Getting Your Home Ready To Sell
Has the time come for you to put your house on the market? A common mistake people make upfront is to spend a lot of money on renovations, repairs and remodeling. While buyers might be impressed with these upgrades, spending $5,000 on remodeling will not automatically add $5,000 to your sale. Put your dollars towards cosmetic features like interior painting that will make your home as attractive to prospective buyers as possible.
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 (and keep your sanity along the way).
First things first: Clear out the clutter by organizing and hosting a garage sale. Whatever doesn't sell can be donated to your favorite charity. Once the excess is removed, it will be easier to see what needs to be done.
This is your home's first impression, so make it the best one possible.
• Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas.
• Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling, and reseal if needed.
• Clean and align gutters and downspouts.
• Inspect and clean the chimney.
• Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
• Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
• Remove oil stains from driveway and garage.
• If you’re selling in the winter, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice. Otherwise, keep the walks and driveway swept.
• Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance.
• Store RVs, boats and extra vehicles (anything that can’t be parked in the garage) elsewhere while the house is on the market.
• Clean, clean, clean. This includes walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. Consider hiring a cleaning service to come in and do the job.
• Put away appliances you normally leave on counter tops. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter.
• 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, moldings and other woodwork.
• Buy new cabinet knobs and curtains for the kitchen.
• Unclog slowly draining sinks and tubs.
• Make sure every light switch works.
• Nail down any creaking boards or stair treads (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).
On Showing Days
• Keep draperies and shades open to let in the light.
• Place fresh flowers throughout the house.
• At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting in back if you have it.
• Set out colorful, luxurious towels in the bathroom.
• Keep any toys in the children’s rooms, bikes, wagons and skateboards in the garage.
• Allow your real estate agent to show your house, and don’t tag along during showings.