Selling your Property - How to Present to Potential Purchasers

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Selling your Property - How to Present to Potential Purchasers

By: Allison Thompson

When you are deciding to sell your property it is always an idea to make the property a potential purchase too as many buyers as possible. One of the best ways of doing this would be to present the property as if it were a blank canvas on to which a potential buyer can stamp their own individual tastes. Below are provided a few simple rules which should help you when to obtain that potential sale of your property without too much effort or cost to yourself.

1. De-Clutter

Wherever possible try and depersonalize the property as much as possible, such as putting away any photographs that you have of yourself and your family and try only to leave out a few essential items on show in each room, which will hopefully still show the property as a family home, but will give the illusion of space. Also if possible try only to have a select number of pictures/paintings on the walls; this will also help to give the illusion of space in a room.

2. Smells

An idea that some people say helps when they have people in to view their property is to make it smell homely. They suggest that you either have freshly baked bread or coffee that has just been brewed in the kitchen. However, if you don't have time to do this then just ensure that you make the rooms smell as nice as possible, there are number of good quality plug in air fresheners on the market that will provide a pleasant smell to the potential purchaser when entering your home.

Also if you have pets then make sure that wherever possible you have been able to neutralize the smells that they produce. You should remove their bedding from the house before a viewing starts and purchase a good quality air freshener that will eliminate the smells.

Finally, if you are able to arrange for your carpets to be cleaned, either professionally or hire a carpet cleaner (these can be rented from most supermarkets and dry cleaners now day at a very reasonable cost).

3. Colours

If you are able to, keep the colours of the house as neutral as possible, this will help to make the rooms look both larger and brighter. Unfortunately bright colours and dark colours although may be too your taste may not be the preferred option of your potential buyer. Also by having a neutral colour scheme throughout the property you are able to provide your potential buyer with a blank canvas onto which they can stamp their own preferred styles.

4. Cleanliness

It is always good to ensure that your house looks and smells clean. People when viewing a property have a habit of sometimes looking everywhere in the property (this includes cupboards, drawers, toilets and baths). Always make sure that you toilet is clean and that if possible a toilet block has been placed in it, which will not only clean the toilet after each flush but also make the room, smell nice. If you find you have limescale around the taps, the bath and the toilet, make sure that this has been removed (there are a large number of products on the market which would be able to assist you with this matter). It also helps the potential buyer to see that you have maintained the property well.

Any wood surfaces should be either wiped down with a damp cloth or polished to remove any dust from the surface. Also the same should be done for any items such as TV's and Entertainment centers including the stands that they are sat on.

Windows wherever possible should be cleaned and a good way of getting clean windows if you do not want to pay a window cleaner is to fill a bucket with warm water and vinegar. Use a cloth to wash the windows in the water and vinegar and then use newspaper to wipe the water off. You will find that this leaves your windows streak free.

5. Exterior of the Property

One of the first things that you should make sure always looks good is the front entrance to your property as this is the first thing that a potential purchaser will view when approaching the property. Therefore ensure that you keep the front of the property clean and well maintained. The more kerb appeal your property has the more likely a potential purchaser will be keen to enter the property to view it. If you have any plants at the front, ensure that any dead ones have been removed, the lawn is kept neat and tidy and if you should have a driveway make sure it is in good repair, potential purchasers will not want to be thinking about money they will need to spend on the property if they decide to purchase it. Many times problems like this could give your potential purchaser the chance to lower the asking price.

The rear of the property should also be shown in a clean and tidy state, make sure that the lawn is neat and well kept, and if you have a patio area keep it clean and tidy. Any pots that are broken should be removed and the same should be done with any dead plants. Make sure that any fencing is well maintained and if it is broken then replace it, a few pounds spent on keeping this in order could mean that extra money on the sale of the property.

I hope that you find the above to be of use to you when deciding to sell your property.

About The Author

Allison Thompson now living in Spain and the partner in a small and friendly real estate company.


Chris S 21.06.2010. 22:53

What is the penalty for possession of alcohol under 21 in New York State? Specifically Saratoga? I received a ticket for possession under 21.

Chris S

Admin 21.06.2010. 22:53

Laws and Policy Relating to Alcohol

The discussion below identifies several provisions of New York State law especially relevant to student life. Although many of the behaviors prohibited in these laws are relatively common on college campuses, the College expects students to abide by these laws. The College will intervene with students who violate these laws.

No person under the age of 21 years may possess or consume alcohol.
No person shall sell, deliver, or give away alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated person.
Providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21 is also against the law.
Possession of a forged driver's license is a felony.
Possession of forged college ID is a misdemeanor.
Students should also be aware of a Saratoga Springs ordinance prohibiting any person to "have in his possession any open bottle or container containing liquor, beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages while such a person is on any public highway, public street, public sidewalk, public parking area or in any vehicle or public place." The city enforces the policy downtown, and the College prohibits "open containers" in public spaces on campus.

Students should also be aware of New York State law governing the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The College is especially concerned about the potential consequences of students driving with their ability impaired. The College will intervene with students ticketed--on or off campus--for driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol.

The College permits alcohol in the Spa, Falstaff's, and at official all-College events only when a College-approved vendor provides the alcohol. Students may not bring alcohol to any event. The College will consider canceling for one year any event, even an alcohol-free event, disrupted by illegal or inappropriate drinking.

Alcohol is available only to those 21 years or older. A valid state or federal identification card (driver's license, non-driver identification card, etc., as per the ABC Law of New York State) and Campus Event card shall be the only forms of accepted proof of age for Skidmore students. Guests must show two forms of ID, at least one of them being a valid state or federal identification card (driver's license, non-driver identification card, etc., as per the ABC Law of New York State).

When alcoholic beverages are available at an event, the sponsors may sell the alcohol on a cash-per-drink basis only and at a cost consistent with current alcohol beverage pricing. Sponsors who intend to sell alcohol at an all-College event must submit the all-College event notification form and obtain the approval of the Assistant Director of Leadership Activities at least three weeks in advance of the proposed event.

With the exception of Falstaff's, alcoholic beverages must be served and consumed within a designated area ("beer garden"). Only students who have shown proper proof of age may enter the beer garden.

At all events serving alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available in an adequate amount, throughout the event.

With the approval of the Office of Residential Life, students over 21 residing in Scribner Village and Northwoods may serve alcohol at parties. The Event Authorization Form detailing the expectations and requirements is available in the Office of Residential Life. The host of a party in Scribner Village or Northwoods assumes the following responsibilities:

the host shall remain present for the duration of the event;
the host will be the purchaser of alcohol and will not permit guests under 21 to consume alcohol;
the host will not permit drinking games at the party; and
the host is responsible for their guests and College property throughout the duration of the event.
If the size of a party exceeds capacity, or safety warrants, the College will close down the party.

The College does not tolerate drinking games (i.e. beer pong) in residential buildings, college events, or student parties. The College will discipline students who permit drinking games in their rooms, apartments, events, or at parties. Additionally, the College is concerned about the presence of ?empties? (empty and/or discarded beer bottles/cans and liquor bottles) in residence halls and in underage students? apartments. In the spirit of the AOD policy, the College reserves the right to respond when there is a concern for health and wellness and/or violation of College policy (students may be cited with a Level I AOD violation).

The College does not permit mass-consumption containers at informal (as opposed to formal College-sponsored) events in the dining halls, Case Center, academic buildings, or residential buildings.

At private, invitation-only functions alcoholic beverages may be available on an open-bar basis. Individual sponsors of and guests at private functions must comply with New York State ABC laws....


Sam Anson 28.03.2011. 14:27

Public Law Problem Question? McGregor is the owner and manager of the Braveheart Lounge, a pub in the centre of Anytown. McGregor has run the pub for twenty years, and throughout that time he has had a licence from Anytown Council to play live music until 11.00 p.m., as long as it does not exceed an agreed decibel level. The amplifier of McGregor?s sound system has a limiting device which means that it is incapable of producing noise levels in excess of the agreed limit. The fact that McGregor has music in his pub has been essential in attracting customers, and has enabled his business to survive. He has always stuck strictly to the conditions of his licence and has never received any complaints about noise or other nuisance from his premises. Recently Darcy acquired the office premises next door to the pub and converted the property to executive flats. He has been unable to sell or rent the flats and potential purchasers and tenants have been put off by the proximity of the pub and worries about noise during the evening.

Darcy?s solicitor, Jason, is a member of the Council. Fiona is Jason?s daughter. Darcy grants Fiona a tenancy at a reduced rent so that at least one of the flats will be occupied. Immediately on moving into the flat, Fiona makes a complaint to the Council about excessive noise from the Braveheart Pub at 10.30 p.m. on a Saturday night. The Council?s licensing committee meet to consider Fiona?s complaint, and decide to revoke McGregor?s music licence. They make this decision in exercise of a statutory power to revoke music licences ?in the event of persistent infringements of the conditions of the licence?. McGregor has been given no notice of the complaint, and has not been given the opportunity to make representations in his defence. Jason is a member of the Council committee. Although he was present at the meeting, he did not participate in the discussion, nor did he vote. He did not, however, declare an interest. McGregor is bewildered by the decision and asks for the committee?s reasons. He is told that the committee does not have to give reasons. He asks if he has any right of appeal, and is told that there is none.

Advise McGregor.

Any advice on how to answer this would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

Sam Anson

Admin 28.03.2011. 14:27

My advice would be to consult your notes from your lectures, and consult your recommended textbook.


squirt 26.09.2009. 15:28

toxic,trash,etc.was buried on property by a brother in law? who owns adjoining property to the home and property we inherited recently after our mothers death, i discovered he also used our mothers property to bury alot of of refuse. My siblings think that its no problem because he covered it all with dirt, he also dumped items in the lagoon on our inheireted property, ive read the laws, discloser statement, E.P.A, health dept. etc. I told my siblings the property cannot be sold, we could all be held liable but they dont believe me, i contacted our lawyer that is handling the estate while it is in probate and i believe she agreed with me but could not discuss anything with me because one of the siblings that we named our personal representitive is the only one she can discuss any issue with, i have no problem with that except that the sibling is one of the siblings that does not believe its a problem and says that im just trying to cause problems, he has made our inheireted estate worthless, i cant afford to hire a lawyer, but i do need to protect my self from a potential law suit. The law states that even though i was not the one that buried the refuse im still liable. I stand to loose everything along with my inheiretance from our parents seeing that it cant be sold because of what he did. I feel he should be made to purchace the property which also has my parents home on it. I dont think he has a choice, we could take him and my sister to court but even though i despise them for being the cause of this she is still my sister, his disregaurd in this matter has severed a family bond, three of my four siblings do not have any contact with me any more because they think im being greedy and want to cause problems when the truth is i just may have saved them from a very serious situation does anyone have any suggestions seeing i cant afford a lawyer? Thankyou for your time
i just wanted to add that the materials that are buried consist of 5 gal. paint buckets (alot)from his sons drywall business that were not cleaned out, lids off, used tires from excavation equipment, very large and several, old oil from his semi's, used antifreeze containers, old batteries, torn down building's from other property's, dont know what was contained in that refuse, he run's an excavating business, also he has dug a drainage ditch, with a back-hoe, from the back of his large garage onto our inheirted property its about 2 to 3 feet deep so what ever goes down the drain in his garage drains out the back of his garage into a hole he dug so when it fills up it drains over onto our inheirted property, he has semi's, bull dozers, several dump truck's etc. so alot of fluids are draining out and into this trench. Another jaw dropper is, he removed top soil from approx. 5 to 6 acres off the inheirted property over the years and sold it, ive done the math, love google earth!!!!!!!!!


Admin 26.09.2009. 15:28

If the property is in the USA, the law requires that anything such as this must be disclosed to a potential buyer. That fact alone would be enough to ruin any future sale.

You are right when you say you believe you will be held liable for any potential lawsuit regarding the spoiled land. If there is a well on the property which is used for water, the inspection of that water will reveal whether it is still potable or if it is contaminated.

One option might be for you and any other inheritors who understand the problems this has created to sit down together and come up with a plan. First, you should try to educate the others with facts regarding your bother-in-law's actions. You can do your own research. Put everything in writing. Make it clear, concise and easily read.

Then call a family meeting of all the people who stand to inherit the property. Present your case and try to make them understand what the reality of the situation is.

Then present a couple of options. In order to sell the property, you will have to invest in having it cleaned up. This could be very costly, but might be worth the investment to garner a higher price.

The other option is to sell the property "as is, where is". In other words, for a discounted price the purchaser would buy the property with full knowledge of what has gone on there.

The property can be sold, it just has to be revealed that it likely contains toxic materials and other refuse.

If you can prove that your brother-in-law was the one who did the spoiling of the property, you and your like-minded siblings could choose to sue him in a court of law and force him to clean up the property. Of course, this would only work if he has the financial means to do so. Otherwise, you'll get a worthless judgment.

Face it. It is not very realistic to think that the person responsible will actually be held responsible. So, you'll have to work around it.

Get an appraisal of the property that includes a "before and after" scenario. In other words, one that will indicate the value of the property in its toxic condition and what the property might bring if not despoiled. Do the same thing with a Realtor who is familiar with land sales in your area. Use this information at your family meeting.

You need to present a united front, in any case. In order accomplish that goal, you must do your research and have the information ready to give to the other members of the family.


Chelsea 26.04.2012. 22:21

Real Estate Law Trivia, True or False? Hello, I have come across a list of true or false questions dealing with real estate law and was wondering if someone could help me answer them. Here they are:

1.A tree that has been cut down and into firewood is considered real estate.
2.A general warranty deed does not guarantee anything.
3.A quit-claim deed is used frequently when people are divorcing.
5.A legal description of the real is a part of a deed.
6.A mortgage, once recorded, cannot be foreclosed upon.
7.A recorded judgment is a lien on real estate and all property the defendant owns.
8.Title searches are an important tool used to discover what liens are filed against real estate.
9.A fiduciary deed is a deed that passes title to real estate due to a Sheriff's Sale.
10.A title search shows who the owners of real estate have been throughout a specific period of time
11.The difference between real and personal property is that only one person can own real property at a time.
12.A quiet title action is a legal action to bar others from claiming title to real estate.
13.The air above real estate is owned by the government.
14.Oil, gas and coal can be sold separate from the land above it.
15.Riparian rights are the rights of landowners to block access to waterways.
16.Possession of land is the occupation of land evidenced by physical acts such as enclosure
17.Inheritance is ownership of real estate as the result of a written will.
18.Devise is ownership of real estate as the result of someone who died without a will.
19.Adverse possession operates as a statute of limitations and precludes others from contesting title.
20.Adverse possession is the method of acquiring title to real estate by possession for a statutory period of time.
21.Fee simple absolute is the best kind of estate that an owner of real estate can have.
22.A life estate interest in real estate begins when a person is born.
23.When a person owns a life estate interest in real estate they may not sell the real estate but may sign off of their interest in the life estate.
24.Tenants by the entirety is ownership only between married persons.
25.Quit-claim deeds which contain no warranty are used commonly in divorce proceedings.
26.A valid contract must include the legal capacity to enter into the contract.
27.A contract is the ?legal glue? that binds a seller and purchaser together.
28.A Lis Pendens prevents real estate from being sold pending the outcome of a dispute between persons.
29.You always need a lawyer to buy real estate.
30.Lead in paint that is in a room can become a problem for a Seller.
31.Power line exposure has been proven to be a health hazard.
32.It is required that a buyer be present when a professional home inspector is doing an inspection.
33.Homeowner?s insurance coverage is required at a closing.
34.You can lower Homeowner?s insurance costs by improving a home security.
35.Zoning laws affect how you can use land.
36.Buyer?s & Seller?s can offer and counter-offer several times before a final agreement is reached.
37.Earnest money is never returned to a potential buyer.
38.Home warranties offer protection for a short period of time after the purchase of real estate.
39.A mortgage is a document that secures real estate against theft.
40.Adjustable rate mortgages have changing interest rates.
41.A Balloon mortgage offers low rates in the initial period.
42.An adjustable rate mortgage is a good choice if you will move from the mortgaged premises in the near future.
43.Shorter term mortgages generally have higher interest rates.
44.There are no special rate mortgages for first time homebuyers.
45.Paying off some mortgages early can result in a pre-payment penalty.
46.Some mortgages require only a 5% down payment.
47.A monthly mortgage payment can include real estate taxes.
48.Discount points are paid in advance to allow a lower interest rate on a mtg.
49.Lenders never require money in escrow to cover taxes and insurance.
50.A loan application doesn?t ask for proof of income.
51.While qualifying for a loan, a lender will tell you how much money theymay lend you.
52.Pre-approval is a lenders commitment to lend you money.
53.Lenders rely on your credit report when they determine if you qualify foa loan.
54.Paying bill late have little effect on your credit report.
55.RESPA protects borrowers from unethical lendin

I realize the numbers are off by one, but please bare with me as I copied and pasted them from the trivia. If anyone knows the answer to any question please put the number followed by a T or F (ex: 26. T). Thank you so much for the help, it is more appreciated than you know!


. 19.10.2006. 01:00

Any Estate Agents out there........? United Kingdom replies only please.......
Daughter has been bidding on an apartment which has been on the market since Monday. Serious bidding started yesterday with 4 bidders and has now reached 11,500 more than the asking price. Is it best not to get into a 'bidding war' or hang back until near completion of the deal. (When she told the clerk at the estate agents today that she wanted to be kept informed of all bids the clerk informed her that she couldn't keep phoning my daughter as it wasn't fair to the rest of the bidders - is this the way it works? or was the clerk putting the pressure on?)
Would appreciate advice please, especially from Estate Agents.
Note to: 'on thin ice' - your reply was very much appreciated.
(Would just add that my daughter is a first-time buyer/not in a 'chain' etc.)
Have just found out that the vendor is a property developer!!! so I guess there is little hope of getting the apartment.
Had a friend phone the agent today asking if they would accept a 'cash offer' -(agent didn't ask how much, which I thought was odd) - and said they were only accepting bids.
Will let you know what happens.
ps. I hope you have more obtained more suitable employment. :)


Admin 19.10.2006. 01:00

When you say 'bidding' it seems she is making higher offers in competition with other would be purchasers. The agent is legally bound to put ALL offers to the vendor, as a higher offer with complications might be rejected in favour of an hassle free, quicker sale. I would ask to see the senior partner of the agents and explain what the clerk said, again on the basis you asked to be kept informed surely suggests to the clerk they could get a still better price for the vendor. Now I wont even think that the clerk is trying to keep your daughter out of the higher offers to help some one else - they wouldn't do that would they - or would they !!?? There is very little that's 'fair' to the others as the agents duty is to the vendor and I wonder what the vendor would think if their agent wasn't working hard to get them the best price. Completion is a phrase used after contracts have been exchanged, to make the final arrangements to hand over the money, move in and out etc. That is too late for your daughter. Why not visit a conveyancing solicitor and explain what is happening, you shouldn't get a bill as you are a potential client of the solicitors if not for the present property but another one. Also ask amongst the solicitors what their charges are likely to be, some give better deals than others.
Further info for you: as far as your daughter is concerned she is an ideal purchaser, don't underestimate the strong buying position that will often put her into, all most vendors want basically is their money and the fact that your daughter needs finance shouldn't be a big hurdle unless they think a cash offer at a lesser price will be almost instant. Virtually every chain needs a first time buyer in it to unlock the knock on log jam which you get when people need to both sell and buy. I would suggest your daughter sees an INDEPENDENT mortgage advisor and gets a preliminary assessment of the level of loan she could expect, she can do this without waiting for the ideal property, armed with that assessment she knows what property price band to go looking in and will be able to move quicker when she finds what she wants. An independent mortgage advisor ( IMA) gets paid by the lending building society and should declare any fees upfront to you, in practice I've found you will get a good range of options. It's tempting but don't overstretch your repayments, leave a bit of slack for the inevitable unexpected bills and perhaps even an interest rate rise. Finally ? ! get a PROPER survey, no disrespect to property developers out there but its amazing what serious flaws can be hidden over by new wallpaper and a lick of paint, the building societies own survey is not sufficient if you are new to the property game. Get the IMA to explain.


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