including the mailbox. Paint any peeling before the appraiser notices and the buyer tries to negotiate. Make sure to remove any stains or paint on the floors, including in the garage.
Place lights in closets and garage. Replace old shower curtains. Use attractive bedspreads and freshly laundered curtains. Invest in a new doormat. You can hire a professional to stage your home if you need some help.

Situations to Expect When Listing Your Home

Your Home May Not Be Worth What You Think

The biggest shock most sellers face is the true value of their homes, either determined in a comparable market analysis (CMA) by an agent or through actual buyer offers. Often, sellers find that their home is not worth as much as they thought. Many factors affect home values and most of them are subjective and hard to measure.

People Won’t Love Your Home Like You Do

Buyers have their own lifestyles, preferences, tastes, and attitudes so the chances of finding a buyer who will want your home “as is” are slim to none. Buyers will look at your home with a critical eye, visualizing how they can make it their own and estimating what those changes would cost, so, they will value your home less while considering these costs. It may hurt your feelings but you must remember it’s just business, not personal.

Homes for Sale in Kahului, HI

Sooner or Later You Will Lose Your Temper

Your relationship with your buyer will be one of love/ hate. Since you, as a seller, want to net the most, and conversely, the buyer wants to pay the least, they may pick apart your home to improve bargaining leverage. Many of their requests will be legitimate, while some may seem ridiculous. If you don’t want to comply, you don’t have to, but the truth is that no transaction takes place without one so letting tempers flare only gets you further from your goal.
You may also get angry with your REALTOR too, but you must realize that, like other people’s behavior, some things are out of their control. If your agent is a professional, she or he will be able to handle your concerns.

Unexpected Showings

Buyers aren’t going to operate on your schedule. In addition to your REALTOR showing your home, you may have dozens of other agents and their clients wanting to see the home at almost any time. People will cancel appointments and ask to reschedule. Buyers may show up with no appointment or without an agent, but there is no reason for an unaccompanied buyer to be in your home for any reason. Don’t let them in. Your REALTOR will do their best to coordinate showings at reasonable times but you must be flexible, patient, and do your best to keep your home in show condition. Trust that every buyer who enters your home is a potential buyer.

Buyer Rudeness

Sometimes, buyers that enter your home will leave their garbage on your counter, cabinets or closet doors open or even miss their appointment altogether, expecting you to reschedule at a moment’s notice. As tempting it may be to play Miss Manners, it’s not worth passing up a good offer because the buyer left a dirty diaper in your trash bin.


Inspections kill more deals than any other single factor besides overpricing. All older homes have some minor and some major problems which can be addressed in the sales price, or as a negotiation with the buyer under contract. How serious these problems are is a matter of the buyer’s opinion. You can hire an inspector before listing your home to avoid surprise repair expenses or price reductions. By fixing the problems that must be fixed, you can price the home more competitively and get more maneuverability in negotiations. A buyer who sees a favorable inspection report is more likely to make a fair offer and less likely to place a lot of contingencies in the contract.

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