Now that you’ve decided to sell your home, it’s time to get it ready to show! If your house is well maintained, it will make a considerable difference in the time it takes to sell and the price you’re able to sell for. You may be able to eliminate buyer objections before they arise by making necessary repairs and improvements, some of which are suggested below.
Maximizing Your Home’s Exterior and Curb Appeal
Before placing your house on the market, try to maximize its exterior appeal. Below are some tips to enhance your home’s curb appeal:
- Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly.
- Trim hedges and prune trees regularly.
- Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint.
- Repair or replace loose gutters.
- Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles. (If you don’t want to replace or repair a roof that needs help, be prepared for the buyers to ask for concessions.)
- Add a few annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance.
- Keep your garage door closed.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
- Trim/cut overhanging branches that may damage roof.
- Remove dead bushes and trees.
- Check that house numbers, mailbox, doorbell, and exterior lighting are all in good condition.
- Repair torn or missing screens.
- Replace cracked or broken windows.
- Clean windows.
- Get a new doormat.
- Pick up toys, tools, and trash so the yard is uncluttered.
- Clean cobwebs and nests out of eves.
- Mulch and weed flower beds.
- Yard and patio should be neat, sturdy, and repainted if necessary; outdoor furniture should be arranged, clean and in good shape.
Maximizing Your Home’s Interior Appeal
Enhance your home’s interior by following some of these tips:
- Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning.
- Remove all clutter so your house appears bigger and brighter.
- Wash windows and open draperies to make the space look bigger and brighter.
- Consider hiring a professional cleaning service once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
- Either get rid of or store your less frequently used items. Since you’re anticipating a move anyhow, holding a garage sale at this point is a great idea.
- If necessary, repaint soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige.
- Repair cracks in walls and ceilings.
- Remove torn or fading wallpaper and replace it with a neutral paint color.
- Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
- Repair or replace worn or stained carpeting. (Or offer buyers an allowance to replace it themselves.)
- Remove pet odors and stains.
- Replace burned out light bulbs.
- Clean all light fixtures, switch plates, and glass and mirrors.
- Make the beds.
- Make sure dressers are clean and neatly arranged.
- Clean the window sills.
- Store personal and valuable items.
- Dust blinds or curtains.
- Keep vanity top uncluttered.
- Clean the bathtub, soap holders, and all tile walls.
- Clean and scrub the grout.
- Make sure the shower curtain or doors is clean.
- Polish the faucets and handles.
- Make sure the toilet seat is in good repair.
- Wash carpets or rugs.
- Buying new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
- Repairing dripping faucets and showerheads.
- Dust binds or curtains.
- Spruce up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.
- Remove dirty dishes.
- Remove gadgets from the counters so the space looks larger.
- Clean the refrigerator and stove.
- Make sure all appliances are in good repair.
- Replace drip pans on stove.
- Clean and shine the faucets.
- Clean and organize all cupboards.
- Make sure doors are in working order.
- Organize boxes, tools, etc so it is not cluttered.
- Remove all cobwebs from the rafter area.
- Remove oil stains if possible.
How Much Should You Spend Preparing Your Home for Sale?
In preparing your home for the market, many of these items can be done for a minimal amount of money. A brand new roof will impress buyers, but they aren’t likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive “touch-ups” to your house, such as putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room, and doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen. We can advise you specifically on what improvements, if any, should be made. Don’t hesitate to ask us for advice.