If you’ve made the decision to put your house on the market, there are a few more steps you need to take before you put the “For Sale” sign in your front yard. In fact, by taking the time to carefully go through your house from the perspective of a potential buyer, you’ll see the potential problem areas that could prevent offers from coming in.
Following these suggestions – which include some simple, common-sense items and more time-intensive tasks – will pay off in the long-run when the perfect buyer walks through your door.
- The Power of Paint. If your home needs to be painted, this is the time to do it. The interior paint job should be fresh and clean and in a single, neutral color throughout. The same goes for the exterior. And, don’t forget shutters and windows. If your home has vinyl or aluminum siding, be sure it’s clean. Moldy, dirty siding will tell a buyer that your home has not been taken care of properly.
- Clean the Carpets. If your carpets are in decent condition, a professional cleaning can help refresh them. But old, matted carpeting will be a detriment to your home selling. If you have hardwood floors under old carpet, tear up the carpet to expose them.
- Check Off the Repair List. Make a list of all those little repairs you’ve let go. Then make a plan to fix each one. The hole in the screen, the loose doorknob, the doorbell that doesn’t work and the leaky faucet must all be repaired before buyers start looking at your home.
- Consider New Appliances. If your home’s appliances, like the dishwasher, oven, refrigerator and washer and dryer, are old and outdated, it could pay to replace them. Buyers do not want to be faced with the possibility of having to replace appliances upon moving in to a new house. Shiny, new appliances already in place will be a big selling point.
- De-Clutter to Create More Space. Clear your house of clutter and debris. Get rid of piles of old newspapers and magazines, the old clothes that don’t fit, the closet full of small appliances that don’t work, dust-filled collections of knickknacks, etc. Clean, open spaces make your home look bigger to prospective buyers.
- Not So Personal. Minimize the amount of personal items and mementos in your home. Prospective buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home. Too many family pictures will make them feel that they’re invading your home, not inspecting their future home.
- Back-to-Basics Cleaning. It may go without saying, but you need to clean your house top to bottom including walls, floors, furniture and tabletops. Everything should be sparkling clean when a buyer makes that all-important first visit. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, crumbs on the counter or laundry stacked in the bedroom.
- Create Curb Appeal. Take a fresh look at your home from the street. Does it have curb appeal? Is it warm, inviting and well-kept? Make sure by mowing the lawn, weeding garden areas, trimming unruly bushes, resealing the driveway and sweeping the porch.
- Don’t Forget the Closets. Clean out closets so they appear more spacious. Closets are an important feature to today’s buyers so make yours look as roomy as possible. If they’re still cluttered after cleaning them out, remove items you don’t need now and put them in storage.
- First Impression. Pay particular attention to your front door. Repaint it if necessary. Polish the doorknob and knocker and clean the glass and screen door. When a buyer waits at the front door to enter, make sure he or she sees that your home was cared for lovingly.