Getting Your Home Ready
Clean! Clean! Have the carpet shampooed; wax the floors, wash the walls, windows, blinds, drapes and lighting fixtures. Consider engaging a cleaning service, recognizing that it is just a moving expense.
KITCHEN & BATHROOM- Clear off counter tops. Leave your canisters and little else. Maximize the available counter space. These rooms should be gleaming. If unsightly, have bath tub re-caulked and remove mineral deposits and grime from the the shower walls. Clean the stove, microwave and refrigerator.
REPAIRS- Identify and repair dripping faucets, sticking or cracking doors, etc. When people see areas of disrepair they begin to wonder whether there may be other unseen problems.
CLOSETS- Organize your clothing and the shoes on the floor. Remove all clutter from cabinets and closets.
FURNITURE- The less furniture, the larger a room appears to be.
A LIGHT APPEARANCE- As a rule, do everything to lighten the appearance of the home. Raise the blinds, open the drapes and use light colors. Repaint any room beginning to look shabby with neutral colors.
DE-PERSONALIZE- A few family photos is fine and it makes it feel more like a home, but use discretion and store personal items and pictures that may distract the buyers eye.
Walk the property with a pad and pencil. List anything that you think is less than satisfactory without regard to cost or time. You can review this list afterwards to determine what you can and can't repair.
THE HOUSE- Take a close look as you walk the property. Clean anything that looks unkempt or dirty; repair or replace anything that looks loose, dingy, rusted or broken. Make sure the doorbell works. Replace a tired looking mailbox, clean the exterior light fixtures and wash the windows. Try to spot hanging or rusted gutters, crooked antenna, loose shingles or shutters.
THE YARD- Turn and weed beds; trim the trees and shrubs. Apply fresh mulch. Mend the fence, fix the gate latch, pick up and consider a landscaping/lawn service.
OUTDOOR FURNITURE- Examine and spot paint your outdoor furniture. If it's rusty or unrepairable consider disposing of pieces.
FRONT ENTRY- It's the first thing your buyers see as they stand and wait for the door to open. It's worth the extra effort to spruce it up. Make sure the front door has a good coat of paint or stain and there is no cracked glass.
THE GARAGE- If there are things you have been wanting to dispose of now is the time to do it! Organize as much as possible. Remember you can do it now and benefit with more attractive home on the market, or you can do it several months from now, when there is no advantage. Do it now.