The first step in
preparing your home for sale is to look at
it through the eyes of a buyer — someone who is
seeing it for the first time. With a few easy steps,
we can help you make your home look attractive and inviting.
House-hunters typically begin their inspection of a
property by previewing its "curb appeal."
A surprising number of homes are eliminated from consideration
before potential buyers get out of their car because
they find the exterior appearance unsightly or uninviting.
Following are some basic suggestions for preparing your home for sale.
Preparing the Exterior of your home for sale:
- The first impression is the most important. Your
front yard should be appealing, the steps should be
clear of clutter, and the front door should be clean
and free of scratches. Refinish or paint the door
- Lawns, shrubs and flowers. Examine the lawn and
flower gardens, making sure the lawn is mowed and
free of drainage problems. Colorful flowers and shrubs
can enhance the home's attractiveness.
- Inspect Sidewalks and driveway to make sure they're
free of weeds and clutter. Get rid of stains on cement
driveways. Replace worn asphalt -- or recoat it.
- Clear the decks! Clean decks, patios and steps,
removing unnecessary furniture, toys and debris. Tidy
up any pet areas.
- Inspect the front door. A fresh coat of paint or
stain and a clean doormat can help create an inviting
"first impression.". For less than $50,
you can replace an old door handle with an impressive
new one -- it’s the first thing a prospective
buyer will touch in your home.
- Check lighting, making sure pathways and entry
have adequate illumination.
- Inspect the home's exterior, looking for loose,
missing or damaged siding and brickwork, a cracked
and uneven foundation, and gutters, downspouts or
fences that are in disrepair. Paint or repair any
problem areas. If you’re handy, you can do this
yourself. Even better: Paint the whole house.
Preparing the Interior of your home for sale:
Inside the home, you should conduct an equally
thorough inspection, since potential buyers are likely
to open doors and cupboards, look into, look behind
and operate everything to make sure the home offers
the space, layout and features they need. Extensive
redecorating isn't usually recommended, but all rooms
should be clean and clutter-free. Think "light,"
"bright," "open" and "airy."
- A clean but "lived-in'' look is best. Make
sure your home — especially the bathrooms and
kitchen — are clean, and avoid unnecessary clutter,
but don't feel you need to remove all trace of yourself
from your home. A warm feeling will put prospective
buyers at ease.
- Clutter. You want your home to look sparse so prospective
buyers can visualize where they would put their furniture.
But you don’t want it to be empty -- it makes
it hard for them to see how the house looks when lived
in. Best: Remove one-third of your furniture, and
store it in a self-storage facility or in your neighbor’s
- Little details like house plants and flowers can
make a big difference. Bright rooms add to your home's
appeal, so make sure all the windows are spotless,
and keep the rooms well-lighted during the showings.
- Minor repair jobs should be attended to. Try to
take care of all you can — leaky faucets, torn
screens, cracked windows, and clogged gutters will
all detract from the appearance of your home.
- A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to improve
the appearance of your rooms. If your walls aren't
in the best condition, you should consider painting.
- Carpeting. People tend to look downward when viewing
a home. Replace old carpets -- even inexpensive ones
look great when they’re new. At the very least,
have all carpets and drapes professionally cleaned.
- Interior walls - Patch walls and ceiling cracks,
then repaint or wallpaper, using neutral shades.
- Check the garage for musty smells and signs of
mildew or leaks, correcting any defects. Remove clutter
from the basement and garage. Sweep floors, degrease
spots and dust.
- Inspect bathroom and kitchen fixtures to make sure
they sparkle, are leak-free and are otherwise functioning
well. Remove stains from countertops, sinks, tubs