Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

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Get Your Home Ready To Sell

If you think about everything that needs to be done to sell your house, you might throw your hands up in despair! Or at least feel some anxiety. Take one step at a time, one small task at a time. Break it down to manageable-sized chores and you’ll have better results. First things first – Clear the clutter! Have a garage sale. Whatever doesn’t sell can be donated to charity. Items that have no value go to the local land fill/bailing center. Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done.

A common mistake people make is to spend a lot of money on expensive renovations, new roof, or remodeling. While buyers will be impressed with these things, spending $5000 on remodeling probably won't add $5000 to your sale. Spend as little money as possible, and spend it on cosmetic readily seen features like interior painting. The time to remodel is when you plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.

Improving your curb appeal is critical. This is your first impression, so it had better be a good one. There are also other minor tweaks that can improve potential buyers opinion of your home. It is not necessary to address every item on my list. But in my experience, some of these simple tasks can be a game changer. It is not uncommon for a potential buyer to jump to a quick decision for seemingly minor issues. Some on the tasks on my list below are effortlessly easy. Some might require outside help depending on how handy you are. Another beauty of my list is if you decide in the end not to sell, you get to enjoy your improvements

Home Seller's Task List:

Clean, clean, clean. This includes walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. If you must, hire a cleaning service to come in to do the job.

*  Mitigate the smell of cat litter, cigarette smoke, mildew or pet accidents.

*  Improve your landscaping. If necessary, hire a landscaping company Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas. Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.  Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance.

* If you have a street-side mailbox, paint it with a clean new coat of paint.

* Buy a new welcome mat.

* Make sure the porch light works.

* Inspect and clean the chimney.

* If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it.

* Remove oil stains from driveway and garage.

* If you’re selling in the winter, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice.Otherwise, keep the walks and driveway swept.

* Repair broken outdoor steps.

* Paint the front door.

* Put away appliances you normally leave on countertops. (This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter.) Thoroughly clean all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven). 

* Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic.

* Paint the walls and ceilings a neutral color – off white or beige.

* Repair cracks, holes and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.

* Repair dripping faucets and shower heads. Unclog slowly draining sinks and tubs. Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.

* Buy new cabinet knobs and curtains for the kitchen.

* Shampoo all carpets, scrub and wax linoleum, wash and wax wood floors.

* Clean out the fireplace and lay some logs in it.

* Wash the windows inside and out. Mend torn screens. Clean out all window tracks. Check to see that all windows will open and close. Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork.

* Replace burned-out light bulbs. Use brighter light bulbs. Make sure every light switch works.

* Nail down any creaking boards or stair treads (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).

* Lubricate any squeaking doors

* Remove excess, worn or unattractive furniture.

* Clear all cobwebs from corners and doorways.

* Clean/wipe down all light switches, handrails and doorknobs.

* Store RVs, boats and extra vehicles (anything that can’t be parked in the garage) elsewhere while the house is on the market.

* Conduct a walking inspection of your exterior. Again consider hiring a professional to assist if needed. Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling, and reseal if possible. If you have siding or brick, power-wash it. If you have a painted exterior, consider repainting in a neutral shade. This is especially important if there is any peeling. Clean and align gutters and downspouts. Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles. Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.