Preparing Your Home For Sale

A few great tips on creating an atmosphere that will charm buyers and make them want to buy your home.  Remember that you’ll never get another chance to make a first impression.  And first impressions are lasting!  Follow these simple tips and create the competitive edge that may help you sell your home more quickly, and potentially save you thousands of dollars.


Drive-up Appeal

  • Here’s your chance to make your first impression.  Trim trees and shrubs, clean out flower beds and invest in a few flats of seasonal flowers, paint the front door, make sure doorbell is working properly, wash the mailbox, keep the entry swept and get an attractive mat for people to wipe their feet.


 Absolute Basics

  • The front door greets the prospect.  This is another chance to make a first good impression. Be sure it is fresh, clean, and the trim is painted.
  • Start by airing out the home.  Most people are turned off by even the smallest odor.  Odors must be eliminated, especially those caused by dogs and cats; soiled diapers and/or cigarettes.  Most buyers are sensitive to other home odors.
  • Wash all the windows and screens in the home, inside and out.  Are they operable?
  • Let the sunshine in.  Open draperies and curtains and let the prospect see how cheerful your home can be.  (Dark rooms do not appeal).
  • Put bright light bulbs in every socket made for a bulb.  Buyers like bright & cheery.
  • If it has been over a year since the carpets have been cleaned, now is the time to have them cleaned.  Bare floors should also be waxed or polished.
  • Decorate for a quick sale. Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce appeal.  Why try to tell the prospect how your home could look, when you can show him by redecorating?  A quicker sale at a higher price will result.  An investment in neutral new kitchen wall color will pay dividends.
  • Keep the kitchen sparkling clean.  Make sure all appliances are clean at all times.  Straighten cupboards that appear cluttered and keep floors gleaming. Kitchens’ sell homes too!
  • Clean out closets, cabinets and drawers.  Pack excess linens and clothing to make closets look bigger. Neat, well-ordered closets show the space is ample. Make sure rooms are not overcrowded with furniture.  Select pieces that look best, and store the rest.
  • Bathrooms help sell homes. Check and repair grout in bathtubs, showers and sinks where needed.  The grout should be clean and in good condition. They should be freshly caulked.   There should be no leaks in the faucet or traps.  Make the bathrooms sparkle.
  • Arrange bedrooms neatly.  Remove excess furniture if needed. Use attractive bedspreads and fresh looking window coverings.
  • Small repairs can make a big difference.  Loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers and other minor flaws detract from home value.
  • Most importantly, keep your home generally clean, shiny, fresh and odor free. There is a reason why new homes sell faster.  Let’s try to make it as new and pretty as possible. Let’s get the most we can out of your home, shall we?


 A few more suggestions…

  • If you have limited counter space in the kitchen, keep unnecessary items put away.
  • Keep children’s toys out of the front yard, sidewalks and front porch or entry.
  • Clean the ashes out of the fireplace.
  • Safety is important.  Keep stairways clear.  Get everything off the floor. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.
  • Have I removed or mentioned to my realtor any attached items that are not included, such as special chandeliers, shelving or garden plants?
  • If applicable, the pool needs to be sparkling clean and free of leaves.


 For those willing to go the extra mile…

  • There are some things you can do that will really add flair to your home.  If your house is the least bit dated, changing out wallpaper in the entry, kitchen or bathrooms and replacing outdated light fixtures adds desirability.
  • Fresh paint on interior and/or exterior where needed.  Generally, paint is your best improvement investment for getting greater return on your money. It gives the home a fresh clean look.
  • Your second best investment is a clean carpet.  If cleaning it does not give it a fresh look, consider replacing it.  This is one of the most common reasons for homes not selling against their competition. Don’t assume a buyer will have the financial means to replace it, many don’t.  They will buy elsewhere.
  • New appliances in the kitchen can be an exciting feature that can actually make the difference in a buyer choosing your home over another.


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