Getting Your Home Ready To Sell
A common mistake people make is to spend a lot of money – renovations, new roof, remodeling. While buyers will be impressed with these things, spending $5000 on remodeling will not add $5000 to your sale. Spend as little money as possible, and spend it on cosmetic, readily seen features like interior painting. The time to remodel is when you plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.
If you think about everything that needs to be done to sell your house, you might throw your hands up in despair, or at least feel some anxiety. Take one step at a time, one small task at a time. Break it down to manageable-sized chores and you’ll have better results.
First things first – have a garage sale. Whatever doesn’t sell needs to be set out for a Disabled American Veterans or a local donation company. Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done.
This is your first impression, so it had better be a good one.
Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas.
Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.
Buy a new welcome mat.
Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling, and reseal if possible.
Make sure the porch light works.
Clean gutters and downspouts
If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it.
Remove oil stains from driveway and garage.
Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance.
Keep your garage door closed.
Wash the windows inside and out.
Paint the front door. A fresh coat of paint can really make a difference
If prospective buyers walk into your house greeted by the smell of cat litter, cigarette smoke, mildew or pet accidents, there is little chance that even a reduced sales price will persuade them to buy. So the first thing to do:
Clean, clean, clean. This includes walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. If you must, hire a cleaning service to come in and do the job.
Get rid of clutter. Put away appliances you normally leave on countertops. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic.
If needed, Paint the walls and ceilings a neutral color – off white or beige
Repair cracks, holes and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
Replace broken or cracked windowpanes and replace any torn screens
Repair or replace dripping faucets and showerheads.
Buy new cabinet knobs and curtains for the kitchen.
Shampoo all carpets, scrub all tile or wood floors.
Unclog slowly draining sinks and tubs.
Clean out the fireplace and lay some logs in it.
Lubricate any squeaking doors
Remove excess, worn or unattractive furniture.
Thoroughly clean all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven).
Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.
Clear all cobwebs from corners and doorways.
Wash all light switches, handrails and doorknobs.
On Showing Days
Keep draperies and shades open to let in the light.
Place fresh flowers throughout the house.
Have your home well-lit during showing.
At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting in back if you have it.
Set out colorful, luxurious towels in the bathroom.
Avoid having dirty dishes in the sink or on counters.
Keep any toys in the children’s rooms, bikes, wagons and skateboards in the garage