Before going on the market/photo shoot:
â–¡ Check for paint scuffs or scratches on walls, doors and trim and repaint or touchup where necessary.
â–¡ Reseal & deep clean bathtubs, sinks, trim, base boards and crown molding as necessary.
â–¡ Be sure all light fixtures & ceiling fans have working bulbs and are cleaned of dirt, dust and cobwebs.
â–¡ Check all doorknobs, closet doors and locks to be sure closing properly and not sticking.
â–¡ Clean vents free of dust or dirt that has collected and change furnace filter.
â–¡ Clean bathrooms, showers/tubs-put away toiletries & throw away old toiletries. Put away towels & mats.
â–¡ De-clutter! Remove all or most personal affects: pictures, knick knacks, cd’s/dvd’s, etc. Less is better!
â–¡ Organize all closets, cabinets, bookshelves & pantries-store or throw away anything that needs to go.
â–¡ Clean kitchen& appliances. Put away the appliances items that can go away permanently, if possible.
â–¡ Clean and organize the fridge, throw away old food, organize kitchen cabinets and drawers too.
â–¡ Remove all magnets, pictures, clutter etc from front, sides & top of fridge.
â–¡ Clear all kitchen & baths counters , table tops, tops of cabinets, tops of fridge-unless decorative items.
â–¡ Clean all windows and sills of dust, dirt, bugs & grime. Clean and dust window treatments and/or drapes.
â–¡ Clean, steam and/or spot clean all furniture, carpet, rugs and upholstery.
â–¡ Clean/touch up all doors and trim around the floors & doors-remove scuffs, dirt or dust.
â–¡ Hide and organize all computer, stereo and electrical cords. Neatly organize all equipment.
â–¡ If you have outdoor space be sure it is cleaned & cleared of dirt or debris.
â–¡ If outdoor space is furnished be sure it is set nicely and deep cleaned.
â–¡ Store away extra furniture, clothes & personal items that may distract buyer from the home.
â–¡ Check exterior for any weeds, clutter, debris or any issues that need to be attended to.
â–¡ If possible, take care of all ongoing problems that you are aware of so they are not detected by buyer.
â–¡ If applicable, be sure to contact the building/mngt and let them know your unit is for sale.
â–¡ Keep house as close to the same as it is left after the photo shoot!
Day of Showing:
â–¡ Allow as much flexibility as possible for upcoming showings.
â–¡ Turn on all lights & turn on some soft background music, if you are just running out for the showing.
â–¡ Keep fresh flowers out. Light candles and/or light a fire in the fireplace (if appropriate)
â–¡ Be sure all toilets are flushed and seats are down.
â–¡ Empty all garbage cans & diaper pails.
â–¡ Be sure all beds are neatly made with clean linens.
â–¡ Clean up/put away clothes & towels from bedrooms bathrooms.
â–¡ Clear clutter, crumbs and dust from table tops, counters and floor.
â–¡ If possible, set the dining table.
â–¡ Be sure mirrors are clean and free of any spots on glass.
â–¡ Be sure kitchen is clean and free of spots, food stains, crumbs or dishes. Polish granite. Clean appliances.
â–¡ If possible, put away everyday appliances or any clutter that can be easily/quickly hidden for a showing.
â–¡ Be sure bathrooms, tubs/showers are clean-free of dirt, toothpaste and hair on counters and floor.
â–¡ Put away all toiletries in the home - this includes shower and kitchen sink.
â–¡ Neutralize odors with a light fragrance, nothing overpowering. Vanilla & Cinnamon or any light soft scents.
â–¡ If possible, open the windows for a bit to let in fresh air. Be sure windows are closed before showing.
â–¡ Maintain a comfortable room temperature.
â–¡ Do not be present during showing. Allow buyer to envision this home as their own.
â–¡ Secure all pets during showings or take them with you.
â–¡ If it has snowed or iced be sure walkways are safe & clear, shoveled and salted for showings.
10 Steps to Home Buying
Here is how the typical home buying process works:
1. We meet to discuss your needs and familiarize yourself with the home buying process.
2. After we narrow your search down to a select number of properties, showings will be arranged at times convenient to both you and the seller.
3. Once you find your desired property, you will submit an offer. A sales contract is then submitted by you along with a “good faith” deposit (such as a $1000 personal check), called earnest money, which is held until closing and then credited towards the price of the home or down payment. Contingencies often found in a sales contract include inspection of property, the ability to obtain financing, and attorney approval.
4. The seller then signs (executes) the contract. Closing typically occurs within 30 to 90 days of execution. After the contract is executed, the attorney review and inspection period will begin, typically lasting from 5 to 7 business days.
5. Usually within 2 business days after Attorney Review and inspection period is over, the earnest money is increased to 5-10% of the purchase price. At this time you will submit a mortgage application the lender will have the property appraised, as well as review your credit, verify your employment, and confirm the availability of down payment funds to ascertain creditworthiness.
6. After the lender reviews the credit report and appraisal, you will receive a loan commitment letter verifying that the loan is approved. A closing package will be sent by the lender to their title company, who will in turn handle the closing.
7. The seller’s attorney will order a title examination through a title company, as well as letters for a certificate of insurance and condominium assessment payment/payoff, if necessary.
8. Approximately one week prior to closing, you and the seller should notify utility companies of the change of ownership.
9. Usually, the day of or the day before closing a final walk-through (a pre-closing inspection) should be conducted. You should also check with the lender and/or attorney the day before closing to determine the amount needed at closing to cover the balance of the down payment if any and closing costs.
10. Closing is typically held at the title company or attorney’s office, and the recording of the deed represents the transfer of title. The title company will record the transaction at the appropriate county recorder’s office, and you will receive the keys to your new home!