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 will never get another chance to make a first impression, and first impressions are what count. Follow these simple tips and create the competitive edge that may help you sell your home more quickly.

Drive-Up Appeal

❏ Paint the front door or scrub it clean

❏ Make sure doorbell is working properly

❏ Keep the porch swept and get an attractive mat for people to wipe their feet on

❏ Keep grass freshly cut (or snow shoveled)

❏ Trim trees and shrubs

❏ Clean out flower beds: Mulch and invest in a few flats of seasonal flowers or potted plants

❏ Tidy up the grounds, porches, garage. Make sure yard is free of refuse and animal droppings

Absolute Basics

❏ 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

❏ Wash all the windows in the home, inside and out

❏ 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

❏ Put bright light bulbs in every socket made for a bulb. Buyers like bright and cheery

❏ Clean out closets, cabinets, and drawers. Closets should look like they have enough room to hold additional items. Get everything off the floor and don’t have the shelves piled to the ceiling

❏ Make sure rooms are not overcrowded with furniture. Select pieces that look best and store the rest. Remove excessive wall hangings and knickknacks

❏ Keep the kitchen sparkling clean. Make sure all appliances are clean at all times. Straighten cupboards that appear cluttered and keep floors gleaming

❏ Bathtubs, showers, and sinks should be freshly caulked. The grout should be clean and in good condition. There should be no leaks in the faucet or traps

❏ Keep all stairs clear of hazards

Other 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

❏ Clean the ashes out of the fireplace, if applicable

❏ Make sure that the pull-down staircase is working correctly. Be sure there is a light in the attic

Want 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

❏ New appliances in the kitchen can be an exciting feature that can actually make the difference in a buyer choosing your home over another

Suggestions for Showings

❏ When you leave the house in the morning or during the day, leave it as if you know it is going to be shown

❏ Wash dishes, put away clothes, straighten up newspapers, etc. Be sure all beds are made

❏ Infuse the home with comforting scents such as apple spice or vanilla

❏ Make sure all the lights are on and window treatments are open

❏ Turn off the radio and television

❏ Keep pets out of the way, preferably out of the house. Many people are uncomfortable around some animals and may even be allergic to them

❏ Leave your premises. Take a short break while your home is being shown. Buyers are intimidated when sellers are present and tend to hurry through the house. Let the buyer be at ease and let the agents do their job

❏ Never discuss anything concerning the sale with the Buyers. Let the Realtor discuss price, terms, possession and other factors with the Buyers. Direct communication with the buyers can lead to miscommunication or an indication of your motivation which can be costly in negotiations. (Never try to sell furniture to the buyer before the deal is complete)