Selling your home is exciting, but can be a bit overwhelming and stressful. Getting your home ready for sale can feel like a daunting task. Since most buyers will first see your home online, having it ready to go for the photo shoot is very important. Here is a quick checklist to make sure you’ve done everything necessary to get a great response from potential buyers and make your home stand out.
10 MUST-DOS BEFORE LISTING YOUR HOME FOR SALE
1. DECLUTTER: Serious buyers will look at all areas, show buyers how much room is available.
- Clean out closets, pantry, drawers, countertops, bookshelves, hutches, art niches, desktops, etc.
- Take down excess décor.
- Pack away knickknacks, collectables, photos & personal items. You can keep a few items out, but cut back so it doesn’t look messy & disorganized to a buyer, and in photos.
2. CONDUCT MAJOR REPAIRS: Get any major fixes taken care of now, save yourself potential hiccups in the long run when it comes to home inspection time.
3. TOUCH UP & REPAINT: This is an easy, affordable way to freshen up the look and feel of any room or home.
- Retouch baseboards, doors and walls. It adds a fresh look to the home and makes it feel clean.
- If you have, for example, a bright blue accent wall in the family room, it could put off potential buyers from wanting to pursue your home if he/she doesn’t like the color and wants a “move-in” ready home. If you have to repaint, stick with light neutral tones. If you’re unsure of a color, go to the local paint store and ask for the most popular neutral paint color.
4. LIGHT FIXTURES: First, check all light bulbs and make sure they’re in working order. While checking your ceiling fan bulbs, dust the blades. If light fixtures are outdated, this is a great way to set your home apart. Replace old, out-of-date fixtures. This includes exterior lights, ceiling fans, etc.
5. CURB APPEAL: Curb appeal refers to how attractive your home looks on the outside, as a first impression. The first thing a buyer notices when they see your home in person & in photos is the curb appeal. Make a strong first impression.
- Mow lawn & edge along the sidewalk/driveway
- Make sure there are no weeds in garden/rock beds
- Replace burnt out exterior light bulbs
- Plant & pot colorful plants & flowers
- Pressure wash the siding & driveway
- Repaint the front door
- New front door welcome mat
- New wreath on the front door
- Stage your deck & patio areas with seating areas, grill areas, etc.
6. GET THE WINDOWS CLEANED: Investing in professional window cleaning before your photo day is well worth it. Did you know that over time, your windows build up a layer of dirt, water deposits, streaks, smudges, and fingerprints? This grime can obscure the incoming light and become unsightly.
7. PROFESSIONALLY CLEAN FLOORS: Unless your carpets are brand new, you’ll want to have them steam cleaned. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes. If your tile grout is discolored you may want to consider having that professionally cleaned as well. If your carpets are past the point of cleaning we may want to discuss other options for replacing flooring.
8. ADD FRESH GREENERY INSIDE: If you don’t have any green plants, consider getting a couple to place throughout your home. A living plant can add warmth to your home and create an inviting feel. Adding fresh flowers can also brighten up your home and give it a nice smell.
9. SMELL TEST: The odors in the house can make a lasting impact for potential buyers. Take care of the root cause of the smell, rather than simply masking the smell. Lighting a candle or spraying an air freshener over unpleasant odors will make them worse and leave a bad impression. The most important thing is to get rid of odors in your home first by cleaning it thoroughly. That includes scrubbing floors, cleaning the carpets, washing out garbage cans, scrubbing pet areas, washing drapes and sofas, cleaning appliances, etc. Clean your home from top to bottom, then add a gentle, simple scent for a pleasing smell that could mean a faster sell.
Studies show that certain scents can help you sell your home, while other scents can actually be a turn-off. Scents such as lemon, orange, vanilla, pine and cedar are appealing smells to use in your home.
10. DEEP DOWN HOUSE CLEANING: A clean house gives the impression that the property has been well maintained and will definitely help sell it. It’s an interesting irony that many home buyers expect the house they buy to be cleaner than the one they currently own. This truth is a reality that must be accounted for.
Everyone’s level of “clean” is different. What is “clean” to me may not be acceptable to you. When you’re listing your house for sale, you need to get your home as clean as possible. From the bathroom fans to the floor grout, from the kitchen to the garage. If you can afford it, hire a professional cleaning crew to spend a day performing a deep clean. It’s well worth the money.
Take one final walk-through around the house, inside and out. Do you see anything that might distract or turn off a buyer? Modify as necessary.
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