Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sellers, heed this advice when prepping your home for sale

The Tribune published a fantastic article on prepping your home for sale in today's sluggish market.

One plausible idea is to pull $10,000 or less out of your savings account to make your place a stand-out in the eyes of would-be purchasers - - what real estate agents call a "cream puff." This is a home so attractive and well-kept that prospects will usually choose it over similar houses in the neighborhood offered at the same price.

"The cream puff is so alluring, it seduces buyers subliminally. It's a very well-groomed property," says Sid Davis, a seasoned real estate broker and author of "A Survival Guide for Selling a Home."

I cannot stress enough how important this idea of transforming your home into the "creampuff" of the neighborhood. This also reminds me of the old joke about two guys lost in the jungle. It appears that they are being stalked by a tiger. One of the guys stops to lace up his tennis shoes.

"I don't think the tennis shoes are going to help you outrun a tiger!" the one guy says to the other.

"I don't have to outrun the tiger. I just have to outrun you!" is his reply.

With so many competing properties available to buyers, you want to outrun your competition. This means accommodating more showings, making sure your house is cleaner than the others, needs less to fix up than the others, and is at least as competitively prices - if not lower - than the others.

Get these basics right, and you could see your property go under contract in a reasonable period of time - as quick as 30 days in popular Chicago neighborhoods.