Every seller wants to get maximum value for their home. In order to do so, I recommend the following easy steps to prepping your home for sale. These simple things can make all the difference in the eyes of the buyer!
To start with you need evaluate your home through “fresh” eyes. Begin outside and do a general walk-thru of your home and around your property as if you were a potential buyer. Take notes along the way and make yourself a TO DO list of items to complete.
Exterior and Curb Appeal
· This is the first impression as a buyer pulls up to your property. Many times a buyer will even do a cursory drive-by before agreeing to see the inside of a home. Your interior may be beautiful, but if the outside is lacking, many buyers are turned off and won’t take the time to see the interior.
· Manicure landscaping: mow, edge and water lawn, trim hedges, weed and fertilize flowerbeds, and prune trees. If you are lacking landscaping, a few well-placed potted plants can make all the difference.
· Keep driveway clean and free of parked cars, and keep the garage door closed.
· Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
· Minimize cracks or crumbling on walkways, walls, or steps, and keep them clean and free of obstructions like toys, plants, or clutter. Make sure screws on decks aren’t sticking up or loose. A fresh coat of sealant on decks and handrails can make a big difference.
· Items from RV’s to trash cans left out can contribute to a cluttered or busy appearance. Make sure that from the street, your property appears clear.
· Inspect appearance of interior window coverings from the curb.
· Repair any peeling paint or loose caulking on windows or other areas.
· Take steps to eliminate insect or rodent pests.
· Pick up after your pets and neighborhood animals.
· While agents work the lockbox for a key, buyers have idle time to notice details.
· Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door or at least wash it down it is clean and inviting.
· Consider adding pots of flowering plants in the entryway if weather permits.
· Eliminate cobwebs and groom doorway area windows, porch light, or decorative glass.
· Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter. Look for dust, cobwebs, fingerprints, etc. Hiring a cleaning service may pay for itself by adding to a buyer’s perceived value of your home.
· For a sleeker, more spacious look, consider placing furniture from crowded rooms in storage. Make sure there is an easy traffic pattern throughout the home.
· Clear kitchen counters of everything other than perhaps a few pretty items. Ask yourself: In a model home, would a professional decorator put your choice of items out on the counter?
· Remember, closets will be opened! Keep closets, cupboards, and even your attic orderly and neat. Since you’re anticipating a move anyway, consider holding a garage sale or boxing and storing unused belongings. Better for a buyer to see a garage full of orderly boxes than rooms and closets overflowing with stuff!
· If necessary, repaint or clean/replace dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls, and window and floor coverings with a light, neutral shade. Bright rooms look bigger, and neutral colors help buyers envision their own furnishings and décor.
· Repair dripping faucets, burned out light bulbs, or cracked windowpanes. Tighten cabinet pulls and door handles. Remember that buyers will be opening cupboards and doors and the smallest things can create the biggest impression.
·Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, and tiles.
There are times when you won’t have the luxury of advanced notice that a buyer is coming through, so remember, every time you leave your home, you need to make sure it is ready for an unexpected showing…here’s how….
· Open drapes and light lamps including those in closets, basement or attic – creating as light, cheerful and calm environment as possible.
· Make the potential buyer feel welcome by filling candy dishes and putting out fresh flowers.
· Make the beds; put away clothes and toys.
· Turn the blinds so slats are uniformly open and don’t forget to put on light if room is dark.
· In the bathrooms, put out a clean hand towel, fresh soap and clean soap dish, and make sure there is a full box of tissues.
· Put toilet lids down.
· A potpourri dish can provide a nice sight and scent.
· Put away all dishes and discreetly conceal countertop articles.
· Setting out bowls of fresh fruit or freshly-baked cookies or bread can add to the homey feel. Be sure not to cook overly smelly items right before a showing, such as fish or garlic.
DINING AREA –
· Arrange inviting centerpiece and turn on the lights/chandelier.
· Consider setting the table with fine china and linen.
LIVING ROOM/FAMILY ROOM/DEN –
· Straighten pictures on walls and wipe all tabletops.
· Fluff and arrange couch cushions and throw pillows.
· Dispose of newspapers and drink containers.
· Empty trashcans and make sure counter tops are clear of clutter.
ENTRY WAY –
· When exiting just before buyers arrive, turn around at front door and take another look. What is the first thing that catches your eye from that viewpoint? Will it help or hinder the
appearance of your home?
I hope you find this list helpful to you in preparing your home for listing! I am also happy to come and walk through your home and help you create your own personalized TO-DO list to maximize the value of your home! Contact me to set up a time.