Just as when putting a car up for sale you make sure it is squeaky clean inside and out, a home also needs to be thoroughly spruced up before being put on the market. Getting your home into show condition doesn’t mean you have to do major renovations. If that was the intent, you most likely wouldn’t be selling anyway. There are simple, cost-effective steps to help get your home ready for listing.
The first thing a potential buyer sees when pulling up to your home is the front yard. Making sure the lawns are cut, that the gardens have been weeded and edged and that shrubs and hedges are nicely trimmed help with that first impression. If your driveway has oil spills or stains, clean them up and paint the driveway if needed. Get all the unnecessary items out of the garage, power wash the home and give the paint a touch up if warranted. If you don’t have much landscaping, putting pots of flowers in strategic spot adds color and charm.
Make sure the foyer and the porch are clean and tidy. Try the doorbell and replace it, or the battery, if nothing works. Repair any broken screens on windows or on the screen-door. Give the front door a coat of paint or varnish and make sure the door locks work smoothly and efficiently.
Clean your home thoroughly and make sure the rooms smell fresh and clean. Turn on the heater and/or air conditioner to make your home comfortable. Light the fireplace if you have one. Turn on the lights and open the drapes to let in natural light.
Remove any and all clutter from rooms, hallways, stairs and closets. Keep a minimum amount of furniture in the home and store any surplus. Make sure the stove top and kitchen counter are clear of items. Discard empty containers and boxes, and put away personal items such as photos. Clearing away all but the essentials in a home creates space. Taking out the personal items gets the client thinking about how the home would look with his treasures sitting about.
Make your home mechanically sound before putting it on the market. Take a walk through the home and see if there are any squeaking floorboards that need repair. Put some oil on any squeaking doors and tighten any loose door knobs and/or latches. Clean the furnace and replace the filters. Repair any cracked plaster, seals around basins and tubs and replace any burnt out light bulbs. Fix any leaking toilets or taps. Give any surface that needs it a fresh coat of paint.
Bathrooms should be clean and fresh. Your stove and refrigerator should be cleaned both inside and out, as well as the washer and the dryer. Clean around the heating vents. Shampoo the carpets and have the drapes and window blinds clean and neat. If you have pets, use products that eliminate stains and odors.