As you prepare to list your home, it is important to take a good hard look at your house through the eyes of a buyer. As home owners, we get used to certain flaws and blemishes. We begin to not even see them. Try to put yourself into the mind of a perspective buyer. Here are some tips that we have put together.
When was the last time that you walked around the outside of your house and took a really close look at it? Now is the time!
- Edge your flower beds and add fresh mulch. We recommend the dark brown mulch.
- Adding annuals to your garden beds will add a pop of color.
- Consider buying a hanging basket and/or window boxes.
- Add a welcome mat to your doorstep.
- House numbers and an attractive mailbox are a great way to dress up the front of your house.
- Sweep all decks and walkways.
- Be sure that your doorbell is working.
- Sweep your driveway.
- Make sure that all exterior lights are in working order.
- Make sure that all hoses are neatly stored and put away.
- Clean gutters and downspouts. This is an important one. It will come up in an inspection.
- Put trash cans and recycling bins neatly away.
- Clean up any kids toys (bikes, big wheels, scooters etc.).
- Remove any bird nests, or insect nests that you may find.
- Make sure that the grass is freshly mowed and weed whacked.
Declutter! Declutter! Declutter!
We can’t stress this enough.
You’re moving, so you might as well start packing up all of the unnecessary items. This will not only save you time when moving day comes but, it will make your house look bigger and more organized. Some buyers find it helpful to briefly rent a storage unit. We find that the small expense will be well worth it in the end. Here are a few other tips:
- Clear off surfaces (tables, dressers, kitchen counter tops etc.). Leave only a few tasteful
decorations. Less is more!
- Remove magnets from the refrigerator.
- Clear off bulletin boards of personal messages.
- Organize your closets. This is a big one. Closets are very important to buyers. Thin them out. Put some of your clothes and shoes in storage. This will make your closets seem bigger to prospective buyers. Refold all of your sweaters into neat stacks. Organize your shoes. If your budget allows, we even suggest getting all matching hangers (wood is preferred). This might seem crazy but, it completely changes the feel of a closet.
- Declutter kids rooms. This can be challenging. I recommend doing it while they are not home!
- Pack away all of those plastic toys that your kids collect.
This might seem like an obvious one but, it is crucial. In addition to your regular cleaning routine we suggest you pay close attention to the following:
- Wipe down baseboards.
- Wipe down all switch plate covers. It is amazing how dirty these can get!
- Clean tile and grout. This is an important one. It is often said that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Your bathroom will look newer and more updated if your grout is clean. If it is really bad, you may want to consider hiring a professional.
- Clean ceiling fans.
- Clean window blinds.
- Wash the windows. This makes a huge difference. Your house will seem newer and bigger to prospective buyers.
- Clean out the refrigerator. Yes, buyers will look in your fridge!
- Wipe down all appliances even the ones that are not included with the sale. This is important because it will give the buyers the sense that everything in your home has been well cared for and maintained.
- Wipe down your furnace and oil tank. We know that this one seems crazy! It will make your furnace seem newer.
Now is the time. It is better to fix the little things that you know of before you go on the market. It will also make your inspection go much smoother.
- Have your furnace cleaned and serviced. This is an important one. You want your buyers to know that you have kept up with the general maintenance or of your home.
- Fix any leaky faucets and hose spigots.
- Tighten any loose door knobs and cabinet knobs.
- Make sure that cabinet doors open and close properly.
- Fix squeaky doors. WD-40 works well.
- Make sure that there are switch plate covers on all outlets and that all junction boxes are covered.
- Touch up paint as needed.
Your garage is a selling feature of your house. Make it count!
- Clean and organize.
- Consider an organizational system for hanging rakes, shovels and garden tools. Rubbermaid makes a good one.
- Clean the floors. Remove any oil stains.
- Paint the walls if needed.
- Store anything that takes up too much room. You want your garage to seem as big as possible.
- Clean and organize.
- Make sure that there is plenty of room to walk around.
- Make sure that the perimeter walls are accessible for buyers to inspect.
- Properly label your electric panel.
- Put fresh flowers out.
- Put nice hand towels and soap in the bathrooms.
- Don't have electric cords all over the place. Tuck them away neatly if possible.
- Change any light bulbs that you know are out.
- Do not leave valuables lying around.
- Avoid crazy paint colors. Try to keep things neutral.
- Leave EVERY light on for your photography day and all showings.
Don't panic if this list seems daunting. We can help. Just ask!