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It is important to remember that when prospective buyers visit your home, they will also be visiting other homes and comparing what they see. The preparation you make to stage your home has a direct affect on how quickly and how much your net return will be.

The following are some tips to help prepare you to sell your home:

Outside Your Home

Walk the property with a pad and pencil. List anything that you think is less than satisfactory without regard to cost or time. You can review the list afterwards to determine what you can and can’t repair.

  • The House Take a close look as you walk the property. Clean anything that looks unkempt or dirty; repair or replace anything that looks loose, dingy, rusted or broken. Make sure the door bell works. Replace a tired-looking mail box; clean the exterior light fixtures and wash the windows. Clean gutters.
  • The Yard Turn and weed the beds; trim the trees and shrubs. Lay in ground cover. Mend the fence, fix the gate latch. Pick up litter. Consider a landscaping/lawn service.
  • Outdoor Furniture Examine and spot paint your outdoor furniture. If it’s rusty or un-repairable consider disposing of the pieces.
  • Front Entry It’s the first thing your buyers see as they stand and wait for the door to open. It’s worth the extra effort to spruce it up. Paint if needed.
  • The Garage The time has come. Discard virtually everything in the garage that hasn’t been used for a year. Wash it down.
  • The Deck Pressure wash or stain if needed. Repair loose boards.
  • Clear Out Clutter Although your knickknacks appeal to you, they can be a turnoff to prospective buyers.
    • Remove most accessories, pictures, personal mementos, bric-a-brac from end tables, counters, and shelves to create a more spacious look and feel.
    • Remove as many blankets, linens, and such as possible from interior closets to create the image of more expansive storage areas. This goes for kitchen cabinets, too, where packaged and canned goods can be packed TO MOVE. Remember, closet space -- or a shortage of it -- can kill a sale.
    • Remove and pack hanging clothing -- again, to impress prospective buyers with the roominess of closets.

Inside Your Home

  • Clean! Clean! Have the carpet shampooed; wax the floors, wash the walls, windows, blinds, drapes and lighting fixtures. Consider engaging a cleaning service, recognizing that it is a justified moving expense.
  • Kitchen and Bathrooms Clear off counter tops. Leave your canisters and little else. Maximize the available counter space. These rooms should be gleaming. If unsightly, have the tub re-caulked and remove mineral deposits and grime from the shower walls. Clean the stove, microwave and refrigerator.
  • Primary Storage Area Like the garage, its time has come to be liberated. Remember, you can do it now and benefit with a more attractive home on the market, or you can do it several months from now, in the process of moving when there is no advantage. Do it now.
  • Repairs Identify and repair dripping faucets, sticking or creaking doors, etc. When people see areas of disrepair they begin to wonder whether there may be other unseen problems.
  • Closets Remove out of season clothing. Organize your clothing and the shoes on the floor. Remove all clutter from cabinets and closets.
  • Furniture The less furniture, the larger a room appears to be.
  • A Light Appearance As a rule, do everything to lighten the appearance of the home. Raise the blinds, open the drapes and use light colors.
  • Repaint Any Room Beginning To Look Shabby Your home may sell much faster with a fresh coat of white or off-white paint. Reason: Buyers almost always want it that way because it works best with furnishings and, again, it makes a home’s interior look larger and friendlier.
    • When painting, use flat latex everywhere except in kitchens and baths, where a semi-gloss is required.
    • If your walls are already white, most can be cleaned of smudges and fingerprints with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of turpentine, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 quart of warm water. Wipe dry.
    • Wallpapered walls should be stripped and repainted if the pattern is dated or the material dirty and worn. You might try sponge painting after the paper is removed for a faster, easier solution.
    • Cracked plaster, loose doorknobs, funky light fixtures, and leaky faucets must be repaired before showing the house. Mineral stains from water drips may be removed by pouring hydrogen peroxide on the area, then sprinkling with cream of tartar. Let stand for 30 minutes before scrubbing. Bad stains may take 2 or 3 applications.
Hopefully these tips have provided you with a better understanding on what needs to be done when you put your home up for sale. If you’re looking for assistance on how to sell your home, contact us today!

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