Create a plan to enhance your property. Keep a notebook
for your selling project, and as you stroll through
your yard, make a list of what needs to be done. Consider
what your property looks like to people driving by
or walking through your door. What will they like
or dislike? What needs fixing, painting, cleaning?
What can you improve? Whether you paint your house
or fix up the yard, your efforts don’t need
to be costly; even inexpensive improvements and minor
repairs go far toward attracting serious buyers. But
remember, those seemingly insignificant problems you’ve
learned to live with can actually discourage potential
buyers. Here are ideas for increasing your home’s
appeal in order to sell it quickly at the best price.
Buyers expect a spotless house, inside and out. So
clean everything, especially your windows and window
sills. Scrub walls and floors, tile and ceilings,
cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash
scuff marks from doors and entryways, clean light
fixtures and the fireplace. Don’t forget the
laundry room. And put away your clothes.
People are turned off by rooms that look and feel
cluttered. Remember, potential buyers are buying your
house, not your furniture, so help them picture themselves
and their possessions in your home by making your
rooms feel large, light, and airy. As you clean, pack
away your personal items, such as pictures, valuables,
and collectibles, and store or get rid of surplus
books, magazines, videotapes, extra furniture, rugs,
blankets, etc. Consider renting a storage unit to
eliminate clutter in your garage and attic.
It’s hard to get rid of possessions, but cleaning
and clearing out the clutter can really pay off in
the end. Packing away your clutter also gets you started
packing for your next move. Make your garage and basement
as tidy as the rest of your house. Simple little tasks
such as storing your tools and neatly rolling up your
garden hose suggest that you take good care of your
house. Don’t let anything detract from making
your best first impression.
They’re an important consideration to many
buyers. By storing clothing you won’t use soon,
you’ll make closets look spacious.
A new coat of paint cleans up your living space and
makes it look bright and new. To make rooms look larger,
choose light, neutral colors that appeal to the most
people, such as beige or white.
Check its condition. If it’s worn, consider
replacing it. It’s an easy and affordable way
to help sell your home faster. Again, light, neutral
colors, such as beige, are best. If you don’t
replace it, you can suggest to potential buyers that
they could select new carpet and you’ll reduce
your price; buyers like to hear they’re getting
a deal. At the very least, have your carpet cleaned.
Repairs and Renovations
It’s best to avoid making major renovations
just to sell the house since you’re unlikely
to recoup those costs from your selling price. Make
minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow
drains, torn screens, gutters, loose doorknobs, and
broken windows. Make sure repairs are well done; buyers
won’t take you seriously if your home-improvement
efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish.
Leaks and Moisture
Water stains on ceilings or in the basement alert
buyers to potential problems. Don’t try to cosmetically
cover up stains caused by leaks. If you’ve fixed
the water problem, repair the damage and disclose
in writing to the buyer what repairs were made.
The "Wow" factor — that first visual,
high-impact impression your home makes on potential
buyers — can turn a looker into a buyer. To
determine your property’s curb appeal, drive
through your neighborhood and note other properties;
then approach your own house as if you were a potential
buyer. How does it look? Does it "wow" you?
Will its curb appeal attract buyers? Note what needs
improving, such as trimming trees, planting shrubs,
or painting gutters. Little things convey that you’ve
cared for your home, and this is your opportunity
to sell that important message to buyers who are shopping
from the street, simply cruising neighborhoods just
looking for houses for sale. To get them through your
door, do what you can to make your property look like
someone’s dream home.
If it’s peeling or blistering and you can’t
remember the last time you painted it, your house
needs some attention. That also goes for stain that
is significantly faded. A newly painted or stained
exterior will help sell your house faster. And whether
you do it yourself or hire someone, you’ll also
increase your home’s value.
In the Yard
Grab people’s attention by enhancing your yard
and landscaping. If your house looks inviting and
well-maintained from the street, people will imagine
that it’s attractive on the inside, too.
Prune bushes and hedges; trim trees.
The Front Door
Keep your lawn looking healthy and green by mowing
it often, fertilizing it, and keeping it edged and
Clean up and dispose of pet mess.
Weed your gardens; add fertilizer and mulch; then
plant colorful flowers.
In winter, keep your driveway and sidewalks shoveled,
de-iced, and well-lit.
Stack firewood, clean out birdbaths, repair and paint
An attractive entry catches a buyer’s eye and
says, "Welcome," so highlight this area
of your house with decorative touches, such as a wreath
on the door or new shrubs and flowers around the steps.
For an even grander entry, clean and paint your front
door, or replace it with a new one for a few hundred
dollars. Don’t forget to fix and polish doorknobs,
repair torn screens, and then put out that new we.nete
Keep yourself organized with the following checklist.
Clean and Maintain
Windows, sills, and screens
Walls and floor
Cupboards and drawers
Carpet and rugs
Replace furnace filter
Dust furniture, TV and computer screens
Pack personal items
Leaky faucets and plumbing
Water stain damage
Damaged walls and ceilings
Worn carpet and rugs
Damaged sidewalks and steps
Stain or paint deck
Roll up garden hose
Paint or stain exterior
Prune bushes and hedges
Mow lawn, fertilize, edge, and trim
Weed gardens, plant flowers
Shovel driveways, de-ice
Clean out birdbaths
Caulk windows and doors
Repair and paint fences
Seal asphalt driveway
Make sure doors close properly
Replace door mat