Prepare Your Home to Sell

Are you about to sell your home or thinking about it? Before you go ahead and take the plunge you should do whatever you can to prepare your house so that you get the best possible price. If you make a systematic survey of your property and follow it up with some simple cleaning, repairs and alterations it can make a big difference. The difference can add up to thousands of dollars so it pays to pay attention to this preparatory work. Let’s take a look at what is involved in getting a home ready for sale.

There is an old expression “The first impression is the last impression.” So, put yourself in the place of a prospective buyer and ask yourself what impression would this buyer get if he or she looked at your house? Try to keep the viewpoint of the buyer in mind and then correct any item that would spoil the impression or put someone off. This is the general idea, and now let’s take a more detailed survey of what has to be done.

As I said, “the first impression is the last impression,” so it is good to begin with the exterior of the home because this is what the potential buyer will see first.

Mow your lawn, trim the edges of the lawn and tidy up all the landscaping around the house. Your house may look beautiful but if it is framed by an untidy lawn and garden people will get a bad first impression. In some cases they may not even get to see your house because shrubs and bushes are covering everything. So get out the lawnmower and trimmers and get to work, or get your landscaping service to give your yard a through tidying up.

When you are finished with the garden work, put away all tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys and other materials. Put them neatly into your tool shed or garage.

Continuing with the exterior of the home, make a survey of important structural items. Are there any broken tiles or shingles on your roof or siding? If so, fix them. Similarly, make sure that the gutters are aligned properly and the windows and door are clean and tidy. And if necessary paint the front door and windows.

What about your driveway? Does it need to be resurfaced or resealed? If the answer is yes then get this work done, and while you are at it make sure your patios, terraces or decks are in good condition and tidy as well.

Once you have the outside in good shape, go inside and work on the key areas of the interior.

In your foyer or entry hall make sure you have bright light bulbs in the foyer light fixtures. If necessary, repaint the walls using a neutral color. Clean the windows, woodwork and carpeting and place some natural scents throughout your home. Don’t worry if you have to spend some money on paint or cleaning, you will recuperate it and more when you sell your house.

The living room is one of the key areas of any home and you should make it look welcoming by discarding worn furniture and moving extra pieces to a storage area. Clear away magazines, books and other objects that create a cluttered, disorganized look. If the room is too dark, then add more lamps and keep the curtains open.

Once you are satisfied with the living room, walk into your kitchen and look around. Unless your appliances are new, it would be a good idea to get your oven and stove professionally cleaned. Clean all your other appliances and wax or polish your floor. As in the living room, take away magazines, appliances, and other objects that give a cluttered look.

Another key area which comes under a lot of scrutiny is the bathrooms. Clean them thoroughly and fix leaky faucets and bad plumbing. The sinks, bathtubs, commodes, tiles and shower curtains should be impeccably spotless. Place color coordinated towels in the bathrooms and get them looking like model bathrooms.

Do you have a family room? Make it look inviting by cleaning it and removing extra objects that create that messy look. If you have a fireplace, then clean it. Treat the finished basement as a second family room and if you have an unfinished basement, make sure that the floor is well-swept. Clean the water heater and put strong bulbs in all light fixtures.

In your bedrooms the main thing is to make them appealing by neatly arranging your clothing. Your closets will look bigger if you remove your off-season clothing and store them somewhere else. You are going to move anyway, so you may as well get them packed up now. It may be more difficult to straighten up your children’s bedrooms, but ask your kids to clean up their rooms and get them looking neat and presentable.

If you have other areas that are not covered by this survey, the same principles apply: Look at them as if you are a prospective buyer and make the adjustments that will create the best possible impression.

Don’t be afraid to invest time or money in preparing your house for sale. Always remember, You have one chance to make a good first impression so take the time, effort and if necessary money to get your house looking the best you can, you will be rewarded for your efforts. So, if you are serious about selling your home, roll up your sleeves and get to work.