We've all heard the old adage....."walk a mile in someone else's shoes", but how can that apply to getting your Champaign/Urbana IL home ready to put up for Sale and show to potential buyers?  Easily....you need to start thinking as a "Home Buyer" when you're getting your home ready, and not a Home Seller.  Here are a few tips to get you started before welcoming Buyers to your Champaign/Urbana Home:

1. Have a Friend Pre-Listing Party. Yes, that's right, invite a few of your trusted friends over, crack open a bottle of wine and go room to room with a notepad.  Have them objectively look at each room and give suggestions as to what they would change,  or would be a red flag, if they were to look at your home as a potential buyer.                                                                             

2.  Next.... Consult a Great Real Estate Agent!  Take your list of "fixes" from your pre-listing party and run it by your agent. They will tell you what is worth the money to fix or not.  He or She will also go over your Homes Value and develop a personalized marketing plan with you.

3. De-Clutter!  I know,  I've said this over and over again.  But it bears repeating because it's so important.  Let's take a closet as an example:  Taking 1/2 of your clothing off of a closet rack and the shelves, then neatly reorganizing it will make your closet look much larger.  Extra furniture is also a problem area as it is usually shoved into corners.  Stop that!  Rent a storage unit and get rid of much of the furniture in each room so that every room can be staged to take advantage of the space, size and nuances to to highlight why it's special.

4. Think Neutral.  Now, I'm like everyone else, I love pops of color throughout the home and I think the home feels a lot warmer and cozier with color.  But if you're putting your home on the market, you need to go neutral. It is hard for a potential buyer to envision themselves in a home that has "you" written all over it.  Neutral colors paint the picture of a blank canvas which gives your potential buyer the feeling that they can create their painting or oasis of a home.

5. Clean out your garage.  We are all guilty of using the garage for storage, but trust me, your buyer wants to know that their vehicles are going to be able to fit in the garage.  Again, even if you need to rent a storage unit, take out all storage boxes and seasonal tools and equipment not in use.  And ....make room for your vehicles.

6. Make sure Hardwood Floors are gleaming!  People in general love hardwood floors, but nothing is worse than looking forward to a home with hardwood and getting to a home and seeing dull, lifeless and scratched floors!!  It can be a deal breaker because your buyer is thinking about how much time and expense it's going to be to refinish them!  Instead use a simple soapy wash followed by a rejuvenating floor polish  and voila'.....your floors will look like new....and it only cost you around $50!

7. Restore your natural stone, tile and grout. If your bathrooms and kitchen tiles have lost their luster you may want to look into getting them refreshed.  Professional restoration services are available in most cities and are relatively cheap compared to a complete renovation, and can make your kitchens and bathrooms look brand new. And since these are the two most highly rated rooms in a home....I'd say it's money well spent!

Local home improvement stores have trained personnel and many classes available to train you in the techniques to restore what you have in  your homes today versus having to do total renovations.  Utilize their expertise to help make preparation for your selling process go smoothly and quickly. For more Real Estate Selling Tips or Buying Tips check out my website at www.champaignrose.com