MAKING A FIRST IMPRESSION
A house that sparkles on the surface will sell faster than its “shabby” neighbor, even if both are structurally well maintained. A “well dressed” house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price.
When preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed by a brand new roof, but they aren’t likely to give you extra money to pay for it. As well as, an appraiser won’t add more to the value of the home because they expect it to have a roof, new or not. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive polishes and touch-ups to your house. Such as putting new knobs on cabinets or a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room is recommended before doing extensive and costly renovations like installing a new kitchen.
Staging is another way to put the finishing touches on a home and help it look spacious but still inviting. Once you have gone through this list, we can discuss ideas for staging.
Depersonalizing and de-cluttering can be the most difficult part of selling your home, but it is often the most important thing, next to pricing it correctly. Buyers tend to have specific tastes, and whether it’s modern, traditional or shabby chic – they are drawn to it. Remove any items that reflect your personal tastes so that the buyer can imagine themselves and their things in each room. You want the buyer to embrace your house as their future home. I also want you to take your emotion out of it and think of it as a product you are selling. You will have a new home soon to personalize all your own. This process will also give you a jump-start on your packing.
Don’t let this list overwhelm you. Enlist some friends and family or hire some professionals for cleaning and lawn service. Own way too much stuff, but can’t commit to purging? Rent a storage unit to hold the extra furniture you won’t need until your move.
SELLER’S BEWARE… THE MOST COMMON ITEMS FOUND IN AN INSPECTION REPORT.
Here are some of the most common items that buyers ask to be repaired:
Broken or cracked window panes and seals
Window screens missing or can’t find the extras in the house
Do It Yourself jobs not done to code
Water spots on the ceilings
Un-maintained furnace filters
Dirty or damaged gutters
Faulty GFCI outlets
It is always better to fix these minor issues before the inspection to give the buyer a feeling of comfort that your home has been maintained.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Buyers are looking for well-cared homes that they can move into immediately.
Remove all garbage cans, wood scraps or building materials, etc.
Make repairs to fences and paint, if needed.
Stain or paint front door to fix dings or dents (first impressions!)
Make sure the front door is in working order.
Make sure keys work well and the door is easy to lock/unlock.
Clean off any exterior residue on the outside of the house.
Check to see if paint needs touch-ups or caulking updates.
Remove any dead plants. Weed and prune.
Keep your lawn manicured and watered.
Sweep all walkways, patios, and decks.
Add some potted flowers on the porch, if weather permits.
Clean pool and maintain chemicals.
Plan for kid’s outdoor toys to be put away for showings.
Sweep out and organize the garage.
Arrange garage tools and clutter in bins.
Store RV’s and old cars elsewhere while the house is on the market.
Consider pre-inspecting the home.
Curb appeal can seal the deal. Make your porch
and exterior look inviting and well maintained
Clear all unnecessary objects from kitchen countertops.
Remove anything stuck to the refrigerator or cluttering the top of it.
Repair broken tile or loose corners on counters.
Clean stove top and oven. Replace burner pans, if stained.
Polish kitchen sink. Keep clean and empty.
Keep garage disposal clear and deodorized.
Remove all soaps, sponges, etc., and keep out of sight under the sink.
Pack up all other items in the kitchen, not often used, to make room in cabinets for small kitchen appliances so counters are clear.
Remove any additional leaves in the table to make the room larger.
Clear off dining table but leave centerpiece (remove table cloth).
Clean all surfaces and put toiletries in drawers and cabinets.
Leave out a bottle of hand soap or clean bar of soap. Make sure to leave out a clean hand towel.
Put out your new or fresh, neatly folded towels or hang on bars.
Clear all items out of shower stalls and tubs, except necessities.
Keep toilet lids closed (especially for showings).
Hide garbage can and cleaning supplies (toilet brush out of sight).
Clean shower curtain or replace if needed (neutral, like white).
Repair any cracking or peeling areas and clean any mildewed areas.
Paint if needed.
Give your tub or shower a fresh bead of silicone caulking to make it look neat and clean if needed.
Make beds daily and replace with neutral bedding, as needed (sometimes a comforter can be flipped over to a white or beige side).
Store extra books, magazines, or miscellaneous items underneath the bed.
Keep closet doors closed. If you have a walk-in closet, keep the floor clean and free of laundry and clutter.
Keep tops of dressers and nightstands empty except for necessities (clock, phone, and lamps).
Keep toys organized and in closed containers or toy box. This is a good time to purge and pack. It is like Christmas when the kids move and open the boxes.
DEN, FAMILY ROOM, LIVING ROOM, SUNROOM
Clear off all coffee tables and end tables.
Keep remotes, coasters, and magazines, etc., under the table in a basket.
Remove any ashtrays.
Have a plan to remove pet beds and food bowls out of sight for showings.
If carpeted, remove any scatter or extra rugs.
Keep counters and sink clean and empty.
Put soaps, towels, etc., in cupboards.
If using the area to put the pet in a crate, put a note on the door to warn buyers.
Plan for a place to store litter box out in the garage for showings.
Clean every room and remove clutter for a brighter look.
Find or rent a storage unit for items in more crowded rooms.
Repaint soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade.
Remove wallpaper and fix walls if necessary.
Repair cracks, leaks, holes and any signs of dampness.
Prime and paint any areas that have water stains.
Spruce up any stained cabinets with new hardware and Liquid Gold.
Organize closets and remove items from the floor.
Fix squeaky doors.
Remove family photos throughout your home and patch holes.
Remove or place any high-value items, weapons or jewelry in a safe.
Pack up figurines or breakables.
Clean and dust ceiling fans and light fixtures.
Clean windows inside and out (winter inside only).
Leave screens off of the front windows.
Clean all A/C vents and intake grids. Replace or clean filters.
Rearrange furniture or move furniture to make the room look larger.
Clean all flooring professionally (if needed), scrub tile and grout.
Empty garbage daily. “If we can smell it we can’t sell it.”
Clean walls and doors of smudges and scuff marks, or touch up trim.
Buy new towels for kitchens and baths for display during showings.
Make sure blinds and drapes are working to open for lighting.
Check that all lights work.
Add lighting or lamps to rooms with no overhead lighting/dark spaces.
Remove energy efficient bulbs and use maximum wattage bulbs.