Here are some useful tips for preparing your house to be sold. Some of these can make or break a deal, so be prepared to wow your potential buyers.
Exterior of your home
- Remove personal yard decorations and hoses
- Put out fresh bedding material at your foundation plants. If it’s spring/summer, plant some colorful flowers in the beds. Colors can add curb appeal to the home.
- Trim bushes, cut the grass, and pull weeds. These items are the first thing people notice when approaching a house.
- Have the entire exterior of the home pressure washed, including brick, siding, stucco, walkways, cornice, and porches. Also wash the windows.
- Repair any rotten wood, and use touch up paint on areas that are faded.
- Make sure the front door and porch are clean, and freshly painted. The front entrance should welcome people into the home.
Interior of your home
- De-Personalize the home. This includes taking town family photos, boxing up unusual art pieces, and removing knick knacks from tables and niches.
- Paint any room that needs it. Choose neutral colors, like beige. If you have rooms that have bright or unusual wall colors, paint them to a toned down color. Remember, not everyone will have the same taste as you.
- Box up clutter and decorations. Not only will that make the house feel more open, but it will keep buyer’s imaginations open to their own decorating ideas.
- If you have a lot of furniture, consider renting a temporary storage unit. Leave only the main furniture pieces, and make sure there is nothing blocking walking spaces and hallways.
- Have any carpet cleaned by a professional. If it is very dirty, consider replacing it.
- Everything should be as clean as possible. Clean grout in the bathrooms, hang up fresh towels, keep the sink free of dirty dishes, dust the house and your furniture, etc. Remember we don’t usually see imperfections in our own homes because we live there on a daily basis, but potential buyers will see every flaw.
- Any major damage to the structure will need to be disclosed to the buyer. Buyers will almost always have a home inspector check for these issues, so you should evaluate the cost associated with fixing these items, as compared to the loss in value by not.
- Minor items should be repaired. Doors should open smoothly. Holes in walls should be spackled, sanded, and re-painted. Windows should open and close freely. All locks should work.
- Check that all appliances work properly, even the ones that you intend on taking with you.
- Make sure all plumbing fixtures work and don’t leak.
- Check all the electrical outlets and smoke detectors to make sure they work.
- Be packed and ready to move. Being packed not only keeps the house less cluttered and more open, but it also ensures you will have enough time to move out once the house is sold.
- Be sure to completely clean out attics and storage rooms well ahead of time. These places can collect a lot more things over the years, and may take more time to go through than you realize.
- Keep daily personal items organized, including toiletries in the bathroom, dishes and utensils in the kitchen, clothes hanging neatly in the closets, etc.