Before You Sell Your Home
Dress For Success: Before you put your house on the market, its best to put a shine to it. The way you present your property to prospective buyers can make all the difference. Without investing in expensive and time-consuming renovation and redecoration, it’s still possible to show your home to its very best advantage.
Curb Appeal: That first impression when prospective buyers drive up is very important. If they don’t find the outside appealing, they won’t be interested in seeing what’s inside.
The Yard: Mowed lawns, trimmed shrubbery and clean windows are a start.
- Planting a few flowers or plants can do a lot to a front yard.
- Fertilize and water the lawn and plants thoroughly 2-3 weeks before putting the house on the market.
- Clean up oil spots on the driveway. Make sure the garage door opens easily.
- Swimming pools should be clean along with the pump and filters.
- Clean up and throw away any junk or items laying around the yard.
- Now is a good time to have a yard sale, get rid of those items that you don’t plan to take with you. Do this before you put your house on the market to greatly reduce the “detrimental clutter look”.
- Start packing away little things that you don’t use everyday.
- Recycle magazines, newspapers, bottles, cans and so on.
- Pet droppings can easily turn the buyer back to the front door.
The Exterior: Before your sell, if your house could use a paint job and you don’t have the time or money, some times hosing it off (from the bottom up) and repainting the trim will update the entire facade.
- At least paint the side facing the street.
- A clean front porch with a fresh looking front door that opens smoothly is a must.
- Any broken windows should be fixed now as they will most likely be before closing.
- A few gallons of stain or paint can add real impact to a fence.
The Interior: Inside, everything should be spotless.
- Spending $100 to have someone do heavy “spring cleaning” if needed can bring a return many times over in the sales price and time on the market.
- A fresh coat of light colored paint on the walls is always recommended.
- Painting only the trim and the doors will add a lot.
- Check to see that all doors open and close freely. Oil any squeaky doors.
- Replace any burned out light bulbs. Brighter lights enhance many rooms.
- Steam clean the carpets if new carpeting is not possible and to help eliminate any pet odors. Wash and wax linoleum floors. Repair or replace damaged or missing tiles. Bathrooms should sparkle. Remove soap scum and mildew. Replace old looking toilet seats. Kitchens should be clean and bright. Clean oven and stove top. Exhaust fans should be free of grease and dust. Clear all unnecessary objects from the counter tops.
- Keep curtains and blinds open and interior lights on for a bright warm cozy feeling.
- Store stuff and clutter under beds, not in closets.
Focus Rooms: Buyers react most strongly to kitchens, bathrooms and closets, so it pays before you sell to concentrate your efforts here. Sometimes just switching door handles, knobs, and light switch plates is a dramatic improvement. Replacing new shower curtains and sink faucets can pay off.
Tip: Preview the competition’s open houses to see what you are up against in both pricing and condition. Potential buyers will be previewing these and more.
In General: Try to look at your house “through the buyer’s eyes” as though you’ve never seen it before. A lock box is the number one importance. “If you don’t have it, agents won’t show it.”