From experience, we know that a "well-polished" house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what they can't see has probably also been maintained. You might consider having your home professionally inspected before putting it on the market. Identifying potential problems now, will save you time and money later. In readying your house for sale, consider:
I How much should you spend
- We are familiar with buyer's expectations in your neighborhood and can advise you specifically on what improvements need to be made. Don't hesitate to ask for advice.
II Maximizing exterior and curb appeal
- Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly.
- Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly.
- Add pine straw or mulch to freshen existing beds and foundation planting.
- Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling. - Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint. Apply a fresh coat of paint to front door, if needed.
- Clean and align gutters.
- Inspect and clean the chimney.
- Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
- Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
- Consider adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance.
- Keep your garage door closed.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
III Maximizing interior appeal
- Look at your home from the Buyer's perspective. Be objective and honest.
- Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning, and remove all clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded rooms have actually rented storage garages for excess furniture, creating a sleeker, more spacious look.
- Hire a professional cleaning service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
- Remove the less frequently used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making these areas much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a move, holding a garage sale at this point is a great idea. (prior to putting your house on the market)
- If necessary, repaint dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls.
- Check for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement and crawl space.
- Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
- Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork. Inspect and repair the plumbing, heating, cooling, and alarm systems.
- Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.