People usually decide within two minutes whether they like your home. The first impression is often the lasting impression. Buyers start forming their opinion before they even walk in the front door. So it is wise to ask yourself if your home is as presentable as it can be, for a faster sale at the best price. The best way to find out is to imagine you're a prospective buyer. You've probably been looking at homes; so approach your present home the way you look at the other homes. I will do all of the things necessary to bring in the prospects. However, when it comes down to it, your home is going to have to help sell itself.
Here are fiftyseven time tested tips I suggest to make you home more presentable. A good rule to follow is to do cosmetic things that will improve your chances of selling. Avoid making major changes unless they will increase the value of your home more than the cost of the improvement.
Clean up, fix up, and paint up outside
1. Invest in landscaping where it can be seen at first sight. A well manicured lawn, neatly clipped shrubbery, cleanly swept walks create a good first impression.
2. An extra shot of fertilizer, in season, will make your grass look lush and green.
3. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the home.
4. Paint your home if necessary. This can do more for sales appeal than any other factor. If you decide against painting, at least consider touching up front shutters and windows frames.
5. Inspect the roof and gutters. Are there any missing shingles to replace? Gutters and down spouts in place? Need paint or repairs?
6. Consider putting flowers outside the front door.
7. Repair the front door.
8. Put a bright coat of paint on your mailbox.
9. Repair broken outdoor steps.
10. Is the swimming pool sparkling clean?
11. Is the doorbell in place and functioning properly?
12. The kitchen is the most important room in the house. Make it bright and attractive. If dull, paint cabinets and put up perky new curtains.
13. Clean the ventilating hood in the kitchen.
14. If the kitchen floor is badly worn, put down new flooring. Replace any loose tiles.
15. Remove any appliances that you keep on your counters. Clean counters make the room look larger.
16. Repair dripping faucets.
17. Keep fresh towels in the bathrooms.
18. Use special cleaning products to remove stains from toilets, bathtubs, sinks and showers.
19. If sink and bathtub drain too slowly, unclog them.
20. Have all tubs and showers been freshly caulked?
21. Has all the carpets been cleaned to look new?
22. Have all plaster in top shape. Cracks (or nail-pops, visible seams in dry walls) are easy to fix.
23. Check ceilings for leak stains. Fix the cause of the damage, repair the ceiling and paint.
24. In painting and redecorating avoid offbeat colors.
25. Faded curtains or bedspreads can be dyed bright colors.
26. If you have a fireplace, clean it out and lay some logs in it to make it look inviting.
27. Wash windows.
28. Replace broken glass.
29. Mend torn screens.
30. Check to see that all windows will open and close.
31. Replace burned out light bulbs. Use brighter light bulbs.
32. Make sure every light switch works.
33. Make the floors shine; clean and polish them. Nail down any creaking boards or stair treads.
34. Straighten up the closets. Get rid of excess items. Use air freshener to eliminate musty odors. Lubricate any sticky or squeaking doors.
35. For doors that stick, rub a block of paraffin against the surface that shows signs of wear.
36. For sliding doors that stick in their tracks, rub the tracks with paraffin or candle wax.
Basement, attic, garage
37. Clean out attic, basement and garage and dispose of everything you are not going to move. Package everything you won't need until you're settled in your new home.
38. Make sure there is plenty of light on the stairs to the basement.
39. If your basement is dark and gloomy, paint ceilings and walls a light color.
40. Repair cracks in the basement floor with ready mixed concrete.
When your home is being shown
41. Is the home free of "pet odors"?
42. Are all locking doors easily opened with keys?
43. Are all the beds made daily?
44. Keep room draperies and shades open to let in light. This also makes rooms appear larger.
45. Have your home well lighted during showing.
46. At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting.
47. Neatness makes a room look bigger. Avoid clutter.
48. If possible, leave your furniture and rugs in the house for showing it.
49. Avoid having dirty dishes in the sink or on counters.
50. Keep any toys in the children's rooms. Bikes, wagons and skateboards should be made as inconspicuous as possible.
51. Keep radio, stereo, TV off or turned down.
52. Take your family away if your broker is holding an open house.
53. Children should be quit.
54. Refer direct inquiries you receive about seeing your house to your broker to take advantage of his professional's skills in selling your home.
55. Don't mention furniture or furnishings you wish to dispose of unless asked. Such discussions can kill a sale.
56. Take pets outdoors when your house is being shown.
57. Let the real estate expert show your house, and don't tag along. It is best to leave your home while it is being shown. If you are asked question answer candidly, but don't offer answers to unasked questions.
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