Preparing your house for sale
First impressions sell houses! It is critical that potential buyers get that “good first impression". Preparing your home for sale gives you a major advantage over your competition. A little attention to important details can make a big difference in a potential Buyer's impression of your home.
Curb Appeal Start to think of your property as a marketable commodity. The first step you should take is to pack all personal items that aren't necessary for the remainder of your time in the house. Your home's buyer wants to be able to visualize their own personal touches in place when they come to view. This is more difficult when you still have yours around.
You are going to have to pack in the near future anyway, before putting your house on the market is a great time to pack family photographs, collectibles, trophies, souvenirs and ornaments.
When you have packed your personal items find somewhere outside of your house to keep them. Maybe a neighbor or relative close by will take care of them for a few weeks or renting temporary storage is a low cost option. Do not keep the packed boxes in the house, you want to make it look uncluttered and spacious as possible.
This is also a great time to remove/sell or throw out all other items you are not planning to move with you to your new home. Make sure every room in the home, including basements, closets, attics and garages are clean, tidy and clutter free. Your movers are going to charge to move all those things you have collected over the years but don't really use, save money, time and effort by sorting them out now.
Once you have packed your personal items and cleaned out the junk and clutter it's time to review the condition of your house. It is very difficult for any home owner to have an objective view. Ask me to come and review your home for you. I will point out the areas that needs painting or repairing if they are going to make a material difference to how quickly or for how much your home will be sold.
Do spend huge sums of money remodeling, remember you have no way of knowing what the next owners will like and dislike. However, there are a few basic items which are proven problem areas that you may need to take care of. Below is a list of things you should review and where necessary change.
|Curb Appeal||Wash down driveways and sidewalks, check them for cracking and crumbling, and patch as necessary.|
|Lawn and Yard||Your lawn must appear well maintained. Grass should be cut and edged, hedges trimmed, leaves raked and gardens weeded. Plant seasonal colorful flowers to add a bright cheerful look.|
|Windows||Clean windows inside and out to give your home a "bright" feeling.|
|Siding||Make sure the exterior siding is in good condition. A fresh coat of paint or a power washing will enhance "curb appeal".|
|Roof and Gutters||Your roof, gutters and downspouts should be in good condition and free of leaves.|
|Front Entrance||A fresh coat of paint will go a long way toward enhancing your home's appearance. Potted plants add a warm feeling. A welcome door mat in good|
|Kitchen||It is well known that the kitchen is one of the most important areas in a house. All appliances should be clean. The sink and counter tops should be clean and uncluttered. Flooring should be in good repair. A bowl of fresh fruit adds a nice touch.|
|Bathrooms||Keep them spotless, fresh and dry. If necessary, repair caulking around the tub and grout between the tiles. Towels and rugs should be clean and neat. Scrub tile with mildew remover and grout cleaner. Mirrors and glass shower door should be sparkling clean. Add a plant for a touch of color.|
|Bedrooms||Keep them neat. Beds should be made and clothing put away. In children's rooms try to keep toys tidy and not overly cluttered.|
|Walls and Woodwork||Keep them clean and free from smudges. A new coat of paint will impress the buyers and give your home a fresh smell. If you need to repaint light neutral colors should be used. Beige and off-whites have the widest appeal to the largest percentage of buyers. If you have any rooms decorated in dark colors you should consider repainting.|
|Closets and Cabinets||Storage spaces appear much larger when they are neat and well organized. If possible, remove rarely-used items and off-season clothing. Uncluttered and organized closets appear much larger.|
|Window Treatments||Curtains and shades should be clean and left open. Buyers prefer a bright and airy feeling in a home.|
|Plumbing||Be certain that all faucets, showers and toilets are not leaking and work correctly.|
| Furnace and Air
|Keep units clean and well maintained. Remove dust and dirt from exterior of the unit and any air vents and in-takes.|
|Lighting and Sound||Bright cheerful lighting creates a positive environment. Replace burned out bulbs. During showings open the blinds and turn on lights. Turn off the TV, dishwasher, dryer and play soft background musi|
Additional Helpful Hints:
- Be sure you have feature sheets available for prospective buyers. A survey of your property is also very helpful.
- Think safety first: Remove and repair all items that could cause visitors to stumble or be hurt in any way.
- Odors – from pets, smoking or cooking – can prevent a sale. Make sure your home looks and smells fresh.
- Pets: Animals should be kept away from the premises during appointments or at least safely confined.
- Evaluate your home for required repairs. Fix or replace broken appliances, windows, tiles, cabinet handles, etc. A fresh coat of paint will significantly enhance the eye appeal and value of your home.