10 Tips To Prepare Your House For Sale

Selling Your Home | Paul Smith Austin Real Estate1. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.

  • Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house – a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.”
  • Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
  • Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
  • Say goodbye to every room.
  • Don’t look backwards — look toward the future.

2. De-Personalize.

Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there! You don’t want to make any buyer ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”

3. De-Clutter!

People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.

  • If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
  • Remove all books from bookcases.
  • Pack up those knickknacks.
  • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
  • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
  • Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

4. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.

Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:

  • Alphabetize spice jars.
  • Neatly stack dishes.
  • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
  • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
  • Line up shoes.

5. Rent a Storage Unit.

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”

6. Remove/Replace Favorite Items.

If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer they can’t have an item, they will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

7. Make minor repairs.

  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls. (Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the orange bathroom.”)
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
  • If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!

8. Make the House Sparkle!

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Wax floors.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Replace worn rugs.
  • Hang up fresh towels.
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.

9. Scrutinize.

  • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
  • Make sure window coverings hang level.
  • Tune in to the room’s statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
  • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You’re almost finished.

10. Check Curb Appeal.

If a buyer won’t get out of their agent’s car because they don’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get them inside.

  • Keep the sidewalks cleared.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Paint faded window trim.
  • Plant flowers or group flower pots together.
  • Trim your bushes.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
  • Add mulch to flower beds.
  • Add Planters around trees.

Austin MLS Stats for October 2012


A recent report shows there are 6,000+ single-family homes for sale in the Austin Multiple Listing System. They range in price from $18,900 for a 400 square foot place in a little town northeast of Austin to $15 million for a home containing a little over 16,000 square feet of living space with a stunning view of Lake Travis. The average list price is a little over $455,000.


As for October 2012, the Austin area saw 1,669 homes sell. The average price for a sold home was $283,643, or $118.55 per square foot, and the median price was $203,000 or $101.19 per square foot. Homes averaged 64 days on market before selling. There are also 2,782 homes currently under contract.


How does this compare to October of last year? In October 2011, our area saw 1,404 single-family homes sell. The average price for a sold home was $255,414, or $110.16 per square foot, and the median price was $192,000, or $95.49 per square foot. Homes averaged 79 days on market before selling.


So Austin saw an increase in home sales of just under 19% and an average price increase of over 11%. I’d say that makes our market pretty healthy!



Austin Homes Sales Dive 27% In September

This may not be the best news in Austin Real Estate as Austin home sales fell 27 percent year-over-year in September, but the total sold so far in 2010 remained just slightly lower than the same period in 2009, the Austin Board of Realtors reported Wednesday.

The Multiple Listing Service data showed total homes sold in September fell to 1,274. Year-to-date, sales volumes were 14,014, down 1 percent from the same period in 2009.

“As we’ve seen the last few months, year-over-year comparisons have been artificially altered due to the timing of the homebuyer tax credits,” Austin Board of Realtors Chairman John Horton said. “Thus, year-to-date figures continue to be a more meaningful measure of our market this year.”

Read more: Austin homes sales dive 27% in September | Austin Business Journal

Number Of Austin Homes Sold Declines While Prices Rise

ZipRealty is reporting this week that both the selling and asking prices for homes in the Austin Real Estate market have risen 17 percent over August of last year. This while actual sales of new and existing homes have actually dropped 19 percent compared with the same period last year.

Average selling prices on homes in Travis County increased from $282,869 to $331,200 over last year at this time reported Zip, a nationwide brokerage firm. But while sellers were pulling in over 95% of their asking price, total sales skidded to an average of $316,621, nearly 20% off their previous year mark and spent an average of 70 days on the market before selling, an increase of 3%.

[Read more…]

The Crestview Launch Party!

The Crestview - Paul Smith Austin Real Estate

I would like to thank everyone that came out the the Crestview launch party. It was a success with over 500 people in attendence. We had great food pr0vided by The Meathouse, Mandola’s Italian, and Mama Fu’s. Music by an amazing guitarist, Luis Benuelo’s. Take a look at the video that was just edited.

We have 21 unique floor plans with suspended staircases, Private outdoor living areas, and 5 inch wood plank floors. Prices start in the $140’s for a 0ne bedroom and in the $180’s for the two bedrooms. The models are open on Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 5pm. Please call to schedule a showing.

Paul Smith

The Crestview Launch Party Is July 15th

The Crestview

Are you ready for the next party? Well here it is!
You won’t want to miss this FREE happy hour with live music, food from Mamma Fu’s, Mandola’s Italian, and Chedd’s.  We will have live music from Luis Banuelos, Drinks and much more…

We are giving away and iPad and have door prizes. You MUST RSVP to enter, you MUST be present to win!

please RSVP for this event. You can either RSVP here or

see you there!!!

Take a look at the crestview’s website.