Prepping Your Home To List
The first impression can make or break the interest of a buyer. If the initial impression isn’t agreeable, the sale may not happen as quickly as you would like. Be sure to create a warm atmosphere. You have one shot and one shot only for a positive first impression. The following suggestions will help.
- Mulch flowerbeds and landscaped areas.
- Cut back overgrown landscaping or anything blocking sidewalks including overhanging trees, ivy, etc.
- A clean exterior lets people know you really take care of your home. Wash the front of the house if dusty or dirty or repaint if necessary.
- Make sure the front porch is clean and uncluttered. (A pot of flowers is a nice touch by the front door.) Don’t forget to sweep ceilings and corners for unwanted cobwebs and wasp nests. Paint if necessary.
- Make sure front porch light is clean, attractive and working (and free of dead bugs).
- If gutters need cleaning, go ahead and clean.
- Paint, tidy or improve mailbox, if needed.
- Paint front door if needed.
- De-clutter! Remember less is more. If a room has too much furniture, put some in storage. Make rooms seem as spacious as possible.
- If there are too many pictures on walls, take the majority down and put in storage. They might distract potential buyers.
- Give the appearance that you have lots of counter top space by cleaning off your kitchen counter tops. Put toasters, microwaves, etc in the pantry or a cupboard.
- Make it look like you have a lot of storage by cleaning out closets and putting items into storage you don’t use every day. Every buyer is looking for lots of storage space.
- Clean cobwebs from the corners of ceilings, floors and light fixtures.
- Clean any dead bugs out of light fixtures.
- Dust and wash your baseboards.
- Make sure the light bulbs in all lights are working. If they are burned out, change them. (There is nothing more frustrating for a potential buyer than to look at a house at night and not be able to see in a room. There are a lot of people who can only look at homes in the evening after work).
- Clean your windows, window sills, curtains and blinds! Sunlight streaming through the house makes it more warm and inviting.
- Clean and de-clutter your linen closet! Again, less is more. Make those closets look huge!
- Paint if there is any chipping paint or walls in bad shape.
- If you don’t need to paint, make sure you clean your door trim to get rid of fingerprints, dirt and smudge.
- Caulk is a wonder, and easy to use! If you see anything that has cracks and needs caulking, then do it (tile, trim, windows, etc.).
- If you have any stains on ceilings from previous water leaks, roof leaks, etc., then paint.
- If you have leaky faucets, running toilets, plugs not working, etc., repair them.
- If you don’t change the air filter on your central heat and air regularly, change it before going on the market, and vacuum out return.
- Clean ceiling fan blades and bathroom exhaust fans of dust.
- If HVAC needs servicing, do it now.