When getting your home ready to sell, you need to look at it in a new way. Your home will go on the market where it is competing with hundreds of other homes, and it must be able to compete! Today’s homebuyers lead busy lives and may not be interested in taking on major repairs upon moving in. You need to make your house a “10”. This document will help you spot what is right and what you may need to correct before putting that “FOR SALE” sign up!
With buyers, first impressions count! A small investment in time and money can give your home an edge over other listing. The two best things you can do to get your home sold it to clean it and paint it. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, it is the best investments you will make. A clean house is a must. Ensure everything from floors to ceiling is spotless. Remember when painting, that neutral paint colors are always best and if you are not a good painter, hire a professional. Here are some other tips to get the top market value for your home.
· Cut lawns and trim shrubs, make sure to also weed and edge
· Fertilize lawn
· Pick up around the yard, this includes litter, toys, tools, etc.
· Clear walks and driveways of leaves or snow
· Repair/clean gutters and eaves
· Touch up exterior paint or repaint front door if needed
· Make sure siding and windows are clean - buyers do not want to see any cob-webs
· Make sure deck is clean, do any necessary painting, staining or sealing
The Buying Atmosphere
Make sure to set the scene and make the most of that first impression. Fresh flowers, a bowl of fruit, or a beautiful picture can make a world of difference and make your house feel like a home.
· Clean and tidy entrance, make it feel warm and inviting. Add a plant or a fresh coat of paint
· Be absent during showings
· Turn on all lights including outside lights in the evening and replace any burnt out bulbs with brighter ones
· Open drapes
· In cooler weather light fireplace
· Play quiet background music
· Eliminate any unappealing smells from pets, smoke, food, etc.
· Light a nice smelling candle or bake cookies
· Try to remove pets from the property during all showings, or at least have them outside or in a kennel
· Oil squeaky doors and polish and tighten doorknobs and hardware.
· Clean windows and tracks. Open and close all windows to ensure they work properly. Fogging between the panes of a sealed window indicates the seal is broken and the unit needs to be replaced.
· Touch up chipped paint or consider repainting house.
· The condition of the foundation and main structural members in the basement are critical to the fitness of any house. Look for cracks, water seepage, efflorescence, crumbling mortar or concrete, and rotting wood. If any of these problems are present, you need to do further research to learn about causes and possible solutions.
· Change the filters in the furnace and have it cleaned.
· If you have ceramic tile in either your kitchen or bathroom, ensure grouting is intact and clean and repair any cracked plaster.
· People splash water around in the kitchen and bathrooms so check around sinks, tubs and toilets for rotting countertops and floors. Problems could be due to poor caulking or plumbing leaks. Fogged windows, molds and sweating toilet tanks indicate high humidity levels, which you can remedy with exhaust fans.
· Will your roof and chimney pass inspection? Unless roof repair is a simple matter of applying new caulking, you will probably need the services of a professional. Check the general condition of your roof. Sagging sections, curled shingles, pooled water on flat roofs and corrosion on metal roofing means it is time for repair or replacement. Both masonry and metal chimneys need to be straight and structurally sound, have proper capping on top and watertight flashing where they penetrate the roof.
Make room for space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They are looking for storage space, too. Make sure attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items. The better organized a closet; the larger it appears. Now’s the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity or have a yard sale.
· De-clutter as much as possible, put away small kitchen appliances, books/magazines, knick-knacks, items on top of fridge and remove magnets and artwork and miscellaneous items; ensure countertops and tables are clear.
· Ensure closets and cupboards are neat, tidy and well organized.
· Store excess furniture, ornaments and pictures; buyers should be able to imagine their belongings in the home and you want the house to look as spacious as possible.
· Clean out your garage. Get rid of broken tools, old car parts, discarded bicycles, empty paint cans and the hundreds of other useless items that accumulate in garages. Again, you want a clutter-free zone. Use cleaning solutions to remove oil stains from the floor.
Spic and Span
CLEAN! CLEAN! CLEAN!
Bathrooms and kitchens sell homes; so let them shine! For added allure, display your best towels, mats, shower curtains, china, etc.
· Shampoo carpets if necessary.
· Clean fridge, stove/oven, fan and inside and outside of cabinets including cupboard handles and switch plates.
· Eliminate any dust or cobwebs.
· Make the kitchen and bathrooms sparkle. Scrub sinks, tubs and toilets taking care to remove any rust stains. Remove mildew from showers and bathtubs. Fix dripping faucets or trickling toilets, and vacuum your fan grill.
· Remember to remove or lock away valuables such as jewelry, money/coins, cameras, etc.
· Display photos of house in summer to show landscaping if selling in winter months.
· Leave out heating and hydro bills.
· Leave lights on for showings.