Preparing Your Home for Sale

  • Sweep up your front entrance.
  • Scrub down your front door, and either paint it or replace it, if it looks worn.
  • Consider pet or food smells in your home and do your best to make them pleasant.
  • Give the house a fresh coat of paint, add shiny hardware to the front door and plant a few flowers to send a subliminal message the house is loved and well cared for.
  • Replace faded, peeling or torn wallpaper, in fact eliminate as much wallpaper as you can. We are not trying to appeal to the small group of buyers that may like it, we are trying to appeal to everyone.
  • Repair, replace or paint worn woodwork.
  • Paint a neutral color over walls that look old or were previously painted too boldly.
  • Paint and Carpet is the biggest bang for your buck if you are on a budget and had to pick some updates
  • If you are not on a budget, kitchens and baths sell homes, PERIOD!
  • A dark home just isn’t inviting, so open the curtains and blinds. Turn on all lights during evening showings. Open the drapes or remove them completely. Light, bright rooms give the impression this is a happy place –and everyone wants to move into a happy place.
  • Replace any steamed up double pane windows or old-looking tinted windows. If your windows always look foggy, the seal is broken and they need to be replaced.
  • Look around your home to determine where you can reduce a cluttered appearance.
  • You want people to imagine this is THEIR home. Remove all unnecessary articles from your closets and garage. Spacious rooms and large storage spaces are a great selling feature.
  • Get rid of family pictures, trophies, and knickknacks. Closets and cabinets should be no more than 30% full.
  • Consider having a garage sale to dispose of unwanted items.
  • Look into renting storage for larger items or boxes of things you aren’t ready to part with but don’t use every day. Include your favorite trinkets and excess ornaments. They won’t have the same sentimental value to potential buyers and only distract from your home.
  • Clean windows and appliances.
  • Steam clean or replace carpets.
  • Glue back any peeling wallpaper.
  • Remove ashtrays and throw out the trash. Give the buyer the impression that your home has been well maintained.
  • Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers.
  • Clear up any mildew stains.
  • Display fresh, clean towels and make the room attractive.
  • Spray a light fragrance and make the room pleasant smelling.

When a buyer sees things that need fixing, they see dollar signs, and begin to wonder what else might need work that they can’t see. Be sure to repair any loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, broken light switches and other minor flaws. These defects subtract from the value of the home and buyers always exaggerate the real costs to make these repairs. It will be far less costly do them before an inspector flags the repairs and makes it look worse than it really is.

If your hot water heater, air conditioner, furnace and electrical systems are not new, understand that your homes value will be reduced because of it. Anything past 7-8 years will be a negative to a buyer because those items will likely need to be replaced prior to them being able to sell. This can be a significant cost and will put off many buyers. Your price should reflect your use of these items and you should also be aware that buyers will be planning on paying for these items to be replaced at some point during their time owning the home.

There should be no pets in the home during a showing so send your pet on a few hour vacation with a neighbor or friend so homebuyers can enjoy the home without any disruption. Also, make sure to clean up or remove any pet accessories that can be distracting.