Homes that are thoroughly clean with great curb appeal and pleasing decor usually sell faster and for more money than homes that are cluttered and unkempt. In order to sell your home quickly and at the highest price, let’s make it sparkle and shine!
Below are some simple steps we’ve come up with to help. Whether you’re working with us or not, we recommend printing this out and using it as a basic guide to get your home ready. While budget is different for everyone, most of the items below won’t break the bank.
First, let’s put yourself in the buyers’ shoes and look around your property. Let’s start outside. Exterior/Curb Appeal: This is the first thing they will see when they pull up to the home. How does your lawn look? A lawn that is well manicured and full gives a great first impression. Fill in bare spots, make sure to edge along driveways, walkways and garden beds. Make sure all leaves and weeds are removed. How about the exterior of your home? Maybe a fresh coat of paint isn’t in your budget or time-frame so let’s make sure it’s clean. Keep your front entryway super clean and free of cobwebs and debris. The front door is the first thing they will see up closely, give it a fresh coat of paint if you can. Power wash concrete patios and stain decks. Keep decks swept and clean. (Make sure that your patio furniture is clean, otherwise let’s just remove it.) How about those gutters and the roof? A good gutter cleaning and having the roof swept off if needed won’t hurt! Make sure those exterior lights are working!
Let’s step inside now. How does it smell? You can place lightly scented diffusers or air fresheners around the home to freshen it up. Consider something neutral and clean.
Appearance. This is a big one, some people can see past clutter and personal belongings but let’s try and clean it up as much as possible. De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter! Buyers want to see the space they are going to be living in. Pack away everything that you are not going to need for the next few months. Neatly store in boxes and out of the way if possible. (Buyers look at closet size too, so try to keep them organized and looking their best.) Let’s look at your blinds and curtains. Are they old and dusty? Can they be cleaned? If they are in bad condition, we recommend replacing or removing them altogether. Just make sure to patch and paint those holes, then let the buyer install blinds of their choice once they move in. Apply fresh paint where needed. If a paint is needed throughout an entire room, we recommend a neutral color be applied. Ask us our for our color recommendations. Flooring throughout the home should be clean. Make sure you have had the carpets professionally cleaned if not replaced. Mopped, vacuumed and swept floors help add to the overall clean appearance of the home.
Cleanliness. Even clean the unfinished areas of your home including the garage, utility rooms, water heater, furnace (don’t forget to replace furnace filters as needed). Keep these areas free of cobwebs and debris. The fireplace should be clean and empty as well. How about those switch plates around the house? Light switches are high traffic areas that can sometimes be discolored or smudged. A good wipe down or replacing them all together is a quick and inexpensive way to take care of that. While we’re looking at high traffic areas, go ahead and give those banisters and railings a good wipe down!
Lighting. Replace all burned out light bulbs. Great lighting is a very important element to prospective buyers! Don’t forget the little guys; make sure any lights under cabinets are working along with any appliance bulbs. (These can be ordered online using the model number if needed). Keep some spare bulbs on hand as well. If you can afford to update older light fixtures around the home, this would be a good idea. If you’re trying to save money; purchase them yourself and just pay to have them installed.
Kitchen and bathrooms. Let’s make these surface areas sparkle and shine! How about your faucets, are they clean? Any little leaks? If so, let’s get cleaned up and repaired. Appliances, if they aren’t new, make sure they’ve had a good cleaning. Thoroughly clean mirrors, glass, chrome and porcelain surfaces. Caulking is inexpensive and can make a big difference, especially in bathrooms. Make sure your grout is clean and re-caulk around the tub, shower and backslashes as needed. This will give it a nice clean look.
Open the room. The more usable counter space you show, the more buyers will notice. Try to store all unused personal items neatly away.
Are your cabinets outdated? Give them a good wipe down and consider updating the hardware. Pull knobs and handles can be found at hardware stores or ordered online. (Make sure you measure your handles though, those come in different sizes)