Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.
Crank up the curb appeal
Pull weeds, rake leaves and trim overgrown shrubs, especially if they block windows or the path to your front door.
First impressions are the important!
A fresh coat of paint on the front door and a groomed lawn invites buyers in. Clean the front entrance doorway of debris and insects and repair any damage to the front steps or railings. Critical sales buying decisions are often made at the front door – Make it Pristine!
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it. If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away? Pack up all knickknacks and remove all books from the bookcases.
It's important to make your house generic. A fresh coat of neutral paint will make your home appear larger, brighter and more appealing to potential buyers. Also, if possible remove all worn or out-dated wallpaper.
Let the sun shine in, and turn on the lights. Open all blinds or curtains, and make sure the house is well lit.
Of Utmost Importance Make repairs (They’ll only show up on inspection report).
Fix things like leaky faucets and sticky cabinets and doors, doors that don’t lock properly, and replace old or torn screens and broken windows. They may seem insignificant, but minor repairs add up in the mind of a potential buyer. They tend to overestimate how much repairs cost. You don't want to give them any reason not to put in an offer. Make sure all doors open, latch and close easily and fix all leaky faucets. Replace/repair any damaged or rotten wood, especially wood on the outside of the house. If the toilets are loose have a handyman tighten the bolts. Have a handyman check the crawlspace (basement) to make sure that all water damage is repaired and water leakage into the lower levels is stopped. The crawlspace should be completely dry and a plastic vapor barrier should be in place.
Make sure your furniture placement allows for easy traffic flow and shows the purpose of each room. If you have too much furniture, rent a portable storage device to hold things until you are ready to move into your new place. If you don't have enough furniture, borrow or rent.
The Most Important Room In Your Home
The kitchen is a good place to start removing clutter, because it is an easy place to start.
First, get everything off the counters. Everything - even the toaster. Put the toaster in a cabinet and take it out when you use it. Find a place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have cabinet space to put everything. Clean them out. The dishes, pots and pans that rarely get used? Put them in a box and put that box in storage.
You see, homebuyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their "stuff." If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space. The best way to do that is to have as much "empty space" as possible.
For that reason, if you have a "junk drawer," get rid of the junk. If you have a rarely used the crock pot, put it in storage. Do this with every cabinet and drawer. Create open space.
If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them – especially canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and you don’t want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway – or paying a mover to do so. Let what you have on the shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can.
Beneath the sink is very critical, too. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub the area down as well, and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water leaks that may cause a homebuyer to hesitate in buying your home.
This includes personal photos and portraits. Less is always more. The less clutter and knickknacks you have lying around, the more potential buyers will be able to see your home and what it offers. Remember, you are selling your house, not your stuff. Plus, getting a head start on packing will eliminate some stress down the road.
When your house is meticulously organized, buyers will envision themselves living a stress-free life in your home.
Clean every inch of your house, and don't forget to make your windows and floors sparkle. If your carpet appears old and stained, think about replacing it. Also, make sure there are no offensive odors. Purchase an air-neutralizing spray that will help remove odors without creating an overwhelming masking odor. Clean homes sell!
Be sure potential buyers are comfortable when touring your home. If it's freezing outside, leave the heat on, and if it's summer, turn on the air conditioner.
Keep it ready to show
It may be a little inconvenient, but until you accept an offer, keep your home in tip-top shape at all times. What this means is that each room should have a clear purpose, nice flow and be clean and clutter-free. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves and their things in a room, and taking these steps will help ensure that.
Showing a client’s (or your) house in a half an hour? Here’s your last-minute checklist.
- Double-check the details of the home and be sure no highlights are left out on literature you intend to distribute: number of bathrooms, school zones, dates of improvements, custom items, etc.
- Outside: Be sure the garage doors are down and items such as trash cans and toys are put away. Move cars to ensure there is a clear view of the home from the street and buyers have a place to park.
- Remove remaining personal items and other distracting pieces that can be easily physically hidden. You can stash these items in a bin and put them someplace temporarily: such as a car trunk.
- Make sure personal toiletries are put away and surfaces such as bathroom vanities and kitchen counter tops are clean.
- Turn on interior lights in china cabinet or shelves.
- Open all blinds and curtains to let in the light (unless a view is particularly bad).
- Make sure the home is a comfortable temperature.
- Make sure there is an inviting place for potential buyers to sit down. Strategically organize pillows on sofas and make them look inviting.
- Close closet doors.
- Empty all the garbage cans in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Put down toilet seat lids.
- Ensure beds are made.
- Make sure pets are out of the house.
- Make sure the home smells nice.