You love your home, but will anyone else?
It's a common question homeowners ask themselves when putting their home on the market. Here are a few tips and ideas to make your home more appealing to potential buyers. In most cases, sellers must live in their home while showing it -- a tricky and often frustrating situation. Keeping the buyer's eyes on features of the home and not on the seller's personal possessions or lifestyles is the key.
|Tips for Inside
- Pack up as many photos, awards, trophies and personal items as possible.
- Organize closets, pantries, shelves, and garage spaces as if they were retail displays. Prospective buyers will open every cabinet and closet as they consider your home. Fold all clothes and hang like colors together. Remove out-of-season clothes to make the closets seem larger.
- Clean carpets professionally. If your carpets are buckled or worn consider replacing them with a neutral-shade carpet. Tile, grout and linoleum should also be in good, clean condition.
- Remove any furniture which blocks access or consumes a substantial portion of a room. You want your room to appear sizeable and easy to enter and exit.
- If you smoke, stop smoking in the house. Have all drapes and carpets cleaned.
- If you have friendly pets, keep them well groomed and clean any rug spots. Also keep litter boxes and yard waste cleaned frequently.
- Clean blinds and remove dusty build-up. Also take a broom to all baseboards and dust ceiling fans.
- Make the home feel as light and airy as possible. A well- lit home sells best.
- Organize pantry space and even your refrigerator.
- Clean the stove and oven. remove trash and keep dirty dishes out of the sink.
|Tips for Outside
- The garage shows best with either one car & a clean organized work area or two cars. It will not show well with clutter. Remove as many boxes, lawn implements bicycles and clutter as possible.
- Repair gutters, soffets, and siding. Clean gutters and downspouts and add turf if any washout has occurred.
- Paint any areas which are showing signs of wear or weather damage. Also replace any wood trim which is crumbling or damaged.
- Buy a new Welcome Mat for the front and side doors.
- Keep yard trimmed and watered. Put fresh flowers in flower beds and in pots around the house.
- Have a professional roofer fix any loose or damaged shingles.
- Clean up outside furniture and fixtures to create an inviting setting.
- Clean everything inside and out. Prospective buyers will want to see every inch of their future home including your attic, garage, and storage shed.
|A Note About Showings and Safety --|
Most agents will escort buyers through your home as they show the property and insure that nothing is disturbed. However for your own safety you should check window and door locks regularly, especially after open-house showings. Sometimes thieves pose as buyers to case houses and leave latches unlocked so they can return later. Please be safe.
A Checklist for Preparing the Home for Inspection
Exterior• Be prepared with any documentation or repair records for additions and improvements.
• All exterior doors should be accessible.
• All door locks should be operable.
• Remove debris from gutters & downspouts.
• Trim shrubs away from the foundation
Interior• All interior areas should be accessible
• Crawl space & attic access should be clear
• Remove as many belongings from rooms & closets
• Have fixtures in working order and all repairs made.
• Utilities need to be on.
Electrical• The electrical panel needs to be accessible to the inspector.
• Be sure all light bulbs are working so that switches can be accurately tested.
• Be sure everything is up to code. If you have any questions, have a qualified professional check it out.
Plumbing• To prevent any water damage, fix or let the inspector know about any leaks prior to inspection.
• Install a clean air filter & vacuum all vents and returns.
Heating & Air Conditioning
• Consider having the unit cleaned and serviced, especially if it has been awhile since the unit was last serviced.
• Maintain all repair invoices
Fireplace & Chimney• Consider having the fireplace and chimney cleaned by a chimney-sweep before the inspection, especially if it has been awhile since it was last cleaned.
• If your house has gas logs, you will need a damper block installed which is low cost item.
Pets• It is best to remove pets from the home during inspection both for the sake of the inspector and the protection of the pet. Doors and gates can often be left open which could lead to a lost pet, especially with strangers in the home. Garages & backyards are not good alternatives.