Get Your House Ready To Sell

When preparing your house to sell, ask yourself if your house looks like what someone else might picture as a “dream house”. Houses that are in move-in condition tend to be inviting to buyers; houses that are like new typically sell the fastest and for the best price.

With that in mind, here are a few things to consider when getting ready to sell:

Exterior
Remember the 60-second rule: that’s all the time you have to create a good first impression! Mow the lawn, rake leaves, trim trees and shrubs that keep light out of the house and remove dead plants. Pick up tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys, and building materials and store them neatly in a storage area. Replace broken/ missing roof shingles, re-set nail pops. Straighten, secure and clean the gutters and downspouts. Clean all windows and mend torn screens. Painting your house helps improve curb appeal more than any other fix-up! If you decide against painting the entire house, consider painting the front door, window frames and shutters. Seal or resurface the driveway and repair broken steps and walkways. Paint or replace your mailbox and post. Dress up the front yard with some simple landscaping.

Entryway
If 60 seconds looking at the exterior sounded tough, once inside, buyers average 8 seconds to decide whether your house is a NO or a MAYBE!That first impression of sight and aroma had better be pleasing!Use bright light bulbs throughout the house. Fill the house with a pleasant aroma, such as berries in the summer or cinnamon in the winter.Chocolate chip cookie aroma is a hit at any time of the year.

Clean, Clean, Clean
Step back for a moment and look at your home as if you were seeing it for the first time. Every room should be spotlessly clean, dusted and uncluttered. Steam clean the carpets and wax the floors. Clean the walls, windows and light fixtures. Tighten loose stair railings and tough-up all woodwork. In the event that you feel a project of this magnitude is better left to a professional, we can recommend a cleaning service, painter, handyman—or whatever help you need.

Living Room
Replace the carpet if it’s worn. In some instances, it is better to install hardwood flooring rather than carpet.Either way costs money, but you will usually more than recoup that cost when the home sells. Patch cracks and nail holes in the walls, and repaint walls in neutral colors, such as white or ivory. Nail down creaking boards and stair treads. Lubricate any sticking or squeaking doors. Open all curtains, and replace them if they are getting old. Add lamps and lighting if the house is dark. Set out fresh flowers.

Furniture
Rearrange or remove furniture to make your rooms look more spacious. Too much furniture and too many knick-knacks make rooms look cluttered and small. One or two decorative items per surface are plenty, so pack the rest away.

Kitchen and Baths
These rooms should sparkle! Clear off counters, and clean all appliances and fixtures. Scrub the floors and walls. Re-caulk tubs and showers. Clean these rooms thoroughly, and be sure they smell fresh.

Closets
Take those things to Goodwill that you’ll have to discard anyway when you move. 75% full creates the best illusion of adequate space.Organize shelves and straighten shoes. Be sure that sliding doors operate smoothly and knobs on drawers are secure.

Utility Room
Dust and clean the washer, dryer and water heater.

Light and Bright
Do everything you can to brighten the interior. Replace wallpaper with white or off-white paint, and repaint shabby or dark walls.(Often, wallpaper can be painted over—this is a lot less expensive than removing it). Open the blinds, and replace broken windows and window seals. Remove window screens to let more light into the home.Always maintain a comfortable temperature inside the house, even if you are away for an extended period of time.

A Carol Team Exclusive While we aren’t professional home inspectors, we have seen a LOT of inspections.Plus, we are former home builders and know a whole lot more about construction than the average agent.That makes us uniquely qualified to point out aspects of your home that might be an issue—much better to fix a problem before a potential buyer decides that it is a deal-breaker.