Stand out from the rest Nine ways to make your home more appealing to buyers

When you’re ready to sell your house, it pays to assess your home and make improvements before the for-sale sign goes in the yard. By doing so, you’ll help buyers see the beauty of your home — and that helps put the sold sign up faster. Especially in today’s tough market for home sellers, attention to details and a willingness to go the extra mile can make all the difference.


Here is a list of tips to make your home stand out from the rest.

• Be objective.

One of the hardest things for homeowners is to see their house from a buyer’s perspective. If you can’t be objective about how your home looks, take pictures of it. Take photos from the street, the kitchen, living room and master bedroom. These are the rooms that matter most to buyers.

• Start at the front. 

Give the front of your home a makeover.

Hire a landscape company to freshen the grounds, trim shrubs and trees, and add mulching. Repaint the mailbox, add new house numbers and hide trashcans. These improvements help hook buyers at the curb, enticing them to view your home.

• Put money where your mouth is.

Investing in the kitchen is one of the best returns on investment for homeowners. The kitchen is the one room that really excites buyers, so make it work for you by adding a new backsplash, fresh coat of paint on the cabinets and trendy pulls. Dated lighting, peeling laminate and crowded countertops will have buyers backing out of the house.

• Make a focal point in every room.

Each room should have a feature that defines the space. A focal point helps visually draw buyers into the room — and where the eyes go, the heart often follows. Using the photos you’ve taken earlier, plan a focal point for the main rooms of the house, including the kitchen.

• Empty closets by half.

When buyers look at your closets, less definitely is more. Reducing your belongings by at least half will allow buyers to actually see storage instead of stuff. Rent a storage unit if that’s what it takes, but reduce by 50 percent.

• Open the door to sales.

The front door is the first place on your home a prospective buyer sees and touches when they arrive. Repainting or revarnishing the door and polishing up the hardware will create a vision of beauty and buyer anticipation because it says the house is cared for right up front.

• Back off the wall.

Move furniture out in the room and away from walls. Of course, if your house has too much furniture (as many do), you may need to pare down. Make sure to put sofas and loveseats or chairs across from each other rather than in an L-shape. This conversational arrangement is more appealing to buyers.

• Add life.

Invest in good quality real or silk plants.

Spindly plants are eyesores. Look in any décor magazine and you’ll notice how plants are placed attractively in the room. Use these as guides on what plants to buy and where to place.

• Set the table. 

Model homes and homes in design magazines always feature a dining room table that’s set, but few homeowners with homes for sale set the formal dining room table. Setting the table makes the room inviting and helps buyers imagine themselves in it.

Chris Hutchens Ranked #1 Loan Officer In NC for 2009 In Sales & Volume

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASELocal Mortgage BankerEarns Top Industry HonorChris Hutchens named #1 Mortgage Lender in NCWilmington, NC – April 5th – From a field of over 255,000 loan officers in the nation,Chris Hutchens of the Wilmington office of Alpha Mortgage Corporation, was named by The ScotsmanGuide as the #1 Mortgage Lender in NC based on both number of loans closed and volume. He alsoranked #25 and #47 respectively in the United Stales.Michael Lopez, owner of Alpha Mortgage, is quick to recognize Chris Hutchens for this outstandingaccomplishment. “This is truly a unique and rare honor for any mortgage professional, and we at AlphaMortgage are incredibly proud of Chri s. Not only is he our company’s number one producer, but hecontinues to distinguish himself on a national level. He is a strong role model for other professionals in ourindustry, and we are privileged to have someone of his caliber at Alpha Mortgage.”Referring to himself as both a mortgage banker and planner, he shares his success strategy. “I only workwith direct referrals so I want each one handled carefully and efficiently. I treat my clients with integrity,one loan at a time. T am rewarded year after year with referrals and repeat business. After adding two fulltime assistants over the last few years, my clients never have to worry about receiving sufficient attentionthroughout the mortgage process. We have taken communication during the mortgage process to a newleve l. I am especially thankful for the incredible support I have within the real estate community. Fromreal estate agents to builders and developers. they continue to put their tmst in me and my Team year afteryear” .Chris Hutchens and his family have lived in Wilmington for 21 years, and he has been in the mortgagebusiness for 16 years, the last 13 at Alpha Mortgage.About Alpha MortgageCelebrating 27 years of success in 2010, Alpha Mortgage is a well-known and highlyrespected mortgage banker based in North Carolina. The company has its headquarters on the IntracoastalWaterway in Wilmington and field offices in Charlotte and Winston-Salem (Triad region). Alpha Mortgageis licensed to serve 100% of the popUlation in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.Media Contact:Joey Milam, Alpha Mortgage CorporationPhone: (910) 256-8999Fax: (910) 795-4914Email: